A healthy spine is a spine without any misalignments.
While every spine is different, pronounced misalignments can put pressure on nerves, block the flow of blood and important nutrients throughout the body, and prevent your ability to move or exercise without pain.
So what can you do to get your spine back into alignment? The answer is chiropractic manipulation.
How Does Spinal Manipulation Work?
Spinal manipulation is the process of moving joints around the spine that are located between two adjacent vertebrae. These joints help to carry the weight that is placed on the spine when we walk, sit, exercise – basically, whenever your body is doing pretty much anything.
The goals of spinal manipulation depend on the patient, but may include:
- Restoring function in the joints
- Improving range of motion
- Relieve pressure on joints
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve nerve function
- Reduce pain
Typically, patients who receive spinal manipulation (also called chiropractic adjustments) do so for back pain, but manipulation has the potential to do much more. By reducing pain, joint pressure, and encouraging alignment of the spine, chiropractors can treat a wide variety of conditions. Some lesser-known conditions that chiropractic care can treat include digestion issues or PMS, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The biggest difference between spinal manipulation and other forms of treatment is the use of force. If you suffer from osteoporosis, or a healthcare provider has determined that you would not benefit from spinal manipulation, you may want to look into spinal mobilization. Both processes have similar end goals, but while manipulation uses active force to achieve results, mobilization is more passive and gentle.
There are many different types of chiropractic manipulation that chiropractors use and study. Different schools of thought have developed hundreds of methods to approach manipulation. Most likely, if you go to a chiropractor they will use some sort of high-velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) adjustment in order to adjust and regain alignment in the spine.
What Is The Process Like?
If you are going in for chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulation, do not be worried. While it is true that “force” is used to realign the spine, it is very unlikely that the force will lead to pain.
If your chiropractor is using HVLA methods, he or she will first position your body so that your spine can properly receive the adjustment. This may involve being seated on a specific chair or lying down on a table. During the adjustment, the chiropractor will use quick, small thrusts that focus on one joint at a time. The goal of the manipulations is to give each joint the proper range of motion so it can work with the rest of the body.
When the joint is moved, gas will be released, and you will most likely hear an audible popping sound. This sound is similar to the one you may have experienced if you crack your knuckles. The next day, you may feel sore, like you just experienced a good workout, but soon you will begin to experience the benefits of manipulation, the alleviation of your symptoms, and an improved quality of life.
Whether you are considering your first visit to the chiropractor or you’re due for some work, don’t delay. The sooner you can get an appointment, the faster you’ll be able to find relief for your back pain and improve your overall health. Talk to a Florida chiropractor today to schedule an appointment.
About the Author:
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.