Adjustments, or manipulation as they're sometimes referred to is the controlled, skillful movement of vertebral joints in the spine. Vertebral joints are the places where spine bones (vertebrae) join together in the remarkable structure known as the spine.
Joints outside of the spine (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle) can be adjusted as well. This is often the case folowing sports injury or repetitive stress from work activity causing arm or leg problems.
The objective of this movement is to realign vertebrae that have either moved out of place or are unable to move properly in all typical directions for the area. There are a number of reasons this occurs ranging from repetitive daily activity to trauma such as a car accident or sports injury.
When these vertebrae are out of place, it has an overall systemic effect from muscular to the central nervous system. Without proper alignment and flow of all nerves and systems in the body from the brain, we can't function at our peak. Simply put, the adjustment lowers stress on the nervous system.
An adjustment is often a pressure from the chiropractor utilizing the hands or an instrument to move a vertebrae back into place. This happens with a quick movement and is often without discomfort. You may hear a noise that sounds like you're cracking your knuckles referred to as joint cavitation. It is the release of gases such as oxygen and nitrogen from the joint.
Overall, adjustments are an excellent way to keep the body functioning at its highest level. When the body is in alignment, the body is able to respond and perform as it was designed to.