The Spinal Adjustment refers to the process in which the doctor of chiropractic applies controlled force into one or more “subluxated” vertebrae of the spine. The adjustment is also frequently used in the pelvic region to normalize the sacroiliac joints. The adjustment is delivered using the hands or through the use of a specialised mechanical tool. Doctors of Chiropractic are the only health care professionals trained to deliver the chiropractic adjustment.
When Should Spinal Adjustments Be Given?
Spinal adjustments are applied to certain vertebrae of the spine which are no longer in their proper position or where functioning has become impaired. Vertebrae which lose their normal position or proper motion are commonly termed vertebral subluxations. The chiropractor uses a number of unique tests and procedures to determine which, if any, vertebrae are subluxated.
What Do Spinal Adjustments Do?
Adjusting helps correct vertebral subluxations. Correcting subluxations reduces pain and inflammation, reduces muscle spasm and tension, normalises spinal biomechanics and more importantly, can remove nerve irritation and interference which can improve overall health and wellness of the individual. Chiropractic adjustments are the only way to eliminate vertebral subluxations.
The Non-Spinal Adjustment
In addition to adjusting the spine and pelvis, almost every other joint of the body can be adjusted by the chiropractor. This includes the joints of the hands and feet, wrists and ankles, elbows and knees, shoulders and hips, ribs and the jaw. Like the joints of the spine, joints in the extremities can also become misaligned and fixated. Chiropractic adjustive techniques can restore and enhance extremity joint functioning which can increase the life of the joint and keep wear and tear to a minimum. This is of special interest to athletes who generally demand optimal joint performance from highly stressed joints. Adjusting provides an immediate increase in joint range of motion and also supplies the joint with nutrients, as motion is the only way to bring nutrients into the joint cartilage and flush wastes products out.
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Cox, J., D.C. Low Back Pain, Mechanism, Diagnosis and Treatment, 4th Edition, Williams and Wilkins 1990