Skip to main content

Spinal Manipulation “The Adjustment” or the “crack”

By November 18, 2015March 3rd, 2017Chiropractic

Why would your Victoria chiropractor want to perform the procedure that is called an “adjustment” in chiropractic circles or a spinal manipulation in the wider field of manual therapy? The original theory on what we do when we perform this maneuver was to put bones “back in place” and that has been thoroughly disproven by research for many years. Another thought was that the bones were not moving well on one another and that we needed to move them in very specific directions to free up the movement in those restricted directions. That idea is very persistent throughout all of manual therapy today but is not supported, again by the research. The most plausible explanation of what chiropractors are doing when they use this procedure, is to stimulate the joints in the area we are applying a thrust, which in turn creates a stimulus to our nervous system that tells it that it is ok to move this area of our body more freely and we don’t need to brace it with muscle activity.

Our clinic has the only Victoria chiropractor to attend the premier event in North America for advancement of the understanding of pain and manual therapy, the San Diego Pain Summit for Manual therapists. (Actually, he was the only Canadian chiropractor to attend.) The greater understanding of the mechanisms by which our treatments work allow us to provide more focused, targeted treatments that will increase the chance of success. No other chiropractor in Victoria has had the opportunity to examine this emerging understanding of the mechanisms behind your pain experience as thoroughly as Dr. McIlmoyle has.

Spinal manipulation, or the adjustment is a tool that can be used, but it is best used with a full understanding of the implications of how it is working. It would be like trying to use a tennis racket to hit a tennis ball without understanding that you need to hit with the strings rather than the edge of the frame. You will be successful sometimes using the edge and sometimes you will accidentally hit it on the strings and have great success. However, if you understand that you need to hit it with the strings, you chance of success increases dramatically. This is what we have found. Using spinal manipulation with our new understanding increases our success rate dramatically.