Spinal manipulation and spinal adjustment are two terms often used interchangeably in the chiropractic field. A technique used on the joints and muscles in the back or the neck, spinal manipulation can help treat back pain, neck pain and pain from. A spinal manipulation starts with a chiropractic consultation. From this examination, your chiropractor will be able to determine where your pain is stemming from and will know how best to treat you.

The goal of spinal manipulation is to get ill-functioning joints back in working order and to increase the flexibility of your spine. To accomplish this, your chiropractor will use a manual technique best described as a “thrust” – pressing the hands into a specific area of your spine joints, causing them to surface or realign and return to full function.

What’s That Noise?
Many patients or prospective patients fear the notorious “crack” or “pop” associated with a spinal alignment. In reality, this noise is nothing to worry about – and it is certainly not caused by your bones cracking!

When the thrust is administered and the joint surfaces separate, gas bubbles in the lubricating fluid located between your joints are released, creating the cracking or popping sound. Although most patients will hear this noise when they have their treatment, not everyone will, and it has no bearing on the success of the treatment.

Is It Safe?
Simply put – yes. Chiropractic care has been subject to strict medical scrutiny but has always come up as beneficial for treatment of back pain and associated conditions. However, every patient is different, and there are a few guidelines to keep in mind before receiving spinal manipulation:

  • Bone injuries. If you have a condition that weakens your bone density, or if you have a prior bone injury that may affect your treatment, be sure to disclose it to your chiropractor. He or she can make adjustments to the treatment plan that will benefit your unique condition.
    Associated symptoms. If your back pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever or weight loss, be sure to consult a medical doctor before heading to the chiropractor. Your doctor can examine you for underlying conditions and, if appropriate, give you the approval for chiropractic care.
    Health history. Issues such as stroke or surgery that you’ve had in the past may affect your treatment options with a chiropractor. Be sure to disclose all relevant health information to your chiropractor before you begin treatment.

The key to good chiropractic care is communication – if you’re concerned about treatment, talk to your family physician and, if possible, have him or her talk to your chiropractor. Working together, the two can form a treatment plan that works best for you – grand rapids chiropractor.