Maybe you are one of those people who has always wondered if you should go to a chiropractor. Your friends have been going for years. They simply declare that they are going for an adjustment and the next day they are declaring that they feel “so much better!”
Now that the pain in your back is bothering you more than ever, you wonder if a chiropractor can help you too. What is an adjustment? Does it hurt?
First of all, you should be aware that at SOCC, we don’t normally do adjustments on the first visit, as that is the time for us to look at x-rays, make an examination, answer your questions, and come up with a plan of action.
As South Orange Chiropractic Center’s Dr. Stephen Levine explains, “There are 24 movable segments in your spine. They control the information highway that goes from your brain to every cell tissue organ and system in your body. Any interference in that system is called a subluxation.”
Adjustments help eliminate subluxations in your spine. Although the spine is one of the most common areas for subluxations to occur, they aren’t solely confined to that area. This is why people often visit chiropractors for help alleviating pain in their feet, shoulders, necks, wrists, and knees, as well as in their backs.
Now that you know the techniques that chiropractors use to manipulate the vertebrae into the positions where they should be are called adjustments, you may be wondering how they are achieved. Chiropractors use their hands, a small instrument, gravity, or a special table to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint; this adjustment (also called spinal manipulation) is to improve your body’s physical function and ease of motion. It also alleviates pain.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, spinal manipulation is “one of the most common complementary health used by adults and children in the United States.”
Adjustments can also include stretching, rocking, pulling, light pushing, or painless pressure. Keep in mind the fact that the adjustment frees the vertebrae or joining to find its correct position to be in alignment; it does not “force” anything into place.
At SOCC, our highly trained Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) have years of experience in the art and science of spinal correction. Depending on what needs to be adjusted, you may be sitting, standing or lying down. If you are lying down, you will most likely be facedown on a special table with a cut out for your face (as if you are getting a massage).
As the DC manipulates your spine, you may hear clicking or popping noises. Do not worry! This is perfectly normal and is caused when the lubricating fluid in your joints releases gas (oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide) which form bubbles. This is called joint cavitation.
After your adjustment, you may feel tired, as if you have just completed a workout. You may also feel energized and full of pep. No two patients are exactly alike. One of our patients said, “Just received my first adjustment ever and all I can say is WOW! Feel amazing and looking forward to a pain free life. Fabulous experience!!” Another patient said, “10 stars! In just one adjustment I noticed a big difference.”
In general, you may feel:
- A release of pain, increase in flexibility, and sense of relaxation. This won’t necessarily last because it may take a while for your muscles to be trained to hold your joints in proper alignment. This is why we make a treatment plan for our patients that includes both relief and maintenance (including exercises you can do at home).
- Slight achiness or soreness. This can occur because your body has been in an improper posture for so long that it needs to “adjust” to being in alignment. This slight discomfort won’t last more than a day or so.