What Is The Difference Between An 'Adjustment' And A 'Good Adjustment'?

Chiropractic Adjustment for Neck Pain in Southlake TX

What is the difference between an "adjustment" and a "Good Adjustment"? Is it how loud bones and joints pop? Is it the feeling of relief after the snap? It should be much more than that.

When we adjust, typically we have three goals:

  1. Pain Relief
  2. Return of Function
  3. Return of Structure

Pain Relief is relatively simple. Usually it does not take many treatments before a patient experiences relief in their pain symptoms. That is because nerve fibers that transmit pain are easily "tricked," which can give patients the impression that the problem is solved, when in reality, the underlying issue has not been addressed. Consider acupuncture for pain. It's just a needle. Nothing structurally or anatomically is really addressed. And yet with acupuncture often the pain is gone--- usually temporarily. Or cortisone injections. Another needle with numbing medications, and again, the pain is usually gone, although temporarily. The underlying issue is usually not addressed with the problem all too frequently returning with even more problems.

Return of function takes a bit longer. When we look at each vertebra in the lower back (lumbar spine), we can see that each vertebra has 4 "Joints". One on the top left and one on the top right. Then another on the bottom left, and the 4th on the bottom right. Return of function means that we make sure that each of these 4 joints is mobile, not fixed, and functioning properly. This can take a few days, to a few weeks, depending on the patient.

Chiropractic Adjustment at Metroplex Wellness in Southlake TX

Return of Structure: This is what I refer to as "orthodontics for the spine". It's the process of helping the spine to return to its normal anatomical structure. And this takes time. And like "orthodontics" it is accomplished by applying pressure in the direction of correction, over a period of time. If a patient goes to the dentist with a front tooth facing sideways, we do not expect for that to be corrected in a week. We understand that it takes time. And when a patient comes in with a "stovepipe" cervical spine, we have to understand that it will take time for the structure of the spine to return to normal.

Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain in Southlake TXThe goal of a Great Adjustment is to take the patient through the process, starting with Relieving Pain. Then moving towards Return of Function, with the longer term goal Return of Structure.

How long does a Great Adjustment take? In my personal opinion, 15 minutes is minimum. Ligaments connect one vertebra to another, and when a segment of your spine has been out of alignment for a long period of time, those ligaments will want to hold the out of alignment positioning. In order for an adjustment to hold, ligaments must first be "warmed up" or prepared.

Chiropractic Adjustment at Metroplex Wellness in Southlake TX

Muscles connect to tendons, and tendons are what connects to the vertebra and other bones. And again, if a segment of your spine has been out of alignment for a long period of time, those muscles and tendons will want to pull the vertebra back out of alignment, to the position they have been used to, immediately after you are adjusted. In order for an adjustment to hold, tendons and muscles must also first be "warmed up".

If you are accustomed to a 2-5 minute "Slam-Bam, Rack'em & Crack'em" type of adjustment see what you are missing. Contact Metroplex Wellness in Southlake Texas (214-205-2661) for your complimentary consultation.

Monday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Tuesday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Wednesday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm


Saturday
9:00am - 12:00pm

Metroplex Wellness
950 East State Highway 114 #160-108
Southlake, TX 76092
(214) 205-2661