The key to chiropractic care is the spinal adjustment. This is the way doctors of chiropractic correct subluxations.
The Goal of the Adjustment
The goal of the chiropractic adjustment is to correct the spinal subluxations detected during the examination. To do that, the doctor applies pressure to the bone and “unlocks” it from its improper position. The bone will then be free to align itself correctly.
Many people think that the chiropractor forces a vertebra back into its “proper” place. But only the individual’s own Innate Intelligence knows for sure what the proper place for each bone is. The role of the chiropractor is to free up the vertebrae. Then, the body can do its job and put them back in the correct position.
Unfortunately, the muscles connected to subluxated vertebrae get used to their positions and have a tendency to pull the bone back out of place. It may take several adjustments before the adjustment “holds,” and the bone settles into its proper alignment.
If you ask 100 patients to describe their adjustments, you may get 100 different answers! That’s because there are many adjusting techniques for the chiropractor to choose from.
Some doctors have their patients sit up for certain adjustments. Others tell them to lie down. Some use elaborate tables with moveable head or foot rests while others use stationary tables. A chiropractor may use a certain technique on one visit and a totally different one the next.
Chiropractic colleges teach their students many adjusting techniques. They realize each doctor and patient is different. In fact, each subluxation is different and may require a separate approach. Even the size, weight, and muscle structure of the doctor and patient must be taken into consideration when choosing a technique.
Chiropractors select the technique which will most effectively correct subluxations with a minimum of force. The “art” of adjusting requires skill and training rather than brute strength. That’s why even slightly built doctors can perform excellent adjustments on all patients regardless of their size.
Will it Hurt?
Because most adjusting techniques emphasize using minimal force and gentle pressure, few patients feel any discomfort during the adjustment. Many, however, will hear popping sounds. But there’s no need for concern. There’s nothing breaking. The noises you hear are just tiny pockets of gas releasing with a pop, which is completely normal.
With or without noises, your adjustment should be completely pain free. Some patients, particularly if they are tense, involuntarily stiffen and resist the adjustment. At these times, they may feel slight discomfort until they learn to relax.
Once you get used to the noises — if there are any — you may associate them with “good” adjustments. However, be aware that in time, these noises may lessen or disappear completely. When this happens, it doesn’t mean the adjustment has stopped “working.” It only means that normal flexibility is returning to the affected vertebrae.