Chiropractic spinal pain treatment looks a lot like a massage. The focus of chiropractic therapy, though, is on the joints and skeletal alignment. A small misalignment of any joint can throw off a person’s posture. That can contribute to wear and tear on the whole body.Chiropractic spinal pain treatment involves correcting the alignment of vertebrae…
What Is a Chiropractic Adjustment?
Have you ever wondered what chiropractic treatment entails? Friends and family surely have their own opinions, and maybe phrases like "back-cracking" and "spinal manipulation" may come to mind, but what really goes on at an appointment? Before booking an appointment, discover the truths about what happens during a chiropractic adjustment.
What is a chiropractor?
Chiropractors study the structure of the joints, muscles and ligaments in and around the spinal cord. Though not a medical doctor, chiropractors train to be able to safely adjust the joints in the spine and go through a thorough licensing process to become certified to do so. From the head and neck to the pelvis and tailbone, chiropractors aim to realign any out-of-place parts of a patient’s back to reduce pain, tenderness and inflammation.
Whether an accident or injury causes pain to develop or back and neck pain creep up from the strain of the day-to-day, it is worth it to take a trip to the chiropractor to seek relief. So what happens during that first appointment?
At the initial chiropractic appointment, the chiropractor generally starts off by getting a thorough medical history and taking the patient through a quick physical assessment to determine what issues need to be addressed. The patient may be asked to touch their toes, twist from side to side and try other movements that demonstrate spinal dexterity.
From there, the chiropractor can analyze the results of the patient’s assessment against the patient’s own concerns and suggest a treatment plan catered to the patient’s needs. Sometimes a treatment plan involves multiple visits each week while others require one visit every six months. Most often, treatment plans start out with frequent visits that get less frequent as the patient makes progress.
Once a treatment plan has been determined and agreed upon, the chiropractor begins the first adjustment. Sometimes referred to as "spinal manipulation," a chiropractic adjustment simply means an adjustment practiced with the hands. In other words, it is a manually administered type of physical therapy designed to increase the space between two spinal joints.
A chiropractor never actually cracks or snaps the spinal bones, nor is hard pressure ever applied to the spinal cord itself or to the vertebrae. Instead, the chiropractor applies quick pressure to the spinal joints to encourage the joints to open up.
When spinal joints are pressed together, the range of motion in the back becomes restricted, and gas builds up in the fluid that moves between them. Chiropractors adjust the joints to be in better positioning, further apart, and so that the gas can be released. Often when people refer to the "popping" sound heard during an adjustment, no bones, joints or ligaments are popping. Rather, it is the sound of that gas being released. This part of the process should not be painful and often brings a great deal of relief.
Chiropractic adjustments are a safe and effective treatment option for people suffering from neck, back and hip pain. Though the treatments can be more helpful to some than to others, going in for a chiropractor's assessment can determine whether this care can help you find relief from your pain.
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