An adjustment, also referred to as manipulation, is a highly skilled and precise movement, usually applied by hand, to a joint of the body. Adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function. An adjustment involves moving a joint beyond its usual range of motion but not beyond the range of motion the joint is designed to move, anatomically speaking.This is also a key in chiropractic treatments for back pain.
When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about.
Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care provider.
Is neck adjustment safe?
Yes, it is. Millions of neck adjustments are performed safely and effectively every year in Canada. Neck adjustment is performed well within the normal turning range of the head. There is less movement that it takes to look over your shoulder. One of the most recent studies into the safety of neck adjustment further confirms the safety of this procedure.1 This particular study, conducted in 2007, looked at over 19,000 chiropractic patients and tracked more than 50,000 neck adjustments. It found no instances of serious adverse effects. By way of comparison, neck adjustment is significantly safer than other
commonly used health remedies. For example, long-term use of non-prescription pain relievers carries a far greater risk of serious complications than neck adjustment.
Most patients experience immediate relief following an adjustment especially when experiencing chronic back pain, however, some may experience temporary soreness, stiffness or slight swelling. This is also a reliving technique in the treatment of spinal decompression. In rare situations, patients may experience symptoms such as dizziness, local numbness, or radiating pain. If this happens to you, it is important to tell your chiropractor who can help you manage any effects of treatment.