Chiropractic Adjustment

Lawrence, KS | Midwest Muscle & Joint Clinic

When someone thinks of a Chiropractor, typically the first thing that comes to mind is the adjustment. At Midwest Muscle & Joint Clinic we use adjustments (manipulation) in conjunction with many other functional treatments. Most patients are not aware of the logistics involved in determining when and where to adjust, all they know is that they often feel better afterwards.. so how do chiropractors know when and where to adjust?

Chiropractors are musculoskeletal experts trained in finding and correcting joint, muscle, and other movement-related dysfunctions. Before adjusting, a Chiropractor must first determine if a joint is not moving properly (restricted) or moving too much (unstable). If we find that a joint is biomechanically “stuck” in it’s functional range of motion, we manipulate (or adjust) it accordingly. If the joints we are assessing are unstable, we then focus on strengthening the area with stabilization exercises.

Benefits of Adjustments:

  • Increase Range of Motion and Mobility
  • Increase Biomechanical Function
  • Decrease Pain
  • Decrease Joint Inflammation
  • Help Relax Overacting Muscles (Spasms, Tightness & Trigger Points)

Common Questions:

“Why didn’t you adjust me exactly where I was feeling pain?” Your pain could be due to a whole host of things, one big cause being compensation of unstable joints. We don’t want to put more motion into a joint that is already unstable. In general, where you feel pain may not actually be the exact area that needs to be addressed.

“My bones did not POP, can you do it again?” No. Even if you didn’t hear the “snap, crackle, pop”, we still restored proper joint motion. The noise you may hear is simply the movement of gases within the joint when we load the joint capsule past it’s elastic barrier of resistance.

“Are my bones out of place?” No. Unless dislocated, bones do not fall from alignment. However, joints often become restricted in the range of motion they should naturally move in. We restore motion in joints, not “put bones back in place”.

“Can you adjust extremities (hips, ankles, wrists, etc.)?” Yes! We assess extremity functions when indicated, as research has suggested extremity dysfunctions are related to spinal pain, and vice versa.

“Are X-Rays required to know where to adjust?” Absolutely not. There is a time and a place for X-Rays. At this time, motion palpation and movement assessments are some of the most accurate ways to diagnosis joint function.

At Midwest Muscle & Joint Clinic, not only are we evidence-based, we take a patient-centered approach to care. At time manipulation is necessary, however, if patients are uncomfortable with adjustments we can look towards gentler techniques, like mobilization. Our primary technique is from the Motion Palpation Institute (M.P.I.).

We follow the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) Choosing Wisely® campaign guidelines to determine if, and when, imaging is appropriate. For more information on this, please click on the link above.
Anderst WJ et al. (2018). Intervertebral Kinematics of the Cervical Spine Before, During and After High Velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation. The Spine Journal.
Chou R, Fu R, Carrino JA, Deyo RA (2009). Imaging Strategies for Low-back Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Lancet.
Fritz, J. M., Whitman, J. M., & Childs, J. D. (2005). Lumbar Spine Segmental Mobility Assessment: An Examination of Validity for Determining Intervention Strategies in Patients With Low Back Pain. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Richard Rosedale, Ravi Rastogi, Josh Kidd, Greg Lynch, Georg Supp & Shawn M Robbins (2019): A Study Exploring the Prevalence of Extremity Pain of Spinal Source (EXPOSS), Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy.
Sueki DG, Cleland JA, Wainner RS. (2013). A Regional Interdependence Model of Musculoskeletal Dysfunction: Research, Mechanisms, and Clinical Implications. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy.