Chiropractic care is the science, art and philosophy of manipulation (adjustment) of the human body. Chiropractic evaluation and treatment is directed at evaluating the cause of the problem through structural analysis of the musculo-skeletal systems of the body. Abnormal function of these systems can lead to abnormal function of the body's nervous system, which in turn may effect function of other systems in the body. Treatment is then rendered with the goal of restoring normal function by adjusting areas exhibiting abnormal structure.
Sports therapy is a combination of disciplines including chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage therapy, pilates and strength training. Electric stimulation, mechanical traction and ultrasound are frequently used as well. If you have sports related injuries, a combination of these disciplines will be used to develop a custom rehabilitation program to alleviate pain and improve performance.
A chiropractic adjustment, also known as chiropractic manipulation, manual manipulation, or spinal manipulation, is a common therapeutic treatment for lower back pain.
A chiropractic adjustment refers to a chiropractor applying manipulation to the vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally.
The objective of this chiropractic treatment is to reduce the subluxation, with the goals of increasing range of motion, reducing nerve irritability and improving function.
A chiropractic adjustment typically involves:
- A high velocity, short lever arm thrust applied to a vertebra
- An accompanying, audible release of gas (joint cavitation) that is caused by the release of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, which releases joint pressure (cavitation)19
- A relieving sensation most of the time, although minor discomfort has been reported (that usually lasts for a short time duration) if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the patient tenses up during this chiropractic care.
It should be known that joint cavitation or cracking does not occur at times, typically as a result of significant muscle splinting or the patient not being adequately relaxed during the chiropractic manipulation. At times like this, it is sometimes best for the chiropractor to apply ice, have the patient rest, or do electrical stimulation and massage prior to attempting the chiropractic adjustment.
Chiropractic Adjustment Techniques
There are many different manipulative techniques that can be utilized in chiropractic, and there is a certain skill level and "art" involved with high velocity, low amplitude adjustment or manipulation. It is perhaps more important for the chiropractor to determine when not to apply the adjustment.