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Understanding A Chiropractic Adjustment

“Many patients imagine that they have tried everything. True, they have used many remedies, but they have never had the cause of their infirmity adjusted.”

– D.D. Palmer

Known as the “discoverer of chiropractic,” DD Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment in 1895… and the rest is history. While Palmer may have been the founder of chiropractic, the science behind the benefits of spinal manipulation went back hundreds, if not thousands of years. It wasn’t until Palmer decided to share his scientific and philosophical research that chiropractic was officially born. Since that time it has grown in popularity and is commonly recognized as a non-invasive, drug-free, and effective way to help the body heal from many different ailments and injuries. 

For anyone that is new to chiropractic, it can be difficult to understand how a chiropractic adjustment works. After all, most stereotypes want to illustrate a doctor cracking and popping the body until it’s “back to where it should be.” This image would understandably strike fear and discomfort in anyone who is unfamiliar with chiropractic treatment. However, that vision is far from what a true adjustment actually is. 


What is an “adjustment”?

An adjustment refers to the specific force that is applied by a doctor of chiropractic to manipulate the vertebrae in order to correct spinal alignment. The goal of a chiropractic adjustment is to restore proper motion, improve spinal function and remove nervous system interference. By assuring that the spine is properly aligned, chiropractic helps your body reach its full potential. 

It is important to know that there are many different adjustment techniques. At Summit Chiropractic Center, we take the time to sit down and do a full consultation with new patients prior to their first adjustment. During this time, we get to know you in order to put together a care plan that caters to your needs. This means that every adjustment may not feel or look the same. It is our job to evaluate your body and determine its unique needs. 


Do adjustments hurt? 

The simple answer is no, chiropractic adjustments should not be painful. Our team of chiropractors is specially trained to deliver gentle yet effective care. However, everyone’s body is different and some may have certain injuries or dysfunctions that result in post-adjustment soreness, especially if they have never been adjusted before. Soreness is rare and is usually short term. Regardless of soreness, it is important to realize that doctors of chiropractic have gone through years of training and are highly qualified to perform spinal corrections. They are not “back cracker”; they are specially trained to examine and adjust only the necessary subluxations that show up during your visit.  


What is a “subluxation”? 

A subluxation is a location in which a spinal misalignment is found. To put it simply, a chiropractor will examine each patient to determine if there are any misalignments of the spine that may be interfering with overall mobility or the nervous system function. These “misalignments” – or dysfunctions of the vertebrae – are known as subluxations. While Webster’s defines a subluxation as a “partial dislocation,” they aren’t always painful or even noticeable. However, if untreated, they can disrupt your nerve function which could end up compromising your overall health and wellbeing. 

At Summit Chiropractic, our doctors are specially trained to detect and correct any subluxations that may be resulting in poor spinal function or a jeopardized nervous system. By receiving regular chiropractic adjustments, you can ensure that your spine – one of the most important parts of your body – remains healthy. As DD Palmer said, only by adjusting the root rather than the symptom of the issue can your body reach its full healing potential and ultimately flourish. 


We want to help you reach your full potential! To learn more about all of the benefits of chiropractic, visit our website: 




 The Foundation Series: Chiropractic Adjustments. Wellness Media Resource Materials, Inc. 2015. 
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