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What is an Adjustment?

degenerative-spineThe most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation” or a “chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of an adjustment is to restore joint movement and correct Vertebral Subluxations by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become restricted in their movement, locked up or misaligned as a result of an injury to the tissues.

Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and nerve irritation for the sufferer.

Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected spinal joints and tissues, restores mobility and reduces nerve interference, thereby alleviating pain, muscle tightness and allowing the tissues to heal.

Research has also shown spinal adjustments improve blood flow, lymphatic drainage, and enhance nervous system functioning.

Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems

Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century, manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today’s growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.

In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—a federal government research organization—recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.