What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

What is a Spinal Adjustment?

A spinal adjustment, also known as chiropractic manipulation or manual manipulation, involves the gentle, therapeutic manipulation of your vertebrae, or the bones that make up your spine, by a chiropractic doctor. This usually includes adjusting problematic vertebrae that aren’t functioning well, or those that have abnormal movement patterns. The primary goals of a spinal adjustment are to relieve pain, reduce subluxation (misalignment) and nerve irritation, increase joint range of motion, and improve overall function.

What Does the Treatment Involve?

Before Dr. Williams can perform spinal adjustments, she needs to find out more about your symptoms and health concerns. She will perform a comprehensive chiropractic examination to test your reflexes and flexibility; she may also perform standard postural, orthopedic, and neurological screenings. Depending on your specific condition, she may recommend X-ray studies to help determine the best course of treatment for you.
Spinal adjustments are performed on a chiropractic table. Although there’s a wide variety of manipulative techniques in chiropractic care, a spinal adjustment treatment typically includes a high velocity, short lever arm thrust applied directly to the problematic vertebra, followed by the audible release of gas as joint pressure is released. During treatment, most patients experience a constant sense of relief, which may be interrupted by minor, short-term discomfort.
After the chiropractic adjustment, patients are escorted to the resting room. This room is specifically designed to allow the body to change and heal after a treatment. With warm lighting and calm music, patients are able to rest and their bodies are given the appropriate environment and amount of time to change without occurring more stress.

What Conditions Can Spinal Adjustments Help Address?

Chiropractic adjustments are designed to help restore your spine, nerves, and discs to a healthy, working order. Adjustments can help with a variety of spine-related problems, including:

  • Pinched Nerves – When your vertebrae are out of alignment, they can put pressure on the nearby nerves rooted in your spine, causing intense pain. Spinal adjustments help move your spine back into proper alignment to relieve nerve pressure.
  • Poor Posture – Along with exercises and good posture practice, spinal adjustments can help correct posture problems in your neck, shoulders, and lower back.
  • Bulging Discs – A disc that has pushed outside of its usual space in the spinal canal can put pressure on nerves and cause pain at the site and throughout your body. Spinal adjustments help ensure that discs have the right amount of space.


Disc and nerve problems can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, which is why these problems through spinal manipulation can help relieve neck and shoulder pain, lower back pain, sciatic nerve pain, or even numbness and tingling in your legs.