The chiropractic adjustment is a safe, natural, noninvasive procedure used by a chiropractic doctor to restore and improve health. Learning the art of adjusting is a skill that requires years of study and practice. Chiropractic doctors are the only health care professionals trained to deliver the chiropractic adjustment. Spinal adjustments by any other individual or health care professional have been shown to be dangerous and less effective.

What Is A Spinal Adjustment?

layoutIn basic terms, the spinal adjustment or spinal manipulation refers to the process in which the doctor of chiropractic skillfully applies controlled force into one or more restricted or stuck vertebrae of the spine. The adjustment is also frequently used in the pelvic region to normalize the sacroiliac joints. The adjustment is usually delivered using the hands or through the use of a specialized mechanical tool. The purpose of the adjustment is to restore normal mobility to the joint and cause the brain to take a fresh look at the body (a kind of hard re-boot), via the myriad sensors in your joints and muscles.

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When Should Spinal Adjustments Be Given?

layoutSpinal adjustments are applied to certain vertebrae of the spine which are not moving normally within their range-of-motion or where functioning has become impaired. Vertebrae which lose their mobility, or proper motion are sometimes called "subluxated" although this is an antiquated terminology – we use the term "fixated", "restricted", or "biomechanical dysfunction". The chiropractor uses a number of unique tests and procedures to determine which, if any, vertebrae are not moving normally. If restricted joints are found, immediate correction is generally indicated. Since like cavities, restricted spinal joints are not always painful during the initial stages, even those who are not experiencing back or neck discomfort should receive periodic spinal checkups.

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What Do Spinal Adjustments Do?

layoutWhen spinal joints stop moving normally, either due to injury, inflammation, or stress, they can create discomfort and pain, as well as degeneration in the long term. Often, this occurs either because of muscle tightness or muscle strength imbalance, or results in it. Adjusting the spine helps to open up the joints that are not moving correctly, and restores their normal function. Correcting these restrictions reduces pain and inflammation, reduces muscle spasm and tension, normalizes spinal biomechanics and more importantly, can remove nerve irritation and interference which can improve overall health and wellness of the individual. Although Osteopaths and Physical Therapists are somtimes trained in manipulation of the spine, Chiropractic Doctors receive much more training and are more experienced, making the process safer, usually painless, and more effective.

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The Non-Spinal Adjustment

layoutIn 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. In fact, some chiropractors are even trained in techniques to adjust the joints (sutures) of the skull.

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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layoutDid your mother ever warn you that "cracking" your knuckles would give you arthritis? If she did, we're sorry to say that she was wrong! Research has actually shown that individuals who habitually "crack" their knuckles over their lifetime actually lower the incidence of arthritis in their knuckles compared with those who do not. Researchers believe the knuckle "cracking" increases joint nutrition and maintains joint motion, both of which are essential for a healthy joint.

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