What exactly does a chiropractic adjustment do? When your chiropractor assesses your spine, they are evaluating the multiple joints that comprise the spine. We are checking for misalignments, and restrictions in each joint. When we find a joint that needs to be adjusted, we use specific direction and force to introduce the correct motion into that joint. Since the joints of the spine are home to the nerves that flow from the brain into different parts of the body, it also restores proper nerve flow to that segment of the spine and body.
The body leaves an adjustment in alignment, but depending on stress (physical/chemical/emotional) that is put on the body, it can slowly return to its incorrect position. We tend to ask patients to come back for some follow-up visits to reassess the spine and see how it’s holding position.
Most patients present to our office wanting help with a specific pain or injury, but shortly after realize how adjustments seem to help with other symptoms! When the brain is communicating properly to the rest of the body (without restrictions in nerve flow from the spine), the whole body works better, feels better, and can help to heal itself.
Adjustments also increase mechanoreception, which sends good signals and decreases the pain signals that go to the brain. It also causes your brain to release endorphins. Endorphins have many benefits on the body, including reduced pain and discomfort, better mood, and increased pleasure. This is why most patients leave the adjustment feeling so much better!
One misconception regarding chiropractic is that once you start, you can’t stop. That is simply not true! Many patients come in for specific pain or conditions. Most will experience the relief and benefits from getting adjusted and choose to come back for maintenance adjustments 1 – 2 times per month (or whatever feels right to them). My favorite is when patients come in reporting they “feel out of alignment” but aren’t in any pain. This is body awareness and a great way to stay on top of your health — before the pain begins.
The benefits of chiropractic care are too many to list here. Beyond easing aches and pains, when your brain and nervous system are at ease you are able to function at a higher level.