The Science of a Chiropractic Adjustment

A chiropractic adjustment works to relieve pressure off nerves caused by misaligned bones, not just in the spine but all over the body.

Let’s start off by describing what an actual chiropractic adjustment is, and what it feels like for someone who has never experienced one.

Dr. Chris Serafini: Basically, it’s a technique of manually moving a bone that’s out of place, that’s putting pressure on discs and nerves, to its normal position, thus taking the pressure off of discs and nerves. And usually the patient’s going to feel that when they do to get the adjustment, and maybe even hear a click or a pop.

What happens inside the body when a chiropractic adjustment is performed?

Dr. Chris Serafini: Basically, as I stated earlier, you’re really just moving a bone that’s out of position. Oftentimes a patient will either hear a pop or a click, they’ll feel the motion that happens as well. And the pop and the click is interesting, because a lot of people think it’s bone cracking, but it’s actually not. It’s called a cavitation or an audible. And really what’s happening is inside the joint, there’s gas that’s inside the joint, nitrogen gas. And that gas is escaping out of the joint. So, an analogy they use, is like when you go to crack your knuckle in your finger, and hear the pop. And then you try to do it again instantly afterwards. You don’t hear the same noise because there hasn’t been enough time for gas to rejuvenate back in the joint.

Are there different types of chiropractic adjustments, or ways to perform them?

Dr. Chris Serafini: There sure is, and they vary tremendously. Most chiropractic adjustments, people understand or are familiar with is the spine, but keep in mind, we adjust extremities. The cranial bones of the head, you can adjust those as well and TMJ. We really can adjust just about every bone in the body. And they do vary tremendously as I stated, but basically, it’s the same result. You’re moving a bone that’s out of position, putting pressure on discs and nerves, back to its proper position.

Do you use any tools or technology to assist you with a chiropractic adjustment?

Dr. Chris Serafini: I do. I still do use my hands, and chiropractic is, actually the literal interpretation of that is done by hand. So, I do use manual adjustments with my hands, but I also use different equipment. One’s called an adjuster. It’s literally hooked up to a power source. It has a power cord. And the real benefit of the adjuster is it’s adjusting you multiple times a second while you’re in motion. It’s a very dynamic and unique correction that you can’t mimic as a manual adjuster. I also use drop table. Drop table is really just a table, literally it drops, but it is using gravity to help facilitate the adjustment as well. And then I also use what’s called a speeder board. It’s really just a small drop table. I use that a lot for extremity work.

What type of conditions benefit the most from chiropractic adjustments, and why?

Dr. Chris Serafini: You know, with 17 years of experience, it’s ironic, but I would definitely say most musculoskeletal pain really, really benefits greatly from chiropractic adjustments. Such as headaches, migraines, you get phenomenal results with headaches and migraines. Sciatic pain, low back pain, neck pain, but you know, sometimes it’s overlooked, and a lot of extremity issues, shoulder pain, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle, hips, things like that. We get great results with that as well.

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