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How do Chiropractors know where to adjust?

December 9th, 2021 by
Category: Chiropractic Care Dr. Kodie Smith

Chiropractor performing adjustment on male patient

As Chiropractors we are regularly seeing new patients, some of which have never experienced Chiropractic care previously. A common question we get ask as we introduce these clients to our care is ‘how do Chiropractors know where to adjust?’

What is a Chiropractic adjustment?

First, we need to understand Chiropractic care and what an adjustment is. An adjustment is a skilfully applied force used by Chiropractors in a specific direction to restore movement into the body’s joints. What a Chiropractic adjustment does is encourage movement in a joint that is not moving as well as it should be naturally, resulting in improvement of discomfort/stiffness and allows the body and nervous system to function at its best. After your adjustment, it is likely you will feel loose and relaxed as the adjustment will allow a release in built up tension throughout the joints and muscles.

Lots of people will attempt to perform a ‘self-adjustment’ to themselves outside of a Chiropractic practice to save time/effort as well as to help release that built up tension felt. However, when people adjust or ‘crack’ themselves the satisfaction is often only felt very short term. This is because self ‘cracking’ does not adjust the specific joint that is dysfunctional or not moving like it naturally should. When people self-crack, they are adjusting the areas above or below the region that is dysfunctional, which can lead to the areas they are attempting to adjust becoming hypermobile or moving more than what they naturally should. Therefore, it is better to consider visiting a Chiropractor for an adjustment as their adjustments will be specific to the areas of your body that need it and you may experience longer term release in tension.

How do Chiropractors know where to adjust?

Chiropractors are skilfully trained allied health care professionals who study 5 years at university, completing a double bachelor’s degree in Allied Health (Chiropractic) and Health Sciences. This education gives them a large variety of training in biomechanical joint, soft tissue, neurological and musculoskeletal areas. This allows them to have a deep understanding of the human body and how all aspects function. Chiropractors use these specific tools to assess clients’ bodies and make a thorough diagnosis on their issues.

When Chiropractors are assessing where to adjust, they will first consider how the individual is feeling and if there are any areas of which they are feeling discomfort or tenderness. They will then use observational tools such as posture or gait/stance to see how their issues are affecting everyday movement and posture. Once a client is relaxing on the table, they will use their hands to thoroughly assess up and down the spine, feeling for changes in joint movement and muscle tension. These findings will be what points the Chiropractor to a certain joint, of which they will specifically assess again before setting up in a particular direction and way to perform the adjustment.

Chiropractors utilise a full body approach to ensure the body moves and feels great so that everyone can reach their full potential in life without the interference of pain and stiffness. Therefore, Chiropractors will assess all areas of your spine and/or extremities and adjust each area as it is required so that your entire body can move and work as best as it can every single day.

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us or your trusted local Chiropractor. 


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