What Is a Spinal Adjustment?


An adjustment, or "manipulation" as it's sometimes referred to, is the minor movement of vertebrae within the spine. The objective is to realign vertebrae that have shifted out of place either as a result of normal daily stress on the spine (excessive sitting, lifting, etc) or from impact trauma following a car accident, athletic injury, or even from simply bumping into something too hard.

Vertebrae that are out of place impact multiple systems in the body beginning with the muscular and central nervous systems. Often a trickle down effect occurs that stresses other systems including (but not limited to) our immune, digestive, and hormonal function.
This is because the pressure created from displaced vertibrae interrupt the flow of brain signals down the spinal nerves and throughout the body. If these signals that tell our bodies how to function cannot flow with ease, we will not perform at our peak.

An adjustment is the application of pressure from the chiropractor to move a vertebrae back into place. This happens with a quick movement and usually does not cause discomfort. The chiropractor will either use his/her hands or an adjusting tool/instrument to make the adjustments. You may hear a noise that sounds like you're cracking your knuckles, which is referred to as "joint cavitation." This is just the release of gases such as oxygen and nitrogen from the joint.

Overall, adjustments are an excellent and comfortable way to keep the body functioning at its highest level. When the body is in alignment it will be able to respond normally to daily life and perform as it was designed to.

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