Most patients are amazed after their first adjustment at how gentle the process is. Although some of the clicks and pops coming from your spine may come as a surprise to you, when performed by a skilled practitioner there is very rarely any pain involved with the adjustment.
These days most chiropractors have a range of equipment and techniques at their disposal to help with making the process easier and gentler. Many of these alternative adjustment techniques achieve the result without any clicking or popping from the joints.
When a chiropractor performs an adjustment he or she creates a fast and gentle stretch in your spinal joints. As this occurs there is often a small pop as gas is released from the synovial fluid in your spinal joints, due to a rapid change in pressure in the joint capsule. The gas slowly diffuses back into the joint space over the next ½ hour or so but the benefits of the stretch to the joint capsule and ligaments remains.
Not all of our patients require x-rays before commencing care.
Every case is assessed by our chiropractors on an individual basis to determine whether x-rays are necessary.
Factors that are likely to increase the likelihood of needing x-rays include previous history of trauma to the spine, chronic problems, evidence of nerve irritation, arthritis, poor posture, history of serious illnesses, scoliosis, and advancing age.
Every person is different in terms of how much care they need, and how quickly they will respond to treatment.
Your chiropractor will discuss with you what your goals for treatment are, and will make recommendations accordingly. He or she will also be able to give you an idea of what an average time frame may be to achieve the desired results, although this will vary depending on your own body’s response rate.
When it is apparent that a reasonably long period of treatment may be required, your chiropractor will normally recommend an initial block of treatment followed by a review, at which time your progress will be discussed and future course of action agreed upon.
Chiropractors locate areas in the spine that are not functioning as well as they should be and then, by gently adjusting the spine their aim is to restore movement and function to those spinal joints. When spinal dysfunction has been present for long enough, in most cases it will cause some symptoms – whether locally in the way of pain and restriction in the spine, or by means of nerve irritation and referred symptoms.
However the time frame before those symptoms begin can vary from instant onset, to a delay of many years before symptoms become obvious.
As chiropractors, we treat many spinal dysfunctions every day that are asymptomatic . The patient is usually not aware the problem is there until the chiropractor presses on the joint, at which time the restriction and tenderness is obvious.
Many of these “silent spinal dysfunctions” can be present for years if left unchecked, often compromising the flexibility, balance and mobility.
For more detailed information on what it is that chiropractors do see our What is Chiropractic information
Some do – we have all heard at least one story of someone with a chronic health problem that suddenly goes away after they turn quickly and feel a loud click in their spine.
Our bodies do have an amazing ability to heal themselves, but most areas of spinal dysfunction come with other baggage such as muscle spasm and shortening in connective tissues, and the body struggles to overcome these compensations. Chiropractors spend 5 years of University-based training, mastering the skills to gently manipulate and adjust the spine specifically and with subtlety.
Most often a dysfunctional spine requires the gentle assistance of a chiropractic adjustment to aid the body in doing what it does best – that is getting on with the job of healing itself!
Chiropractic is a very effective treatment method for your symptoms of back and neck pain. But is also very effective at restoring full and proper function to your nervous system, allowing your body to function how it used to.
Most people, once they experience the benefits of chiropractic care, choose to continue with some sort of ongoing maintenance care, not because they are locked in to a never-ending treatment cycle for back pain, but because they want to continue to experience the health benefits of a well-functioning body.
Your chiropractor will discuss with you your health goals, and make recommendations for care accordingly.
Rest assured that if all you want is occasional relief care for your symptoms, we will not pressure you into ongoing programs of care.
Any treatment, if administered in excessive doses, can be harmful.
Our chiropractors will assess your spine and make recommendations specific to your needs. In some cases this may require an initial intensive period of adjustments 2 or 3 times per week. This is perfectly safe in the initial phase while the body is overcoming long-term patterns of restriction and muscle spasm, but once the joint function starts to improve, your chiropractor will reduce the frequency of your adjustments.
Just as it is not good for you to crack you knuckles or your own back every day, neither would we adjust your spine every day. However, well timed adjustments at suitable time intervals for your body are beneficial and will not cause arthritis when skilfully applied.
Our approach at Chiropractic Solutions is to apply the lowest force technique that will achieve the result desired.
As children are generally very flexible, and their spinal problems are rarely chronic, they respond to very light, low force adjustment techniques.
It's important to be aware that the methods used for chiropractic treatment of babies and children are vastly different to those used on adults. Chiropractors modify their techniques and methods to suit children of all ages, using techniques that are extremely gentle and have a well documented safety record.
This means that in the vast majority of adjustments performed on children there is no “crack” in the spine at all – just a gentle correction using the light pressure of an activator instrument or drop-piece table.
An Activator Instrument is a small, hand-held adjusting tool used by chiropractors to deliver a gentle impulse force to the spine with the goal of restoring motion to the targeted spinal vertebra or joint.
It is an alternative to the traditional manual form of spinal manipulation, known as the High Velocity, Low Amplitude (HVLA) thrust.
Using an Activator Instrument allows the practitioner to control the power of the adjustment to the particular spinal segment that has lost function. This technique is used on patients who prefer a less manual style of adjusting and is the technique of choice for treatment of children and babies.
Our chiropractors incorporate the use of the Activator Instrument with their numerous other techniques and while it is not usually the primary method of adjusting the spine at Chiropractic Solutions, it is an extremely valuable tool.