Have you ever 'cracked' your knuckles, back or neck? Each of these is a type of 'adjustment'. In this article, we take a look at the technique that lies at the very heart of chiropractic treatment.
What is a chiropractic adjustment?
An 'adjustment', 'chiropractic adjustment' or 'spinal adjustment' refers to a method of manual manipulation in which a trained chiropractor applies pressure to a specific joint along the spinal column in order to realign, restore motion, relieve pain or improve function.
During an adjustment, the chiropractor applies a high-velocity (fast), but low-amplitude (shallow) thrust to the joint in question. The action is often accompanied by a 'crack' or 'pop' sound as fluid or gas is released from the joint. However, it is not necessary for an adjustment to produce a sound in order for it to be effective.
A treatment session typically consists of a series of adjustments to spinal joints relevant to the individual patient.
Are chiropractic adjustments painful?
How would you describe the feeling that accompanies the slight 'pop', 'snap' or 'crack' sound that comes as you stretch a stiff neck?
For most people, chiropractic adjustments are a completely painless - and perhaps even enjoyable - experience that often bring immediate relief from tightness.
At first, some new patients may feel slight discomfort, often as a result of an instinctive tightening of the muscles. Once they are able to relax during the adjustment, most regular patients often describe feelings of relief and comfort immediately after.
How can I prepare myself for a chiropractic adjustment?
Naturally, it may take a little time to feel truly at ease in the hands of your chiropractor. However, a good practitioner will talk you through the whole process during your initial consultation, which should go a long way to making you feel comfortable.
Here are a few tips for preparing yourself for a great adjustment:
Try to clear your mind of any issues derived from work and life.
Try to enjoy the physical sensations you experience - in much the same way as you might during a massage.
As your chiropractor is moving you into position, take a deep breath. As he/she starts to perform the adjustment, breath out slowly and continuously until the end of the action.
Ready to receive your first adjustment?
Rin Spine Center, located in Hong Kong's Central District, is accustomed to treating people who are new to chiropractic and takes a communicative approach that ensures patients are kept informed through every step of the consultation, physical assessment and treatment process.