Spinal Manipulation or Chiropractic Adjustment

According to the mayo clinic website, a chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which trained specialists (chiropractors) use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint. An accompanying, audible release of gas (joint cavitation) is caused by the release of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, which releases joint pressure.

The goal of this procedure, also known as spinal manipulation, is to reduce pain, increase range of motion and improve your body’s physical function.

Why it’s done

Individuals seek chiropractic manipulation as a safe alternative to medications for pain relief for conditions such as low back pain, mid back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, elbow pain, and wrist pain. Tension headaches and muscle tightness due to stress also respond well to chiropractic manipulation.


Chiropractic adjustment is safe when it’s performed by someone trained and licensed to deliver chiropractic care. This fact is evident based on how inexpensive malpractice insurance is for chiropractors.  If chiropractic care was risky, malpractice insurance would be much more expensive than it is. Serious complications associated with chiropractic adjustment are extremely rare, but may include:

  • A herniated disk or a worsening of an existing disk herniation
  • A certain type of stroke after neck manipulation
  • Soreness after treatment

What you can expect

At your initial visit, your chiropractor will ask questions about your health history and perform a physical exam, with particular attention to your spine. Your chiropractor may also recommend other examinations or tests, such as X-rays.  This is a perfect time to ask questions about the procedures.  If you have any reservations about manipulation, your chiropractor can offer alternative therapies like massage, electric stimulation, cupping, dry needling, etc.

During the procedure

During a typical chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor places you in specific positions to treat affected areas. Often, you’re positioned lying facedown on a specially designed, padded chiropractic table. The doctor will feel the spine and use light massage or a percussive device to relax tight muscles prior to the adjustment.  The chiropractor will then use his or her hands to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint. You may hear popping or cracking sounds as your chiropractor mobilizes the joints during the treatment session.  You will then be turned over onto your back.  On your back the neck, mid and lower back can be adjusted.

After the procedure

Some people experience minor side effects for a few days after chiropractic adjustment. These side effects may include fatigue or soreness in the parts of the body that were treated.  Usually, ice applied to those sore areas for 15-20 minutes will help alleviate the soreness.


After the adjustment most individuals have a reduction in pain and improved range of motion.  At Body Lounge Park Cities, our chiropractors will also recommend certain exercises or stretches, using ice or heat at home and how to avoid having pain in the future.

To schedule a free consultation to see if chiropractic care at Body Lounge Park Cities can help you, please call 972-803-4432.

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