Facts You Should Know About a Chiropractic Adjustment

Many people, especially new patients, wonder what a chiropractic adjustment actually entails. A chiropractic adjustment is also known as a chiropractic manipulation, manual manipulation, or spinal manipulation. A chiropractic adjustment is a common therapeutic treatment that can help ease lower back pain. During the process of a chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor will apply manipulation to the vertebrae that have an abnormal movement, have irregular movement patterns or are failing to function normally. While there is a stigma of chiropractors causing more pain during treatment, we can lay out facts that prove the opposite.


The object of a chiropractic adjustment is to reduce the subluxation, increase the range of motion, reduce the irritability to the nerves and help improve functionality. It is important to understand that there are multiple types of adjustment techniques. Typically, most chiropractors will focus on and utilize between eight and 10 different approaches to chiropractic adjustments.  Regardless of which technique a chiropractor uses, the general goals of resolving joint inflammation and reducing pain remain the same. A chiropractic adjustment involves several steps.

First is a high velocity, short lever arm thrust that we apply to the vertebrae. This is accompanied by an audible release of gas that is caused by the release of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide in order to release joint pressure. The release of gas is known as joint cavitation since it comes from the joint pressure (cavitation) being released. Immediately following the joint cavitation the patient is going to experience a sense of release. However, sometimes patients tense up and then their muscles spasm because they are so tense, which can lead to a minor feeling of discomfort. Typically, this discomfort only lasts for a very short amount of time.


Some patients may express concern during a chiropractic adjustment if they do not experience the joint cavitation or cracking. It is important to note that the cavitation or cracking does not always occur. If one is particularly tense or if there is significant muscle splinting, then there may not be cavitation during the chiropractic adjustment. This is not caused for concern by any means.

The most common reaction to a chiropractic adjustment is a soreness or some aching in the muscles and spinal joints. This is also perfectly normal and will abate within 24 hours of the treatment. If you have come in for a chiropractic adjustment, particularly if this is your first time getting a chiropractic adjustment, you may experience this soreness for a longer duration of time. In cases like this, it is recommended that you apply an ice pack which would reduce the symptoms relatively quickly.

To get answers to questions about chiropractic adjustments, we recommend that you give us a call and see how we can help you with mobility, the range of motion, and lower back pain today.

Circle City Chiropractic

You Might Also Enjoy...

Low Back Pain

Low back pain has become too common. Find out what causes low back pain and how to help yourself.


TREAT yourself and your spine to a free exam while helping your community!

Chiropractic and Anxiety

Chronic anxiety is becoming increasingly common in many age groups. Chiropractic can help improve the symptoms by improving the function of the nervous system.


Learn more about Sciatica and ways to help alleviate and prevent future complications!

Our Locations

Choose your preferred location