Chiropractic Physicians are highly trained to detect and treat problems in the spinal joints and other joints of the body. When spinal bones become misaligned, they can also affect other tissues in and around the joints. This might include muscles, ligaments, nerves, discs and soft tissue. Misaligned joints are referred to by health care professionals as subluxations. Subluxations are caused by several different causes such as car accidents, falls, sporting injuries, work injuries or poor posture to name a few. Chiropractors are the only healthcare professionals specifically trained to locate and correct subluxations.
A subluxation is different from a dislocation in that the joint is not completely dislocated. Subluxations often result in nerve irritation which can cause pain and loss of function in the body. The nervous system in the body literally controls every cell and organ in the body. Subluxations can be very debilitating and be very painful for the individual.
Chiropractic physicians treat subluxations by performing specific hands on adjustments over the affected joint to restore normal alignment. The adjustment involves a quick thrust over the misaligned joint to move the bone back into its normal position. Chiropractors may also use instruments that are specially designed to adjust bones. Instruments allow for a higher velocity adjustment with low force.
It is common to hear an audible popping sound when the chiropractor performs an adjustment. This sound is mostly air being released from the joint as it moves. People are often surprised initially, but often report a relieving sensation following the adjustment.
Some people report discomfort after an adjustment, this is more likely to occur if the muscles were tight around the joint that was adjusted. This soreness usually goes away quickly. Chiropractic adjustments effectively reduce muscle tension, because muscle tension is often caused by the bones being out of alignment. This stretches the muscles that are attached to the bone, causing muscle spasm.
After the initial adjustment, the muscles may try to pull the bone back out of place. This is because the muscles and ligaments have gotten used to the bone being in the wrong position. This is why multiple adjustments over time may be necessary to help train the muscles and ligaments to keep the bone in the correct position. After the problem is corrected, periodic adjustments can help to maintain normal alignment and proper function of the joints. It is important to keep the joints healthy to maintain optimal health. Subluxations cause many of the unwanted conditions that are seen today. Some of the more common conditions that people seek chiropractic for include neck pain, back pain, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs and headaches.