A Few Things You Should Know About Chiropractic Adjustment

You might think that you would benefit from seeing a qualified chiropractor but are hesitant to make an appointment because you are not sure what the treatment process involves. Here is some information to help to put your mind at rest. Once you understand what goes on in a chiropractor’s clinic, you may feel more comfortable about going to see one and the possible benefits make this a decision well worth making.

Information about Chiropractic Adjustment

Chiropractic adjustments are most commonly used by chiropractors in the treatment of low back pain. There are many different styles of adjustment which are used by chiropractors according to the training they have received.

Also, there can be different reasons for chiropractors using adjustments. Some chiropractors may be particularly focussing on the alignment of the patient. At other times chiropractors may be taking more of a biomechanical approach and the reason for adjusting may be more to attempt to restore the range of movement to a particular joint.

The spectrum of adjustments goes from high-velocity, low amplitude thrusts (known as HVLA thrusts) through to cranial type adjustments which may involve almost no movement or force and where the chiropractor just seems to be holding the patient in a particular position. This type of chiropractic is known as in cranial work.

Midway in the spectrum between high velocity thrusts and cranial type of work is the McTimoney chiropractic style of chiropractic adjustment. These adjustments are of a “springing” type. That is the bone or joint being adjusted is “sprung” at speed in the desired direction but with a relatively low level of force.

The theory behind this springing action is to attempt to let the body have the chance for that bone or joint to settle down in a very slightly different alignment. While HVLA adjustments often cause “cavitation”, that is an audible sound, generally McTimoney adjustments are silent. Not all of the McTimoney adjustments are done at high speed. Some, such as the standard McTimoney chiropractic shoulder adjustment happen at quite a slow speed but it would be true to say the majority are rapid.

Whatever the adjusting style of the chiropractor, the chiropractor would always look to modify their treatment approach in the light of the patient’s age, pain levels and physical condition. Most patients will be at least a little apprehensive before their first visit, especially as they are likely to be suffering from back or neck pain before they even booked the visit.

However, after the first visit, most patients will realise any feelings of apprehension they had were over exaggerated. Indeed most patients come to look forward to their return visit to the chiropractor and the benefits treatment brings. Occasionally there can be “reactions” to treatment where the patient experiences an increase in (typically) how much they ache over a couple of days after the first session of adjustment.

Usually this reaction diminishes with each visit to the chiropractor. This reaction is best thought of the body both getting used to the treatment and perhaps to their body beginning to work in a slightly different way. The occurrence of a reaction has no significance in terms of whether the treatment is ultimately adjudged to be successful or not.

Most chiropractors nowadays effectively offer some sort of combination therapy whereby chiropractic adjustments will happen side by side with mobilisations to increase joint mobility and soft-tissue release for tight muscles.

Additional help for the patient comes in the form of advice such as postural and lifting advice and suggestions for helpful exercise. If the chiropractor realises he or she does not have the relevant skill set in-house to help the patient, he or she should try to refer the patient on to the most appropriate type of practitioner.

Patients most commonly seek chiropractic care for lower back pain but in fact many of the joints of the body can receive chiropractic adjustment. Most patients who attend at chiropractic clinic have self-referred rather than been referred by a medical doctor.

Because historically chiropractic care has been focussed on the spine, most self-referrals will be for some type of spinal problem. Often, again because of the history of chiropractic, the patient will often have the concern that there is something about the alignment of their spine and /or pelvis which is contributing to the cause or maintenance of whatever problem is concerning them.

If you are suffering from lower back pain or have other postural or musculoskeletal concerns you could consider contacting your local chiropractor for a full musculoskeletal assessment to see if chiropractic and adjunctive treatment (mobilisation of joints, soft-tissue release of muscles, corrective exercise etc) may be of benefit to you. Contact the Hunter Clinic in London on 07855 916 602 for more information.