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Chiropractic Spinal, Non-Spinal, and Extremity Adjustments Explained


The adjustment is a safe, natural, noninvasive procedure used by the chiropractor to restore and improve your health. Learning the art of adjusting is a skill that requires years of study and practice. Chiropractors are the only health care professionals trained to deliver the chiropractic adjustment.

Spinal Adjustments

In basic terms, the spinal adjustment or spinal manipulation refers to the process in which the chiropractor applies specific, controlled force into one or more "subluxated" vertebrae of the spine. Adjustments are also performed in the pelvic region to normalize the sacroiliac joints. The chiropractor administers adjustment usually by the use of their hands or through the use of a specialized mechanical tool.

Spinal adjustments are applied to certain vertebrae of the spine which are no longer in their proper position or where functioning of the vertebrae has become impaired. Vertebrae which lose their normal position or proper motion are commonly termed vertebral subluxations. The chiropractor knows a number of unique tests and procedures to determine which, if any, vertebrae are subluxated. If subluxations are found, immediate correction is generally indicated.

Spinal adjusting helps correct vertebral subluxations. Correcting subluxations reduces pain and inflammation, reduces muscle spasm and tension, normalizes spinal biomechanics and more importantly, can remove nerve irritation and interference which can improve overall health and wellness of the individual. Chiropractic adjustments are the only way to eliminate vertebral subluxations and only the chiropractor is trained to detect subluxations and deliver the chiropractic spinal adjustment to correct subluxations.

Non-Spinal Adjustments

Almost every other joint of the body can be adjusted by the chiropractor. This includes the joints of the hands and feet, wrists and ankles, elbows and knees, shoulders and hips, ribs and the jaw. There are also techniques to adjust the joints (sutures) of the skull.

Extremity Adjustment

Joints in the extremities can also become misaligned and fixated. Chiropractic adjustive techniques can restore and enhance extremity joint functioning which can increase the life of the joint and keep wear and tear to a minimum. This is of special interest to athletes who generally demand optimal joint performance from highly stressed joints.

Adjusting provides an immediate increase in joint range of motion and also supplies the joint with nutrients, as motion is the only way to bring nutrients into the joint cartilage and flush wastes products out.

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