What is Spinal Adjustment?

Spinal adjustment is a term used by chiropractors to describe any of a number of specialized manual or mechanical procedures used to affect motion and/or function of spinal joints, which in turn affects nerves, vascular structures, ligaments and muscles. Spinal adjustments are non-invasive manual techniques which utilize the highly-refined palpatory and manipulative skills developed during four intensive years of chiropractic education.

The original spinal adjustment was a variation of a procedure known today as spinal manipulation. This form of treatment has documented use as far back as Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians and was carried through the ages by families of bonesetters.

The spinal adjustment is generally described as a high velocity, low amplitude, (HVLA) thrust, that usually causes an audible “popping” sound. However, at the Kos Chiropractic Centre, other procedures can be used to influence joint motion.

The adjustment makes up the mainstay of chiropractic care. The primary goal of the adjustment is to restore normal mobility to joints of the body. Restoring normal mobility can reduce nervous irritation, tissue inflammation, muscular spasticity, ligament irritation, improve proprioception (position awareness), and improve tissue function in general. Adjustments may be supplemented with exercise, physiotherapeutic modalities and nutritional recommendations.

Chiropractic today is one of the largest primary-contact health care professions in Canada with over 6,500 practicing chiropractors.  Approximately four and a half million Canadians use the services of a chiropractor each year.

The affects of spinal adjustments can vary depending on the method performed. All techniques have effects similar to other manual therapies, including:

  • Decreasing excessive muscle tension
  • Reducing localized ligament irritation (due to unbalanced joint forces)
  • Pain modulation
  • Improved proprioception
  • Reduced nerve irritation
  • Improve ligament pliability
  • Reduce small intra articular adhesions