What Does A Chiropractic Adjustment Actually Do?
By Scott T Sheriff, DC, Oct 30 2018 06:00AM
The spine is one of the most important structures in your body. Not only does it protect your spinal cord, but it also provides the central component for your entire skeletal system and a stable column of support for every movement you make. Just like we often don't think about our teeth until we are facing a root canal, tooth extraction or full upper dentures, we often don't truly understand the importance of our spine until we have pain, are prevented from enjoying our favorite activities or are facing a serious surgery. The chiropractic adjustment is the most powerful tool for maintaining a healthy spine. Chiropractic care is as important for your spine as regular dental care is for your teeth.
But what exactly does a chiropractic adjustment do? Let's start with a little basic anatomy. The spinal column is made up of 24 vertebrae stacked from your pelvis to the top of your neck. Each vertebra is connected to the one above and below by three joints. Every time YOU move, these joints need to move. Unfortunately, these joints can easily become stuck or stiff. This is called a restriction.
Just one spinal restriction can affect your entire body. When one segment of your spine gets stuck, it causes shifts and dysfunction in other parts of your spine. Picture that Jenga tower that starts to lean - some pieces slide out easy and others won't budge no matter how hard your tap your finger on it. This is exactly what happens in your spine as well. Restrictions happen from past injuries that were never treated, poor posture, repetitive movements and sometimes for no good reason at all. The sad truth is that we really are not very kind to our spines.
If there is a restriction in your spine, correcting and eliminating that restriction is extremely important because over time it can get worse and eventually lead to degeneration, arthritis or severe pain. Why is this so? When you move, your spine needs to move. When one area of your spine is stuck, other areas are forced to move MORE than usual and this leads to wear and tear and muscle stiffness as your body attempts to protect the area that is suddenly moving too much. When your car needs a front end alignment, it pulls to one side or the other and the tires wear unevenly. This happens in your spine as well.
A chiropractic adjustment is simply gentle pressure applied to stiff spinal joints in order to restore normal motion. That's it! It's simple, safe and extremely effective. It's the most powerful tool available to help maintain the health of your spine. The gentle pressure never pushes your spine to do anything it wasn't physiologically meant to do. Restoring normal movement to your spine eliminates pain and releases muscle tightness.
It's best to treat a small cavity before you even know it's there - before it grows and you need a root canal and a crown. Likewise, it's best to treat spinal restrictions before your know they're there as well - before they cause pain, before they limit your enjoyment of life. That's why I recommend regular chiropractic care for my patients. Most patients on a wellness plan come somewhere between every two and six weeks and they are healthier for it.