What is an Adjustment
The Chiropractic Adjustment
A chiropractic adjustment refers to a chiropractor applying a thrust or a "push" to the vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally.
The objective of this chiropractic adjustment is to reduce the misaligned vertebrae or vertebral joints with the goals of increasing range of motion, reducing nerve irritability and improving function.
Chiropractic Adjustment Description
A chiropractic adjustment typically involves:
- A thrust (or push) applied to a vertebra in a specific direction or line of correction.
- An accompanying, audible release of gas (joint cavitation) that is caused by the release of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, which releases joint pressure. This “pop” is not always heard, and has no bearing on whether the adjustment was completed successfully.
There are well over 100 types of adjustment techniques used by chiropractors throughout the world. Typically, chiropractors will focus on and utilize 4 to 6 different approaches in their practice.
Is the Audible Pop Necessary?
The sound often heard during an adjustment is called a cavitation. The pop is caused by a release of gas when the joint is pushed a short distance past its passive range of motion of the joint. The mechanism is similar to cracking your knuckles.
Some clinicians and patients consider an audible pop necessary for the treatment to be successful, although there is no scientific physiological data from studies with large patient populations to confirm this belief. So again, the popping sound is not an indicator if an adjustment was completed successfully.