09 Sep Chiropractic Adjustments 101
Millions of Americans visit their local chiropractor every year searching for treatment for the various aches and pains they are dealing with across their body. But for those unfamiliar with the process, at a glance, chiropractic care can seem overwhelming and even awkward.
For the inexperienced, it begs the question, “What exactly is a chiropractic adjustment, and what can I expect when getting one?”
Our friendly McAllen chiropractors at Hendrick Wellness Center have quite a bit of knowledge to share regarding chiropractic adjustments in an effort to clear out any kind of misunderstandings on how an adjustment can benefit you and your health.
What Is a Chiropractic Adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which trained chiropractors apply a controlled and sudden force to a spinal joint with their hands or a small tool. The goal of this procedure, also known as spinal manipulation, is to improve the overall motion of the spine and enhance your body’s function.
While it’s true that the chiropractic profession is largely centered around the adjustment of the spine, it is also an effective method for treating lower back pain, pelvic pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, and other spine-related conditions.
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
At your first appointment with our chiropractor, he or she will ask typical questions about your health history during a clinical exam. Once enough information about you has been gathered, a physical exam will be conducted with a focus on gathering accurate readings regarding your pulse, blood pressure, respiration, and physical reflexes.
After that has been collected, your chiropractor will test your muscle tone and strength, range of motion in the affected area, and neurological integrity. If necessary, your chiropractor might possibly recommend other examinations or tests depending on the symptoms you may be experiencing.
Then, your chiropractor may conduct a diagnostic study to analyze the problem area and/or to find any abnormalities based on the results from the previous tests. He or she may do so by taking an X-ray or by sending you to an outside center to get a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
While just the mention of X-rays and MRIs may cause you unneeded anxiety, don’t worry. These types of diagnostic studies are only conducted if our chiropractor believes it will help provide crucial information that can help them to create an effective treatment plan for you.
After everything has been carefully analyzed, your chiropractor may begin treatment. During a chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor will shift you into specific positions that target the areas where you feel your pain. However, you’re usually positioned lying facedown on a padded, ergonomic table. The chiropractor will then use his or her hands to apply force to a joint.
What Causes the Cracking or Popping Sounds?
Chiropractors are known far and wide for the wild series of noises that they cause our bodies to make during an appointment. Most people associate these various popping and cracking sounds with a successful adjustment. Interestingly, they have nothing to do with that at all. Those delightful (and sometimes disturbing) noises are a result of cavitation.
Cavitation is a sudden pressure decrease inside the joint, usually brought on by an adjustment. Any adjustment causes gases in the synovial fluid to be released into the joint space between the bones that are moved around.
Is There Any Necessary Pre-Appointment Prep?
There’s no prep necessary, but if you require any treatment, you can expect full improvement in roughly six to 10 visits. The good news? Many health insurance policies cover chiropractic care. To be safe, however, you might want to check to see how many treatments your insurance covers in a given time period.
Also, if you suffer from any of the following maladies, feel free to speak with our friendly McAllen chiropractors to see if chiropractic treatment is right for you:
- Spinal cancer
- Any known bone abnormality in your upper neck
- Advanced osteoporosis
- Loss of strength, numbness or tingling in an arm or leg
- An increased likelihood of a stroke
It’s important to stress that a chiropractic adjustment is safe when it’s performed by someone with the proper training and license to deliver said treatment. While a chiropractic session may include a mild headache, fatigue, or soreness in the parts of the body that were worked on, trust that your health is in experienced hands.
Experienced McAllen chiropractors dedicated to serving you.
Since 2006, we here at Hendrick Wellness Center have served the Rio Grande Valley, providing relief to individuals suffering from neck and back pressure and pain.