"Spinal adjustments or spinal manipulation" are very gentle, safe, and effective movements of the spine, designed to loosen tight spinal joints and relieve pressure associated with swollen or damaged spinal discs. Spinal adjustment/manipulation is a broad term used to describe a variety of techniques used in the treatment of spine and extremity disorders.
Spinal manipulation is probably as old as humanity itself. The ancient Egyptians and early physicians including Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine” are known to have used it. Manipulation was taken to a new level with the founding of the Chiropractic profession in 1895 by refining techniques to provide much greater control and specificity. Today there are a range of scientific studies attesting to its effectiveness for a variety of conditions published in major medical journals. Studies indicate it is thousands of times safer than anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen.
There are a number of forms of manipulation, and the doctor will determine which is most appropriate for your condition, taking into account your preferences as well. These include the “high-velocity, low amplitude” manual manipulations or adjustments often associated with a “crack” or ‘popping” sound. That sound is simply the result of changes in gas pressures within the joint, known as “cavitation.”
Other forms of manipulation include low-force and “no-force” adjustments, sometimes using an instrument which produces a gentle, reproducible force, safe even for babies and the elderly. While other disciplines may use some forms of manipulation, doctors of Chiropractic have the most training in the procedure, and use the most precision, so that only the segments or joints which need to be moved are adjusted.
The doctor will discuss treatment options and review benefits and potential risks to ensure your concerns are addressed. If you have any questions, please ask!