How Do Chiropractors Know Where To Adjust? 

If you’re one of the 540 million people who suffer from chronic back pain, you probably know how difficult it can be to get to the root of your problem. From inflammation to spinal trauma, there are many reasons why you might experience discomfort and need professional help. So how do chiropractors know where to adjust and relieve pain?

Chiropractors are trained to find (and fix) a variety of musculoskeletal conditions.

But how do chiropractors work?

In this blog post, we’ll answer the question ‘how do chiropractors adjust your back?’ and explain what you can expect from a chiropractic adjustment.

Using The Hand As The Greatest Tool

We’ve all heard of healing hands. Just as doctors use stethoscopes or physical exams to diagnose problems, chiropractors use their hands as guides to identify pain points in people’s bodies. This is a technique that chiropractors develop when learning how to adjust a back. The chiropractors that understand these techniques are far and away better than most in their local area.

By applying pressure to the musculoskeletal system, a trained specialist can examine their patient’s response to different levels of contact. They can also locate issues such as inflammation, knots, and tightness. This enables them to pinpoint the precise area causing the pain, whether it’s a sprained muscle in somebody’s neck or a herniated disc in their spine.

This process is known as a chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation.

chiropractor adjusts woman

Using The Palpation Method

If you’re wondering ‘how does a chiropractor adjust your back,’ one of the key principles to be aware of is palpation. The palpation method is crucial to the science behind how chiropractors adjust your back.

Here’s how it works.

The motion in our bodies is divided across three physical planes:

  1. The frontal plane
  2. The sagittal plane
  3. The transverse plane

These three planes also divide the body into different sections, as follows:

  1. The frontal plane: front and back
  2. The sagittal plane: left and right
  3. The transverse plane: top and bottom

Using these planes as a reference point, chiropractors analyze the extent to which a patient’s back pain is hindering their movement. They do this by looking for signs of tenderness or spasm while palpating (pressing) different areas of the body.

There are two different forms of the palpation method: static palpation and motion palpation. During static palpation, the patient is still. During motion palpation, a chiropractor may ask the patient to carry out a series of basic movements to evaluate movement range.

The more you learn about this technique and the three planes, the better you’ll understand the answer to “how do chiropractors know where to adjust?”

The Types Of Chiropractic Adjustment

chiropractor adjusting patient

There are several answers to the question ‘how does chiropractic adjustment work.’ This is because there is more than one type of chiropractic adjustment. Your chiropractor will choose the right type for you based on the nature, location, and severity of your condition. The decision they make will hugely influence how chiropractors adjust your back.

The different types are organized using a grading system, ranging from grade 1 to grade 5. The most common type of adjustment involves applying a sharp but carefully aimed thrust into the affected joint. Because this is typically the most forceful form of adjustment, it’s classified as grade 5. The lower grades refer to less forceful adjustments.

The purpose of these adjustments is to return the joint to its natural, unaffected state. It can help, especially if you have a subluxation. In some cases, one adjustment is enough to solve a patient’s issue. However, other people may need ongoing treatment. Some might require adjustments in multiple areas of their back.

What You Should Expect

If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, a chiropractic adjustment could be the answer. Whether you’re worried about what’s causing your pain or simply wondering, ‘do chiropractic adjustments work?’ you may feel unsure what to expect at your appointment. An experienced chiropractor should put you at ease and make your visit comfortable at all times. It shouldn’t be a headache with your chiropractic experience.

Here’s what you can expect when you step into a chiropractor’s office and begin your appointment:

  • At the start of your visit, your chiropractor will discuss your symptoms with you and perform an initial examination. Some professionals may also use medical diagnostic equipment such as x-rays to look for any visible problems. This will help them make a potential diagnosis.
  • Next, you will need to lie down on the chiropractor table. Your exact position will depend on your diagnosis — for example, you may be asked to lie face down or on your right or left side, whichever gives your chiropractor the best access to the problem area of your back.
  • Your chiropractor will then be able to perform the adjustment. This may be one focused treatment, or they may carry out a few to fix your problem. Some chiropractors can also provide adjustments for problems with the pelvis, feet, and other joints, such as your wrists.

Are you struggling with chronic back pain in the Sacramento, California area? If you need quality chiropractic treatment or want to find out more about how chiropractors adjust your back, give us a call at Sunrise Chiropractic today!

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