A Chiropractic adjustment is the intentional movement of a vertebra, by a chiropractor, in a specific direction, to correct a misaligned vertebra or what is called a spinal subluxation. A subluxation is the mis-alignment of a vertebra causing a nerve flow deficit resulting in improper function of the body of some capacity. The adjustment can be performed in many different ways, but the outcome is to increase motion of a fixated (stuck) joint, reduce nerve irritation, and to correct vertebral mal-position. The techniques have changed over the years and many chiropractors use several different methods to “adjust” the spine. A light force is used, typically with the chiropractors hands, on the subluxated vertebra. Utilizing specific parts of the vertebra as levers only a light force is needed to correct the misalignment. An audible (cracking sound) is often made when the vertebra is adjusted. Nitrogen and other gases saturated in the joint fluid (synovia) escapes and can make a sound similar to when one cracks their knuckles.
Many other professions such as physical therapists, orthopaedic surgeons, osteopathic physicians and many more also perform manipulation procedures, but they do not address the alignment of the vertebrae by first performing x-rays to determine the mis-alignments. Chiropractic physicians are the only doctors trained to locate and correct vertebral subluxations.
The brain and spinal cord communicate every function of the body through the nervous system. The nervous system is protected by a thick skull and spine. The brain extends down into the spine which is made up of 24 movable joints called vertebrae. The vertebrae move freely on top one another, but they can become mis-aligned or out of position when the muscles voluntarily or even involuntarily contract. Pulled muscles, muscle spasms, trauma and excessive bending and twisting are also direct causes of subluxations. Pain, stiffness, swelling, spasms, and numbness are the typical first signs of a subluxation.
Subluxations can interfere with everyday living more than just causing pain or stiffness. The nervous system controls the entire body by regulating every function of the body. When subluxations are left untreated they can cause serious conditions and even systemic problems. A simple neck subluxation can escalate into a disc injury and a pinched nerve requiring surgery. The mid back also sends nerves to the heart and other internal organs. If spinal problems in that area are left untreated and pressure on the nerves intervating specific internal organs are irritated then serious problems may present themselves. It is believed that chiropractic adjustments stimulate the immune system and can prevent common aliments.
Almost every professional and Olympic athlete utilizes chiropractic adjustments to perform better and remain flexible. They realize how important proper joint and spinal health are their performance. Most injuries present themselves with minor symptoms days or hours before the actual injury occurs. The symptoms are ignored and then a serious injury occurs. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help prevent serious injuries form occurring.
About the Author: Dr. Kevin Owens is a chiropractor in York, PA. He is the founder and president of Chiropractic Athletic Center. He received his doctorate degree from Sherman Chiropractic College in SC. and did his undergraduate education at Clarion University of PA. He also co-owned franchises of LA weight loss in New York and Vermont. His expertise is in chiropractic, human behavior, weight loss, musclo-skeletal injuries, and arthritis. Dr Owens is the staff chiropractor at Clarity Way, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Hanover, PA. Dr. Owens has been featured on TV, Radio and newspapers. He has lectured to schools, businesses and organizations. His work includes performing independent reviews and exams for many insurance companies along with preceptor doctor at New York Chiropractic College and Palmer Chiropractic College. Dr. Owens has been married to Michelle Owens for over 20 years and has 2 children, Alecia and Austin. His passion lies in caring for and helping others.