Chiropractic therapy is a natural, drug-free approach to treating patients. It is a natural method of healing that is based upon the philosophy that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself given the right conditions. It’s the goal of the chiropractor to create such an environment within the body in order to promote healing and wellness.
Chiropractic adjustments are the hallmark of the chiropractic treatment process. Most of the benefits of seeing a chiropractor come from adjustments or spinal manipulations as they are also called. The goal of chiropractic adjustments is to restore and/or enhance joint function, particularly in the spine, by correcting structural misalignments — “subluxations”– in order to reduce pain and inflammation and improve the overall function of the body.
During an adjustment, the chiropractor will use his or her hands in order to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly those in the spine. A high velocity, short thrust (HVLA) is applied to a vertebrae with a subsequent release of gas, often heard as a pop or crack. This is referred to as joint cavitation or “gapping the joint” and is harmless.
Other therapies that are often used in conjunction with chiropractic adjustments are heat/ice, massage, stretching, a prescribed program of exercise, and nutritional counseling.
Some of the benefits that patients who undergo regular chiropractic adjustments may experience are:
- Improved posture
- Relief from neck and back pain as well as pain in the extremities
- Improved joint mobility and coordination
- Enhanced athletic performance
- Reduction in the occurrence of tension and/or migraine headaches
Chiropractors typically adapt their treatment plans to meet the specific needs of each of their patients, and this may involve a combination of spinal manipulation and the gentler spinal mobilization.