When it comes to our bodies and the connection between our brain and spine, many of us don’t really understand what’s going on. And when we feel pain, we sometimes don’t even know the cause or respond – that’s where chiropractic comes in. But how do chiropractic adjustments actually work?
Together, we’ll explore how and why chiropractic adjustments work and help to improve your brain / spine connection. Spoiler alert, that’s the main goal of chiropractic care.
So what is an adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is also known as spinal manipulative therapy or SMT and is a form of high velocity, low amplitude thrust which is applied to a specific joint. That’s just a fancy way to say a quick yet not forceful thrust.
Interestingly, this is why someone who is smaller can adjust a very tall rugby player as it’s all about technique and specific movements, not force.
The body is full of joints, which is where two bones meet. Usually, the joint is surrounded by synovial fluid which allows the joint to glide through its range of movements. For example, the way the two main bones in your arm meet to bend and give you full control of your arm – that’s all controlled by the elbow joint.
Each joint in our body is designed to move in a certain way and provide a range of motion. For example, the elbow moves in a different way to the spine and completely different from the ankle.
To think about the way we can move our bodies, you can separate your index and middle finger to form a peace sign – this is our active range of motion.
Now use your other hand to carefully prize your two fingers slightly further apart. It’s possible but not painful, right? This is what we refer to as a ‘passive’ range of motion.
A chiropractic adjustment aims to restore the range of motion and movement to a joint that’s restricted or not moving well.
What’s the ‘pop’?
During most adjustments, you may be able to hear an audible popping sound, just like when you crack your knuckles. This isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t correlate with pain – it’s simply the body releasing trapped gas stored in space and fluid between the joints.
Similarly, if you don’t hear a pop – that’s not to say your adjustment isn’t successful. It’s the quick motion and speed of the adjustment that is important to allow your body to regain or improve its range of motion.
Does a chiropractic adjustment hurt?
No. Well, it shouldn’t. Most chiropractic adjustments are pain-free and could actually relieve the pain or discomfort you’re experiencing as a result of improper movement.
Typically, you’ll feel some pops and cracks which might even provide a sense of relief and most patients aren’t in pain after their adjustment.
If you are in pain, just ask your chiropractor to stop and explain to them that you are feeling pain, they will be able to advise. It can be normal for some people and so you must discuss this with your chiropractor.
Did you know it takes many years to train to give chiropractic adjustments? So you can be sure that you’re in safe hands.
What are the benefits of a chiropractic adjustment?
There are both physical and mental benefits to regular chiropractic adjustments which can help with anything from aches and pains to headaches, chronic backache, minor sports injuries and joint pain.
Chiropractic may help to improve your mind / body connection which helps your brain to more accurately perceive pain experiences and tissue changes.
We are still open for chiropractic
We are able to provide adjustments during the current restrictions and we have plenty of things in place to keep our staff and you safe.