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Chiropractic Adjustment; Your Ultimate Guide to the Treatment

Chiropractic adjustment is a technique where chiropractors apply force to the spine to reduce pain and improve function.

Chiropractic adjustment is an alternative treatment and a profession that considers the body as a whole and believes the body is a system with all parts working together for optimal alignment and function.

If the root cause is not addressed, the body’s misalignment in one area may cause issues in another area and, delay healing and recovery.

There are multiple techniques chiropractors use to help your body alignment and bring back your balance.

Here in this article, we will discuss chiropractic adjustment as a whole, learn its different techniques, and how each one works.

Chiropractic is an alternative treatment that focues on spinal manipulation.

Chiropractic adjustments are extremely effective at relieving joint discomfort, restoring proper joint function and reducing pain.

They are the choice of treatment for many people who suffer from various types of body pains, neck pain, headache, lower back pain and more due to their fast acting response and alleviation of pain.

Fulcrum Therapy professional and experienced chiropractors provide condition-specific treatments based on your initial thorough assessment.

What Is a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors diagnose and treat body conditions related to muscles, bones, joints, nerves, and ligaments.

The techniques used by chiropractors are hands-on and one-on-one, including approaches that help with muscle tension and joint stiffness and rehabilitative exercises to build strength and muscle mass.

Their objective is to reduce pain and promote overall health by improving the structure and function of the body’s musculoskeletal system.

Chiropractors believe in the importance of the nervous system and its impact on all bodily functions.

Is Chiropractic Adjustment the Same as Chiropractic Care?

These two terms are usually used interchangeably; but with a subtle difference:

The term “chiropractic care” is more general and includes various techniques chiropractors employ to treat patients. In contrast “chiropractic adjustment” is a specific type of treatment that involves applying force to the joints to improve spine alignment and reduce pain.

What Conditions Does Chiropractic Adjustment Treat?

Chiropractic adjustments are helpful for many conditions that can cause pain and discomfort in the body.

The adjustments can be made to almost any body part, such as the knees, hips, wrists, elbows, and more. Some conditions that a chiropractic adjustment can help treat are:

In particular, it is important to note that not all patients respond to chiropractic adjustments similarly.

Furthermore, not all conditions also respond similarly. For example, some conditions may need one adjustment for a quick fix, and other more chronic conditions may require ongoing care to manage symptoms to provide long-term relief.

Some people may have immediate relief; others might need to see a chiropractor for several weeks or months before any improvement can be seen.

When choosing a chiropractor, it is important to do your due diligence and look for licensed professionals.

Furthermore, it is helpful to inquire about their extra certifications and areas of focus, as chiropractors can have niches of practice and specific practice styles.

Evidence-based chiropractors are recommended as they use techniques and treatment styles that align with recent scientific literature and can prescribe home care exercises to keep you engaged with your care.

How Is Chiropractic Adjustment Done?

To detect any alignment issues, the chiropractor will assess and observe your body as it relates to the movement of your spinal joints and your muscle tone and tension.

Once it is determined what the issue is and which specific parts of your spine or other joints are compromised in movement, they will apply a rapid and controllable force to the joint with their hands or specific tools.

This force is intended to correct the joint’s normal range of motion, reducing any nerve pressure or joint stiffness affecting the area.

Below are the steps of the chiropractic adjustment procedure and how it is performed:

  • Observation, palpation, and assessment.
  • Patient positioning and creation of tension in the joint.
  • Relaxation of the patient through inhalation and exhalation.
  • Quick and specific thrust delivered to the affected joint.
  • Post-adjustment checkup and re-assessment of the joint.
  • Monitoring and follow-up.

What is a Body Misalignment?

A misalignment is any part of the body feeling “off balance” or “off center” or may be present if there is persistent chronic pain that is not resolved with other manual therapy modalities.

A misalignment may or may not be painful.

It may also cause pain or discomfort in other parts of the body. A misalignment is best identified by a trained chiropractor or other trained healthcare professional with extensive manual therapy skills.

If you feel “off balance”, feel like you are walking unevenly or can’t get rid of persistent pain or pull in your body, you may have a misalignment, throwing your center of gravity off balance.

How Chiropractic Corrects the Misalignment?

As a common modality, chiropractic adjustment is used by chiropractors to correct misalignments along with other chiropractic techniques.

However, modern evidence-based chiropractors are trained in extensive manual therapy techniques such as active release technique, cupping, instrument assisted soft tissue tools and stretch and exercise therapy to assist patients who may be apprehensive of a manual chiropractic adjustment.

The combination of these therapies has helped thousands of patients feel better and regain their full optimal health.

Chiropractic Adjustment  Methods

There are various techniques used for chiropractic care. The most common methods are:

  • Diversified Technique
  • Thompson Drop Table Technique
  • Gonstead Method
  • Activator Technique
  • Flexion Distraction Therapy
  • Active Myofascial Release Technique
  • Articulation Technique

Who Can Get a Chiropractic Adjustment?

People of all ages can get a chiropractic adjustment, including:

  • Adults
  • Children and Adolescents
  • Individuals with Acute Injuries
  • Athletes
  • The Elderly
  • Individuals with Chronic Pain

However, there are certain situations in which chiropractic care may not be recommended or may need special consideration:

  • Severe Osteoporosis
  • People with a Bone Tumor
  • Spinal Cord Compression
  • Those with Metastatic Cancer
  • Pregnant Individuals with Severe Medical Complications
  • Inflammatory Arthritis
  • People with an Infection in the Spine
  • Certain Medical Conditions

Your chiropractors are trained to ask the right questions to determine if you are a good fit for chiropractic care. During the initial exam, they will take the time to get to know you and understand your health history and medical conditions.

If determined that you are a good candidate for chiropractic care, they will explain the treatment plan to you.

However, suppose your chiropractor determines that you are not a good candidate for chiropractic care. In that case, they will refer you back to your medical doctor for further testing and follow-ups to ensure you receive the best medical care you need.

Choosing a licensed and experienced chiropractor who can tailor their approach to your needs and conditions is important.

Chiropractic Adjustment Care Health Benefits

Chiropractic care can provide several health benefits for individuals with various musculoskeletal disorders who seek an overall approach to healthcare.

While the effectiveness of chiropractic care differs from one person to another, often, people describe feelings of relief and improved mobility after their chiropractic treatments. Here are some common benefits described by patients:

Chiropractic adjustment has several benefits for your overall health improvement.

Improved Joint Function

Adjustments aim to restore proper alignment and movement to joints that may be restricted or misaligned.

This adjustment can lead to improved joint function and range of motion, and patients often feel looser in their joints and are able to move more freely without feelings of stiffness.

Reduced Muscle Tension

Adjustments can help relax tight muscles and alleviate muscle tension, often associated with pain and discomfort.

An evidence-based chiropractor will often combine a chiropractic adjustment with specific soft tissue techniques and modalities for an even greater effect on reducing muscle tension.

Chiropractic adjustment and muscle therapy work wonders in reducing muscle tightness and alleviating pain.

Pain Relief

Chiropractic adjustments relieve acute and chronic pain, particularly in the back, neck, hips, and shoulders. Many individuals report reduced pain levels and improved mobility after undergoing chiropractic care.

Wellness and Prevention

Chiropractic care can be used as a preventive measure to maintain spinal health and overall wellness, potentially reducing the risk of future musculoskeletal issues.

It is much easier to treat preventatively and to address micro injuries right when they occur than to treat a major incident such as a low back spasm or a disc herniation.

Those who undergo wellness and prevention treatment have fewer episodes of acute pain annually and generally live a higher quality of life when experiencing daily aches, pains, and stiffness.

Enhanced Posture

Chiropractors can help identify and address posture-related issues, improving overall posture and reducing strain on muscles and joints.

Your evidence-based chiropractic can give you many tips and tricks to improve your posture and prescribe posture-related exercises to improve posture and form.

Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Athletes often use chiropractic care to recover from sports-related injuries and enhance performance. It is very common for athletes to seek chiropractic care for their sport-related injuries.

Combining exercise therapy, manual therapy, and chiropractic care will help athletes feel confident in their recovery and allow them to return to play safely faster.

Headache Relief

Chiropractic is incredibly effective for the treatment of various types of headaches. Tension-type headaches caused by neck stiffness, joint locking, eye strain, and other reasons respond favorably to chiropractic care.

Personalized Care

Chiropractic care should be personalized and individualized. Patients are all unique, and their conditions are unique to them. Therefore, your chiropractic care should be unique and personalized to fit your goals.

Nerve Function

Chiropractors focus on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system. Proper alignment can lead to better nerve function and communication throughout the body.

Potential Adjunct to Other Treatments

Evidence-based chiropractors are advocates for collaborative care and enjoy working with other healthcare disciplines to care for their patients.

Chiropractic care can complement other forms of medical treatment, such as physical therapy or pain management strategies. Co-management of certain conditions can lead to better success rates and patient satisfaction.

Non-Invasive Approach

Chiropractic adjustments are non-surgical and non-invasive, making them attractive for those looking for conservative treatment options.

Your chiropractors are trained to assess you to ensure you are a good candidate for chiropractic care and if this type of therapy fits you.

Potential Risks and Side Effects of Chiropractic Adjustment

Chiropractors are trained to ask the right questions to ensure adjustments are safe for their patients.

When no risk factors are involved, chiropractic adjustments are extremely safe. They can be incredibly effective in treating the vast majority of MSK-related conditions. Like with any type of intervention, there are also potential risks and side effects with chiropractic care.

There might be some risks and side effects associated with chiropractic adjustment.

It is important to know about the risks and side effects so that you can ask your chiropractor the appropriate questions before beginning care. Some of the possible chiropractic adjustment side effects include:

  • Soreness and Discomfort
  • Minor Bruising
  • Temporary Increase in Pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Nausea
  • Rib Discomfort
  • Nerve Irritation
  • Joint or Ligament Injury
  • Stroke Risk (extremely rare)
  • Risk for Certain Medical Conditions

How to Know if You’re a Good Candidate for Chiropractic Adjustment?

Determining if you’re a good candidate for chiropractic adjustment involves considering your individual health status, medical history, and current conditions.

Here’s a guide to help you assess whether chiropractic care might be suitable for you:

Medical Evaluation

Schedule a consultation with a qualified chiropractor. They will conduct a thorough evaluation, including discussing your medical history, current symptoms, and any existing health conditions.

Diagnostic Imaging

In some cases, the chiropractor might recommend diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI, to assess the condition of your spine and joints.

These diagnosis methods help chiropractors tailor their approach to your specific needs.


Chiropractic care is often sought for musculoskeletal issues like back pain, neck pain, and joint discomfort. However, the care is not limited to these conditions.

Evidence-based chiropractors have the expertise and knowledge to treat all body parts, such as ankles, hips, shoulders, knees, and more. If you’re experiencing such symptoms, chiropractic care might be a suitable option.

Posture and Movement

If you have poor posture, limited range of motion, or difficulty moving certain body parts, chiropractic adjustments help improve your alignment and function. They can result in instant relief from the pain.


Certain medical conditions, such as severe osteoporosis, spinal cord compression, inflammatory arthritis, and metastatic cancer, might contraindicate chiropractic adjustments.

Consult your primary healthcare provider before seeking chiropractic care if you have these conditions.


If you’re pregnant, seek an experienced prenetal chiropractor experienced in prenatal care. Chiropractic adjustments can relieve back pain, pubalgia, rib pain, and discomfort associated with pregnancy.

Read more: How a Webster-certified Chiropractor Can Help Ease Your Pregnancy?

Alternative Treatments

If you’re exploring alternative treatments and therapies for your condition, chiropractic care is an incredible alternative to try.

Remember, chiropractic care is holistic, involves various techniques and tools to help with your condition, and is not limited to just a chiropractic adjustment.

If you have hesitations about receiving an adjustment, talk to your chiropractor, as many other alternative therapies can be performed and have similar benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chiropractic Considered a Preventative Care?

Although chiropractic is excellent at offering preventative care, it is not solely considered a preventive care discipline.

For example, when someone has physical pain, they can see a chiropractor until they feel better. After that, they can visit the chiropractor regularly (for example, once a month) as a preventative therapy to avoid future injuries and pains from emerging.

The chiropractor can keep the body in excellent alignment and tension-free, reduce the risk of injury, and provide education to lead a healthier lifestyle.

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2 Responses

  1. This article shares cool stuff about chiropractic adjustments and care. I appreciate the simple explanations of the good things it does, the issues it can fix, and the personalized way it’s done. Understanding the possible downsides and risks is key. It’s useful for someone thinking about trying chiropractic treatment.

    1. I am so happy to hear that you liked the article. My goal is to ensure I share correct information in simple words so anyone thinking about trying chiropractic can make an educated decision and also know what to expect. Thanks for reading.

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