What Happens During A Chiropractic Adjustment?

chiropractic adjustment

If you are new to chiropractic treatment, you must be wondering what happens during a chiropractic adjustment? Or how chiropractic actually works? 

This blog will explain the science of chiropractic treatment and its effect on our body that offers relief. 

  1.  Chiropractic treatment is a non-invasive, drug-free, patient-centered technique that offers relief to pain associated with the spine, muscles, joints and nervous system of the body. 
  1. The chiropractic adjustments help in resolving musculoskeletal problems of the body. There is a wide range of chiropractic adjustments used in chiropractic sessions.
  1. A few chiropractic adjustments are: 
  • Spinal Manipulation 
  • Spinal Mobilization 
  • Gonstead Technique 
  • Activator Technique 
  • Cervical Drop Technique 
  • Cervical Manual Traction 
  1. Each chiropractic technique focuses on a particular area of the body, and chiropractors diagnose the origin of the pain before implementing any chiropractic adjustment. 
  1. Before designing the chiropractic program of adjustments, the patient is generally asked about their pain history. This information helps the chiropractor to understand the patient’s condition better. 
  1. A chiropractic adjustment, when conducted, creates a mechanical stimulus either on a facet joint or on the disc material in the body. Human bodies are wired so that when the mechanical stimulus is triggered, the pain/chemical stimulus turns off. 
  1. Mechanical stimulus is when external forces are applied to the body—for example, ultrasound, dry needling, exercising, vibration, massage, or chiropractic adjustments. 
  1. On the other hand, pain/chemical stimulus is when any tissue or cell is exposed to chemicals inside the body. For example, a nerve irritation caused by disc herniation, pinched nerve, injured/torn tissue due to injury. 
  1. So when chiropractic adjustment (mechanical stimulus) is applied to the affected area, the pain/chemical stimulus turns off. 
  1. When a chiropractor carries out an adjustment, they use specific ranges of motions to offer pain relief. 
  1. These ranges of motion are active range, passive range, physiological, and then the danger zone. Then, according to the patient’s tolerance, these ranges of motion are carefully checked, and the adjustment is conducted. 
  1. Chiropractors essentially focus on the physiological zone where there are a high number of receptors. Therefore, a mechanical stimulus is produced when chiropractic adjustment is carried out in the affected area. This stimulus activates the neurotransmitters, which command the brain to relax the muscles. 
  1. Once a reasonable amount of mechanical stimulus is produced, the brain closes almost all pain receptors. This is the reason why instant pain relief is experienced after a chiropractic adjustment. 
  1.  Similarly, while the passive range of motion is tapped, a good amount of receptors are accessed. Passive range of motion generally includes techniques like dry needling, soft tissue, therapy, or massage. So these techniques contribute to relieving the pain.
  1. Furthermore, our body also consists of a nerve branch that goes directly to the core stabilizers that stabilize the spine. To activate a muscle in the body, it is crucial to create enough action potential threshold. 
  1. This action potential threshold is stimulated with chiropractic treatment, making it easier to activate the muscles. As a result, these core muscles are activated, contributing to supporting and protecting the spine. 
  1. The reason why chiropractic adjustments are so popular is because of the instant effect they have on pain. The shutting down of the pain/chemical stimulus caused by the mechanical stimulus of chiropractic adjustment does the magic. 
  1. Chiropractic adjustments are majorly focused on taking joints in the physiological zone and preventing them from going into the danger zone. 
  1. Spinal manipulation is one of the popular adjustments used by chiropractors. This adjustment mainly works in realigning the spine to its original position. 
  1. It restores the functionality of the spine and improves joint function. The popping or the cracking sound is often produced during this chiropractic adjustment. 
  1. While using Spinal Manipulation, the chiropractor applies high amplitude forces on the spine that eliminates the subluxations between the joint.
  1. All chiropractic adjustments aim to realign the spine because once the spine is in its original position, it stops interfering with the body’s neurological function. 
  1. The frequency of these chiropractic adjustments solely depends upon the progress made by the patient and the level of pain. So after analyzing the extent of recovery of your pain, the chiropractor will decide whether to continue or not. 


Chiropractic adjustments have proved to be the most effective solution for pain relief from musculoskeletal problems. Consulting the right chiropractor will help to avoid pain or discomfort to increase. Now that you know how these chiropractic adjustments work and their effect on your body, it is time for you to get rid of your pain with the right adjustments. 

Schedule an appointment with a leading Los Angeles Chiropractor at CRM Wellness. 

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