Spinal adjustments to correct subluxations are what make chiropractic professionals unique in comparison with any other type of health care professional. The term "adjustment" refers to the specific force chiropractors apply to vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally.
The objective of the chiropractic adjustment is to reduce the subluxation, which results in an increased range of motion, reduced nerve irritability, reduced muscle spasm, reduced pain and improved function.The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas in the spinal joints that sounds like a "crack." The sound sometimes surprises people the first time they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the person tenses up during the chiropractic procedure. There are times when the audible "cracking" does not occur. This is often due to either significant muscle tightness or the person having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments. Some adjusting techniques are designed to move the spine in a way that does not produce the audible sound at all. Chiropractic is so much more than simply a means of relieving pain.
Ultimately, the goal of receiving adjustments should be to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. In order to accomplish this, chiropractors can use and recommend a variety of natural healing methods, including adjustments, massage, trigger point therapy, nutrition, exercise rehabilitation, and counseling on lifestyle issues that impact your health. The primary focus is simply to remove those things which interfere with the body's natural normal healing ability.The adjustment of the spine is the primary objective of a chiropractor. There are some chiropractors who also adjust the extremities and use other forms of physiological therapeutics including the use of electrical stimulation, ultrasound, traction, neuromuscular re-education, and a variety of manual therapies.
Increasingly, chiropractors' offices are becoming full service wellness centers providing a variety of wellness services. A new trend that chiropractic wellness centers offer is wellness coaching. Some programs offer coaching at the wellness center, while others offer wellness coaching via telephone, email, or online instant messenger in an effort to make it more convenient. Chiropractic wellness centers may offer seminars in a variety of subjects such as spinal alignment, improved posture, and ergonomics, as well as programs on weight management, relaxation, smoking cessation, nutrition, and exercise. Some even offer pre- and post-natal healthy baby programs. The increasing number of chiropractic centers providing extensive wellness programs makes it convenient and affordable for just about anyone to adopt a wellness lifestyle. Chiropractors understand that within each of us is an innate wisdom or healthy energy that will express itself as perfect health and well-being if we allow it to. Therefore, the focus of chiropractic care is to remove any physiological blocks to the proper expression of the body's innate wisdom. Once these interferences are reduced, improved health is the natural consequence. Who wouldn't want that?
Strong muscles keep your body upright and allow you to move. Good muscle strength and balance are critical to maintain proper posture and minimize muscle tension. Your muscles function much like the wires that hold up a tall radio or television antenna. If the wires are equally strong on all sides, the antenna will stand up straight. If one of the wires becomes weak or breaks, the antenna will either lean to the side or collapse. The same is true with your body. If the muscles on all sides of your spine are balanced and strong, your body will stand up straight and strong. Unfortunately, most people don't have balanced and strong muscles - due, once again, to lack of exercise and to misalignments of the spine.
Muscles are very efficient at getting stronger or weaker in response to the demands placed on them. Since most of us sit at a desk, drive a car, and sit on the sofa at home, many of our muscles are not challenged. Consequently, they become weak. At the same time, the muscles that are constantly used throughout the day become strong. This imbalance of muscle strength contributes to poor posture and chronic muscle tension. Left unchecked, muscle imbalances tend to get worse, not better, because of a phenomenon called "reciprocal inhibition."
Reciprocal inhibition literally means "shutting down the opposite." For all of the muscles that move your body in one direction, there are opposing muscles that move the body in the opposite direction. In order to keep these muscles from working against each other, when the body contracts one muscle group, it forces the opposing group to relax -- it shuts down the opposite muscles. When consistently only one set of muscles is used, the opposing group, from being continuously shut-down, is liable to atrophy.
This phenomenon is especially important to people who work at a desk, because all day long the same muscles in the upper back and chest area of the body are used. This means that all day long the body is essentially shutting down the opposite muscles in the middle back. Over time, the muscles in the middle back become very weak because they are not being worked like the muscles in the front. This contributes to poor posture and chronic muscle spasms and pain. The easiest way to correct this imbalance is to do specific exercises which will increase the strength of the back muscles, along with manual therapy and chiropractic care. Once the muscles in your middle back are strong, the tightness and poor posture simply disappear.