An adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body. Adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function.
Basically, your body accumulates physical, chemical and emotional stresses. Like the "straw that broke the camel's back," eventually the stresses will be more than your body can handle. Once that threshold is reached, your body will go into a "lock-down." The small muscles around the joints of the spine will spasm, not allowing the joint to move the way it was intended. This lack of movement causes irritation, inflammation and pain around the joint and other larger muscles. In chiropractic, we simply, yet effectively, want to find that fixated joint, and make it move better.
When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about.
To support the adjustment I may use massage, stretching, exercises and posture correction.
Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care provider.