You might not know what they're called, but you know what they are.
It's the thing the chiropractor does that makes the infamous popping sound.
It's also what they do to realign your spine and make sure every system in your body is firing on all cylinders.
They're called spinal adjustments, and they are your chiropractor's "secret weapon."
In an effort to help more people understand exactly what a spinal adjustment is, and what chiropractors do, we will go in-depth into spinal adjustments in the article below.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Spinal Adjustment?
- Can Anyone Else Perform Spinal Adjustments?
- The Infamous Pop
- Do Spinal Adjustments Work?
- What Are The Risks and Side Effects of Spinal Manipulations?
- Spinal Adjustments Can Work Wonders
What Is A Spinal Adjustment?
Spinal adjustments are at the core of what chiropractors do.
A spinal adjustment is a high velocity, short lever arm thrust that is applied to misaligned vertebrae.
Its aim is to realign your spine, and in doing so, produces the infamous popping sound.
That popping sound is due to a release of gas caused by the release of oxygen and carbon dioxide, releasing the pressure on the affected joint.
More often than not, patients will feel an immediate sense of relief after a spinal adjustment is performed.
Minor discomfort can occur, but it never lasts very long.
The pop might not happen every time you visit the chiropractor, and that's typically due to muscle splinting or not being relaxed enough during the adjustment.
If you have a hard time relaxing, your chiropractor may ask you to come to the appointment rested or do electrical stimulation and massage to prep your body for the adjustment.
Chiropractic care may be a better alternative for you than relying on medication. Read our blog post: "How Chiropractors Fix Back Pain Without Painkillers."
Can Anyone Else Perform Spinal Adjustments?
Along with chiropractors, physical therapists and osteopathic physicians are two other healthcare providers that can be trained to give spinal adjustments.
The spinal adjustments may also be called spinal manipulations or a Grade 5 mobilization.
Grade 1-4 mobilizations are less forceful and direct than a Grade 5 mobilization.
They tend to be used more by physical therapists, massage therapists, or holistic therapists.
More often than not, massage therapists, athletic trainers, and holistic practitioners are not trained or licensed to give a Grade 5 mobilization or spinal adjustments.
Spinal adjustments, for the most part, are left in the hands of chiropractors.
The Infamous Pop
The pop produced by spinal adjustments makes many people nervous, so it's important that people have their nerves eased about it.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the popping sound is often the sign of a successful adjustment.
But, they aren't always a sign of an accurate re-alignment of your spine or joints.
They are simply due to a sudden decrease in pressure inside the joint.
Chiropractors are well-known for adjusting the spine, but they can also adjust the pelvis, knees, feet, wrists, and other joints.
Any of these adjustments can cause the popping sound.
Do Spinal Adjustments Work?
Spinal manipulation has been proven over and over again to be an effective treatment for pain.
Most recently, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health published results proving the effectiveness of spinal manipulations.
In fact, there's high-quality evidence that shows that spinal manipulations are as good as any other treatment at treating chronic lower back pain.
And the best part is is that spinal manipulations don't come with all the adverse side effects that you will have to worry about with painkillers or surgery.
What Are The Risks and Side Effects of Spinal Manipulations?
The side effect most commonly associated with spinal manipulations is aching or soreness in the spinal joints or muscles.
If you do experience any aching or soreness, it will likely be within the first few hours after your treatment, and it will rarely last for 24 hours after the manipulation.
Applying ice to your sore muscles will make the pain go away even faster.
Spinal adjustments are virtually risk-free, but there are a few things you need to be aware of.
Some of the risks of spinal manipulations include:
- Compression of nerves in the lower spinal column
- A particular type of stroke after neck manipulation
- A herniated disk or a worsening of an existing disk herniation
Also, if you have any of the following, a spinal adjustment might not be for you at this time:
- Cancer in your spine
- An increased risk of stroke
- Severe osteoporosis
- Numbness, tingling or loss of strength in an arm or leg
- A known bone abnormality in the upper neck
All of these risks are very rare, and the majority of chiropractic patients will never experience them.
Don't let them turn you off to the amazing benefits of spinal manipulations.
If you are concerned about any of the risks or side effects, be sure to bring them up with your chiropractor during your initial visit so they can answer any questions you have.
Spinal Adjustments Can Work Wonders
Spinal adjustments can do amazing things for your body.
They are effective in treating low back pain, with results similar to or even better than conventional treatments.
And they don't have any of the negative side-effects.
Spinal adjustments can help treat headaches, neck pain, relieve stress and anxiety, improve your posture, along with many, many other benefits.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you should make it a point to see a chiropractor.
if you don't currently have a chiropractor, you can contact the Car Wreck Doctor and be put in contact with the best chiropractors in your area.
Click the button below to begin.