The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation,” also called “chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility 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 can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.
Chiropractic adjustment rarely causes 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.
- 12 Reasons for Chiropractic Care
- 1. Nerve Interference Can Occur Without Pain
• Nerve damage may occur to nerve fibers other than the tiny pain nerve fibers. The tiny pain fibers are small and less liable to mechanically caused irritation. Therefore harmful nerve damage can occur without pain. (Gunn. Spine 1980;5:185-192)
2. To Increase Resistance to Disease
• Nerve compression from spinal misalignments adversely affects the inherent capacities of the body during healthy and unhealthy states.
(Luttges & Gerren. Compression Physiology [Modern Developments in Principles & Practice of Chiropractic, Haldeman ed.] 1980:65-92)
• Chiropractic adjustments positively influence the immune system.
(Brennan. JMPT 1991;14:399-408)
3. To Help Reduce Muscle Tension and Spasm Cycles
• Stretching the joint capsule of fixated joints can inhibit the nerves responsible for muscle spasms, cycles of pain and immobility.
(Kirkaldy-Willis, Cassidy, Can. Fam. Physician 1985;31;535-540)
4. To Prevent Abnormal Nerve Signals Resulting From Stress
• Stress and muscle tension traumatize the proprioceptors (position sensors) causing abnormal nerve impulses. (Parkhurst, Bennett. JOSPT 1994;19(5)282-295)
5. To Improve Flexibility
• Asymptomatic patients increase their ranges of motion and symmetry with Chiropractic care. (Nansel. JMPT 189;12:419-427)
6. To Improve Joint Functioning
• Chiropractic increases the movement of restricted or fixated joints (subluxations) and reduces the excess movement of adjacent compensating hypermobile joints. (Yeomans. JMPT 1992;15:84-87)
7. To Improve Athletic Performance
• Chiropractic care led to improved agility, balance, speed of reaction time, power and kinesthetic perception.(Lauro. J. Chiro. Res. & Clin. Inv. 1991;6:84-87)
• Even small biomechanical abnormalities result in a significant amount of stress on joints. (Renstrom, Johnson, Sports Med. 1985;2:326-333)
• Altered proprioceptive input interferes with normal patters of motion, balance, coordination and equilibrium. (Wyke. Aspects of Manipulative Therapy 1980;67-71)
8. To Improve Organic Functioning
• Chiropractic can decrease blood pressure.(Yates. JMPT 1988;1(6):484-488)
• Function of visceral organs such as the heart, bladder, and digestive organs are influenced by nerve impulses from the spine.
(Sato. The Research Status of Manipulative Therapy 1975;163-172)
• Patients with duodenal ulcers responded better to Chiropractic care than to traditional medical care. (Pikalov, PhD, Kharin, MD. JMPT 1994;17:310-313)
9. To Prevent Spine Disc Degeneration
• Lack of motion in the spine increases the tendency for disc malnutrition. (Holm. Acta. Orthop. Scand. [suppl.25] 1993;64:13-15)
• The most critical variable responsible for the degeneration of discs is declining nutrition. (Buckwater J. Bone & Jt. Surg. 1993;75A :1533-1548)
10. To Prevent Abnormal Nerve Signals
• A dysfunctioning joint sends persistently disturbed sensory feedback to the nervous system, therefore existing motor patterns have to be modified. (Johansson. Heuro-orthopedic 1990;9:1-23)
• Impaired proprioceptive input is related to problems with the musculoskeletal system. (Bullock-Saxton. Spine 1993;1896:704-708)
11. To Improve Posture
• Spinal and postural re-education occurs with rehabilitative techniques since the body’s proprioceptors have the ability to learn.
(Revel. Archives Phys. Med. 1994;75 [Aug]:895-899)
• Spinal manipulation help to improve postural and kinesthetic awareness. (Nyberg & Basmajian. Rational Manual Therapy 1993;451-467)
12. To Reduce the Possibility of Pain Due to Joint Dysfunction
• Chronic lower back pain isn’t an injury but is a result of a downward spiral of inactivity and reduced functional capacity. (Mikheev. The Chiro Report 1993; July:1-6)
• Visual recovery reported after specific adjustments to the cervical spine.(Journal of behavioral Optometry 1990, 1:3)
• Chiropractic adjustments demostrated to heal duodenal ulcers both endoscopically and pain relief 10 days earlier than traditional care.
• Chiropractic adjustments may be an effective and safe non-pharmacological alternative for relieving pain and distress of primary dysmenorrhea.(JMPT 1992;15:279)
• Chiropractic adjustment relieved infantile colic within 2 weeks in 94% of the cases.(JMPT 1989;12:281)
• The effects of Chiropractic adjustments on HIV positive patients. Over a 6 month period of the study the control group experienced a 7.96% DECREASE in CD4 counts, while the adjusted group experienced a 48% INCREASE in CD4 cell counts over the same period.(Chiropractic Research journal 1994;3:32)