You might have gone to your local chiropractor with a stiff neck and a sore back and soon felt refreshed and better after an adjustment. Or maybe you’ve made lots of trips to your local chiro and find that you always feel better after a check-in to make sure that you’re in alignment and working at your best when you play sports. But what exactly are they doing? How does it help your pain? And what is that cracking noise?
At Churchlands Chiropractic, one of the key things that we do with our patients is spend time getting to know them and helping them to understand our approach and what’s going on in their bodies, so that they can also feel things ‘click’ into place in their mind. That way, when we suggest exercises or posture adjustments, they understand just what our reasoning is, and they know what’s causing their pain.
So in this blog, we are breaking down the basics of chiropractic adjustments.
First things first, what is a chiropractic adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is when a very specific movement is applied to a joint by a Chiropractor. This is frequently done on the spine and aims to restore proper function in vertebrae by ‘adjusting’ them back to their optimal range of motion, position and joint-play. It has been shown to be helpful for back pain, neck pain and headaches.
To perform a chiropractic adjustment, chiropractors may use a small instrument to provide a measured amount of force to the joint, or they may use their hands to manually adjust the position of the spine. Often, this is where you will hear that stereotypical cracking sound. There is nothing to worry about with this sound, and it doesn’t come from your bones! The noise comes from small bubbles of gas which are found in your joints, and which pop when the pressure in the joints is changed as a result of the adjustment. It often brings a sense of relief. However, if you prefer not to have your joints cracked, there are plenty of other methods that chiropractors can use – so don’t be afraid to let us know about your preference.
Why does it make you feel better?
It’s just like stretching your muscles! A chiropractic adjustment stretches your joint tissue and makes it feel looser straight away. Also the focussed stretch sensation that your brain feels during an adjustment relaxes the surrounding muscles and puts less pressure on the sore joint. With increase movement and relaxed muscles everything can work more efficiently and further the relief.
What about that clicky tool?
Sometimes, chiropractors will use something called an ‘activator tool’. An activator tool is a small, handheld device that has a spring in it. The chiropractor can use it to provide a small amount of very quick force to the offending joint, aiming to prevent muscles from tightening up in spasm and create a similar effect to a manual adjustment with their hands. The goal of an adjustment is to improve alignment, improve the mobility and function of the joint, and improve muscle tightness and the experience of pain.
Treatment options are expanding every day, so your chiropractor is likely to advise you about posture, exercise routines, and other services such as dry needling to improve your musculoskeletal health.
Here at Churchlands Chiropractic, we aim to provide an individualised and helpful service, with friendliness and a focus on communication and education. We will spend plenty of time spent to get to know you and really knuckle down to address the root of the problem. Our massage therapist can provide soft tissue work and help to relieve muscle spasm and tightness. If you’re considering getting a chiropractic adjustment but you have some questions or don’t know where to start, give us a call today on (08) 6244 3244.