The Chiropractic Adjustment
One of the most common and well-known therapeutic procedures performed by doctors of chiropractic is spinal manipulation (also referred to as the "chiropractic adjustment"). The purpose of spinal manipulation is to restore joint mobility and function by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury.
Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that may cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function. Chiropractic djustments of the affected joint and tissues help restore mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, allowing tissues to heal.
Chiropractic adjustments rarely cause discomfort. However, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching following treatment (as with some forms of exercise) that usually resolves within 12 to 48 hours. Compared to other common treatments for pain, such as over-the-counter and prescription pain medications, chiropractic's conservative approach offers a safe and effective option.