The Chiropractic Adjustment

History of Spinal ManipulationSpinalAdjustmentManipulation

Spinal manipulation has been around for thousands of years, with documentation showing its use as early as 2700BC by the Chinese, with similar evidence of its use in India around this time. Spinal manipulation was also used by North, Central and South American cultures as well as in Arabic cultures.

Influential medical pioneers such as Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine), as well as Galen and Pare (one of the fathers of surgery) were the first western physicians to clearly document, use and describe the benefits of spinal manipulation.


What does the “adjustment” actually do?

The adjustment works via a series of neuro-physiological pathways altering the state of the muscles, pain fibers and blood flow around a joint. There are 3 main pathways in the body that manipulation or adjustment alter.

Pathway 1.
The adjustment stimulates a region inside the brain, which sends signals back down the spinal cord to modify the bodies transmission of pain.

Pathway 2.
It activates special receptors in the body which in turn, inhibits (stops) the response of nerves in the spinal cord from responding to pain.

Pathway 3.
It stimulates receptors in muscles and tendons, which triggers a reduction in the activity of a special type of nerve, resulting in relaxation of the muscles in that area.

On a more superficial level the adjustment of a specific joint breaks up intra-articular adhesions (tight areas inside the joint), thereby helping to alleviate pain, muscle tightness and inflammation, allowing the tissues to heal.