Chiropractic care plays a vital role to treat and prevent your pain and injuries that interfere with your daily routines. The Chiropractic Adjustment aka ‘crack’ or spinal manipulation is a safe and effective treatment option for back pain, neck pain and leg and arm complaints.
The chiropractic adjustments is used in the treatment of numerous conditions involving joint problems. The impact of this technique is often most apparent with injuries to the rib joint where the rib attaches to the midback.
We recently treated a patient who had middle back pain that wrapped around into her chest. It would hurt whenever she took a deep breath, sneezed, or twisted to swing her golf clubs. As she thought her chest pain was related to a potential heart problem she went to the emergency room where her Physician determined her problem was not cardiac in nature. Upon the advice of a friend, she visited her clinic where we determined the chest pain was coming from her rib joint. While we did numerous things during her treatment, our primary tool, in this case, was the adjustment. Within two to three sessions her pain was entirely gone and she could take a deep breath, laugh, and golf with no pain at all.
What is a Chiropractic (DC) Adjustment?
A Chiropractic Adjustment is a hand-on technique that forms part of a Chiropractor’s treatment plan.
Have you ever cracked your knuckles? The adjustment feels similar.
And when applied to specific joints it can help to relieve pain, stiffness, tension and improve range of motion.
Some refer to the adjustment as the entire treatment however more often than not, the adjustment to spinal or joints of the arms and legs are used together with:
Why see a Chiropractor?
Low back/pelvic pain, neck pain and headache are the most common problems for which people seek chiropractic adjustment.
Generally speaking, Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) are spine, muscle, joint and nervous (nerve) system experts.
After the resolution of their symptoms some patients continue to follow up with Chiropractic care for a periodic tune-up. Usually these are people who are prone to their injury reoccurring because they have to go back to the same activities that created the injury. Meanwhile some patients return for a “tune-up” as they enjoy the feeling of having their stiff joints loosen up after a treatment.
Chiropractors work together and collaboratively with your other health providers to manage your health challenges. The adjustment (chiropractic treatments) can be an alternative or used together with ‘conventional’ medicine.
What Are The Risk and Benefits of a Chiropractic Adjustment?
As with any medical procedure, all types of therapies including the adjustment come with certain risk. Weighing the pros/cons of any treatment is always advisable. While the likelihood of a significantly negative outcome is very rare some patients do sometimes experience some soreness after the treatment. This typically subsides after a day or so and is pretty mild. To reduce the likelihood of more adverse outcomes such as a rib fracture or a stroke, the Chiropractor thoroughly screens your risk during the intake process and determines if you are an appropriate candidate for an adjustment based on your medical history and presentation that day.
4 Tips and Reminders for a safe and effective Chiropractic Adjustment
- Tell your chiropractor if you’re taking any medications. Medications like blood thinners or birth control pills can put you at an increased risk for bleeds or stroke.
- Do mention if you have a history of stroke, arthritis, and other medical conditions. A previous history of stroke or clots can put you at greater risk for a second stroke. Some medical conditions can also put you at greater risk for brittle bones, slow wound healing, or increased pain after getting adjusted.
- Even some seemingly unrelated symptoms are important to disclose – Some patients are often quite embarrassed to disclose symptoms such as starting to lose bowel or bladder control. It turns out that the loss of bowel and bladder control with certain back injuries requires that you visit the emergency room instead of the Chiropractor. So you can see how this information dramatically changes how your Chiropractor would manage your case.
- Even mental health concerns are relevant – Some patients report significant anxiety with the idea of laying on their stomach, unable to see what is going on during their treatments. Knowledge of this anxiety would certainly change how the Chiropractor positions you throughout the treatment.
Chiropractic treatments do not involve medication or surgery and promote health, quality of life and prevention. Clients that choose chiropractic adjustments as part of their overall care report decrease pain, improved function, enjoyment and participation in previously stopped activities. While not all conditions respond as fast as rib joint injuries, Chiropractic is a very effective therapy for many conditions. Our patient with the rib injury was able to return to the activities she enjoyed such as golfing. And she was able to enjoy the subtle things in life such as being able to converse and laugh without any pain.