Many people mistakenly believe that spinal manipulation and chiropractic adjustment are the same thing. However, there are dramatic differences between the two. Ultimately, manipulation tends to target the entire spine, but an adjustment focuses on a specific area or areas of the spinal region. Typically manipulation is used to provide short-term pain relief while a chiropractic adjustment offers long-term benefits.
What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is typically used to treat lower back pain, neck pain, and other ailments. The chiropractor applies specific techniques to the vertebra that display abnormal movement patterns. The entire treatment focuses on reducing subluxation and increases range of motion. Ultimately, nerve irritability is reduced, and function improved.
What Does a Chiropractic Adjustment Involve?
A chiropractor will sometimes use what is known as a rapid short lever arm thrust that precisely targets the vertebra. There is usually an audible release of gas that occurs as a result of the pressure of the joint’s oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. At this point, a patient will feel a relieving sensation. On rare occasions, some patients may experience discomfort, but it is usually only for a short amount of time. The pain occurs if the surrounding muscles start to spasm because the patient tenses up in anticipation of the adjustment.
Some people do not experience the audible cracking sound during a chiropractic adjustment. The lack of noise is typical if they do not relax sufficiently and their body is overly tense. Prior to a chiropractic adjustment, some chiropractors will let the patient rest, apply ice or perform electrical stimulation to relax the area.
What is Spinal Manipulation?
For thousands of years, pain sufferers have turned to spinal manipulation to gain relief from discomfort. Nowadays, various forms of spinal manipulation are used in both Western and Asian medicine. Spinal manipulation is often called manual therapy or spinal manipulative therapy. The treatment involves a combination of moving and jolting the joints. Pressure on joints is relieved, spots of inflammation reduced and nerve function restored. Spinal manipulation is frequently used to treat neck, back, shoulder, and headache pain.
Many Types of Spinal Manipulations
Currently, there are over 100 types of spinal manipulation. Many chiropractors focus on forcing and twisting the spinal region. Some turn to ice and heat therapy, traction devices or electric stimulation to gain dramatic health improvements.
Is Spinal Manipulation Safe?
When undertaken by a skilled healthcare professional, spinal manipulation is safe and can be an effective treatment. Treatments with spinal manipulation often take four to six weeks to render results.
Techniques Vary Between Chiropractors
Ultimately, there are many different techniques employed by various chiropractors. However, over time, most chiropractors fashion a style that works best for them and proves successful.
The most important difference between spinal manipulation and chiropractic adjustment is that adjustments focus on specific areas of the spine rather than the spine as a whole. Therefore, adjustments can be more effective for long-term relief.
If you are in the Overland Park, KS area and are seeking pain relief, click below to schedule your appointment with Harlan Chiropractic today!