Spinal dysfunction is far more common (and debilitating) than you might think. There’s a good chance you’re being impacted by spinal dysfunction right now and aren’t even aware of it!
Traditional medicine relies on pain medications and surgery to treat patients, but chiropractic care focuses on understanding and treating the source of the pain rather than simply masking symptoms.
Back pain is not the only reason to receive a chiropractic adjustment. Joint and spinal adjustments can impact different parts of the body. Chiropractic care can help with low back pain, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, muscle aches, and other joint pains like the wrists, elbows and ankles.
Chiropractic adjustments effectively reduce pain, improve biomechanics and enhance overall health.
Common causes of spinal dysfunction
- Injury (falls, accidents and collisions)
- Physical activity and lifestyle (housework, gardening, sport)
- Incorrect posture while awake or while sleeping (work station, unsupportive pillow)
- Repetitive movements (home or work)
- Scoliosis and other genetic conditions
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is an effective form of treatment where chiropractors apply a regulated, brief force to a spinal joint using their hands or a specifically designed instrument (called an activator). Chiropractors may also use other techniques that are slow, constant and indirect to help improve range of motion in joints, influence nerve activity and help decrease pain.
Chiropractors do not “move joints into position,” but instead “facilitate” joint movement to “stimulate” the nervous system and enhance function!
Regardless of the method utilised, the purpose of a chiropractic adjustment is to restore appropriate function to the joints and allow the body to heal naturally.
What actually happens during a chiropractic adjustment?
Chiropractic adjustments loosen up restricted joint movement, sometimes creating an audible popping sound.
Inside most joints is synovial fluid, which provides joint lubrication. When there is a sudden change in pressure, such as that caused by a spinal adjustment, this fluid releases tiny bubbles of gas which creates the popping sound that is often heard.
The movement of the joint activates the neurological system, causing the pain signal from your joints to be reduced. The brain interprets the release in joint mobility, which lessens pain. The spinal adjustment can influence the central nervous system by negating unpleasant signals from damaged tissue or chemical stimulation from joints or surrounding structures. This lowers pain signals from the joint.
It is important to note that not all chiropractic adjustments cause a crack or popping sound, but the results are equally effective.
Why do chiropractic adjustments feel so good?
For the nervous system to function optimally, spinal structure and function need to be optimised, healing our bodies naturally from within. Many people experience almost immediate relief from their symptoms following chiropractic treatment.
Each specific chiropractic adjustment regulates neural stimulation and communication from the spine and extremities.
This triggers sensory areas in the brain to modulate any pain signals coming from the affected area. Endorphins are also released in the brain, which results in a feeling of pleasure and euphoria.
Furthermore, endorphins help block pain signals, and they stay in our bodies long after a chiropractic adjustment, so we stay feeling good.
Chiropractic treatments include:
- Instruments specially designed to deliver brief and controlled impulses to the joints.
- Soft-tissue therapy: Massage, and stretching are soft tissue methods that can be used to relax tight muscles, reduce spasms, and release tension in the connective tissue that surrounds each muscle (fascia).
- Rehabilitation exercises: Stretches and exercises to restore range of motion and mobility.
- Joint bracing/taping (e.g., Kinesio taping): This aids in the healing of sprained joints or muscles.
- Advice on which activities to change or avoid to alleviate your pain as quickly as possible.
These are only performed after completing a thorough history and examination to ensure that they are tailored to your specific needs. Depending on your progress, your chiropractic treatment at each appointment may differ.
Final thoughts on Chiropractic Adjustments
Chiropractors use a holistic approach to treatment, aiming to treat the body as a whole instead of as separate systems.
In addition to ensuring that joints function properly, chiropractors also ensure nearby muscles are working effectively
Receiving chiropractic treatment can be an excellent way to improve multiple aspects of your health with a single non-invasive treatment. Surgical procedures and medications can be risky and costly. You could target your problems safely and efficiently with chiropractic care.