What to Expect About Chiropractic Adjustments
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Chiropractic care is based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of any joints that are out of alignment. At each visit, your doctor will look for misaligned joints and maneuver them into their correct and natural positions using a non-invasive method. The goal of chiropractic care is to correct any structural alignment issues and therefore improve the body’s physical function and promote healing. If you have any injuries, chiropractic care will allow the body to repair itself with all joints in their correct positions, thus preventing the need for future corrective care or otherwise unnecessary interventions.
During your first visit to our office, you will be asked several questions regarding your health history. We need to know about any previous surgeries as well as any pain and anti-inflammatory medications you are currently taking. When you meet with your doctor, he will conduct a physical exam, with careful emphasis on your spine. Be sure to notify him of any pains, stiffness, or soreness that have been bothering you.
The Purpose of a Chiropractic Adjustment
A chiropractic adjustment is a sudden, controlled force exerted by a chiropractic doctor with the intention of correcting the alignment, motion, and function of a vertebral joint. Subluxation is the term used to refer to signs and symptoms resulting from irregular alignment of vertebrae. More appropriately, it is a restricted joint and with an adjustment, the goal is to restore that joint back to full function. Full function means that you will have full range of motion with no pain. The goal of a chiropractic adjustment is to re-align the vertebrae in a non-invasive way, thus allowing the body to heal functionally. An adjustment may need to be done more than once for the body to maintain proper alignment and to observe optimum alignment results.
What to Expect During an Adjustment
Depending on the area of focus, your doctor will need you to situate yourself in a specific position. You may be standing, sitting, or lying on a padded table that is specifically designed for chiropractic care. In most cases, patients are asked to lie face down on the table. If lying face down is not possible due to pregnancy or another condition, alternative adjustments may be done while lying face up. Once you are precisely positioned, your doctor will use any number of techniques to correct alignment in the specific joint.
In order to perform the adjustment, your doctor may need to apply pressure. You may hear a pop or crack. The audible pop is nothing more than air being released from the space between the joints.
Chiropractic care is a very low risk, non-invasive method of treatment. However, as with any medical treatment, there are some side effects to be aware of. Soreness and stiffness in the muscles around the adjusted area are the most common. Your body has normalized the positioning of misaligned joints. After an adjustment, your body has to re-normalize the correct positioning of your joints and can cause some discomfort for a few days after the adjustment.
Chiropractic Care Techniques
For most adjustments, your doctor will use his hands to apply the necessary pressure to the misaligned joint. However, in some cases depending on the patient’s preference or the severity of the misalignment, other methods may be utilized.
- Instrument Adjustments: In order to provide a softer treatment, your doctor may use spring loaded device to manipulate the joints into their correct position.
- Lumbar Roll: For this adjustment, you will need to lie on your side and then your doctor will apply a quick controlled pressure to return the misaligned vertebrae into its proper position.
- Motion Palpation: This simple technique is done by hand to determine the positioning of your vertebrae.
Release Work: By applying a gentle pressure with his fingers your doctor can separate the vertebrae, often done to relieve a pinched nerve.
- Table Adjustments: You may be positioned on a table that has been specially designed for chiropractic care. It drops when pressure is applied which allows for a more gentle adjustment.
Heat, Ice, Massage, and Stretching: Your doctor may recommend these for pain relief or muscle relaxation.
- Electrical Stimulation: also called E-Stim, may be recommended by your doctor for pain relief or muscle re-education.
Common Conditions Treated with Chiropractic Care
- Back and Neck Pain: Chiropractic adjustments can relieve pain caused by misaligned vertebrae, pinched nerves, and whiplash, among other causes of back and neck pain.
- Headaches: Stress, among other things, can have a magnificent toll on your body. Muscle tension builds up and can cause headaches. Proper alignment can relieve the tension as well as joint irritation, which can relieve the headache as well.
- Immune Support: By maintaining proper alignment within the vertebrae, your doctor is assisting you in maintaining proper communication between your body and your brain. Proper alignment reduces nerve interference and improves the flow of information between your body and your brain. This allows your body to effectively respond to infections, diseases, and other foreign substances within your body.
- Injuries: Whether you sustained an injury at work, while playing sports, or due to an automobile accident, chiropractic care may be the best option for a speedy recovery. Your doctor is able to address whiplash as well as soft tissue pain and injuries.
- Surgery Prevention: In some cases, chiropractic care can address many conditions that may normally call for surgery. A few examples are chronic pain, bulging discs, and pinched nerves.
Who Can Benefit from Chiropractic Care?
Nearly everyone can benefit from chiropractic care. Your lifestyle, daily habits, and work environment can take a serious toll on your body.
- Adults: These days, many adults are confined to a desk for several hours every day. A sedentary lifestyle can cause unnecessary stress on your joints and muscles.
- Children experience teething pains, growing pains, ear infections, and poor immune system throughout most of their childhood. Chiropractic care can help ease these pains, making them more tolerable and easier to resolve.
- Pregnant women’s bodies endure many changes while growing a baby, and then more as they prepare to give birth. Regular adjustments during pregnancy can ease pain and potentially allow for a less traumatic birth by maintaining proper hip alignment. Postpartum chiropractic care can provide pain relief and speed up recovery as well.
- Elderly: Chiropractic adjustments can improve the quality of life for seniors by reducing joint degeneration and relieving arthritis pain. Maintaining proper alignment of the spine can also help with balance and coordination, therefore preventing future injuries from falls.
How Often Should You Receive an Adjustment?
After your initial evaluation with your doctor, he will typically recommend a follow up visit or, in some cases, a full treatment plan. The phases of chiropractic care include correction and maintenance/prevention. It may take a few or several visits to correct the misalignment, depending on the severity of the misalignment or the toll your everyday activities take on your body. After the vertebrae positioning is corrected, it is important to continue to see your doctor to maintain proper alignment.
If you are experiencing pain, headaches, or are in need of an overall tune up, come on in and see us! Call us today at (904) 379-9412 to make an appointment. We can’t wait to meet you get your body get back into proper alignment so you can go back to enjoying your pain-free life.