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How Do Chiropractic Adjustments Work?

Category: Chiropractic
Woman lies on chiropractic table and receives a chiropractic adjustment from a chiropractor

You may have heard people saying they’ve gotten chiropractic work done on them, and more specifically, a chiropractic adjustment. You might be wondering, though, “How do chiropractic adjustments work?” and “Are chiropractic adjustments beneficial?”

Where here to tell you, that yes, chiropractic adjustments are definitely worth it. In this post, we will explain how chiropractic adjustments work and what benefits they offer.

What is a chiropractic adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal or manual manipulation, is where a licensed chiropractor uses their hands or a special instrument to apply a short, quick force to manipulate joints.

The goals of a chiropractic adjustment are to help reduce body pain, relieve tight back muscles, correct alignment, increase your range of motion, relieve pressure on nerves, and increase overall physical function.

How do chiropractic adjustments work?

Your chiropractor will do a consultation and exam prior to the actual chiropractic adjustment.

During the consultation, your chiropractor will ask about your health history. Your chiropractor may ask if you have a history of severe osteoporosis, stroke, bone abnormality, or cancer in your spine. These conditions can prevent you from receiving a chiropractic adjustment.

Your chiropractor will also perform a physical exam. They will primarily focus on the condition of your spine.

Once you’re ready for your chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor will place you in specific positions to treat the areas they’ve feel will best benefit you. Typically, you can expect to be lying face down on a padded chiropractic table. The overall positioning might feel similar to receiving a massage, but the key difference is the chiropractor will be focusing on your spine in relation to the rest of your body.

As mentioned earlier, a chiropractor will apply a short, quick force to push joints back into the correct position. While this may seem simple in practice, it’s a far more involved process.

Each patient requires individual attention and treatment to address what’s most beneficial for them. Some patients will benefit from less pressure applied to their joints than others requiring more force to put a joint back in place.

Your chiropractor may also recommend you to receive frequent chiropractic adjustments depending on your condition. For example, if you were in a car accident and have experienced prolonged pain, it might be due to your muscles holding certain joints in a particular and uncomfortable position. Since discs are flexible, they might be inclined to return to their previous misaligned position. With repeated treatment, your body should return to its proper alignment and be able to hold your joints in their correct position.

Benefits of a chiropractic adjustment

While we mentioned how useful it is to return joints to their proper positions, there are additional benefits that come from chiropractic adjustments.

Neck and lower back pain

You’ll commonly hear people getting chiropractic adjustments to address neck or lower back pain. There’s good reason, though. Chiropractic adjustments offer a non-invasive method of addressing back and neck pain that tends to be more cost-efficient and effective than surgery or medication.

Improved athletic performance

Chiropractic adjustments are said to decrease muscle tension, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. These improvements in your body can help get it into top shape. You might not become an all-star pitcher or quarterback, but you could see an improvement in your overall athletic performance.


Patients with scoliosis tend to struggle when treating their condition. When combined with physical therapy, chronic adjustments could help slow down the progression of scoliosis.


Sciatica is a pain that runs down from your lower back to your legs due to a damaged sciatic nerve. Chiropractic adjustments can help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can alleviate pain from sciatica.

Now that you have a better understanding of how chiropractic adjustments work and the benefits they have to offer, you should consider getting one for yourself.

At Happy Head, we are ready to provide outstanding service and help you relax. While chiropractic adjustments are only available at our Sports Arena / Point Loma location, we would love to see you at our other Happy Head Locations for other massage needs. We will ensure you’re well taken care of and leave happy.

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