Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic Manipulation


A chiropractor can provide you with relief from your pain by manipulating your body. This is typically done on the back but can be done on shoulders, arms and legs as well. When the body is manipulated or adjusted, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide are released, helping to relieve pressure on the joint. This accounts for both the pop some people hear, and the immediate pain relief that can be experienced. If you have never visited a chiropractor before, you may have many questions about a manipulation. Here are a few frequently asked questions about this process.

What are the Different Areas a Chiropractor Manipulates?

Most chiropractic manipulation occurs along the spine. A chiropractor typically breaks these manipulations up into groups, working on either the lumbar, cervical or thoracic portion of the spine. Here is a bit more information about each region.

The lumbar area is the lower part of the back, typically found between the rib cage and the pelvis. The focus of lumbar manipulation is on the lumbar vertebrae, or L1-L5. The lumbar vertebrae are what allow you to walk, and they assist with supporting the weight of your body. If you are having lower back pain or pain while walking or standing, this area may be manipulated to improve these symptoms.

The cervical area is the portion of the spine just below the skull, or what is typically referred to as the neck. The vertebrae in the cervical portion are categorized as C1-C7. The adjustments that occur in the neck typically help to reduce neck pain, headaches and improve the range of motion in the neck.

The thoracic part of the spine is located in the upper portion of your back. This area is categorized as the T1-T12 vertebrae. This is the largest part of your back, being found between the lumbar and cervical areas. The thoracic vertebrae increase in size, moving from the top down towards the lumbar portion. If you are experiencing upper back pain, this part of your back will be manipulated.

What Type of Tools Does a Chiropractor Use for Manipulation and Adjustments?

A chiropractor typically does not use many tools. They ask a patient to sit or lie on a table and do a manipulation using just their hands. A thrusting or twisting motion is made to release pressure quickly. However, in some cases, the joint simply won't pop or move with the hands. In these instances, a chiropractor may use a tool called an activator adjusting instrument. This is a spring-loaded tool that provides the same thrusting motion as the hand with more pressure, helping to get tough adjustments made. 

How Often Should an Adjustment Be Done?

The frequency with which people need adjustments varies based on many factors. These factors include the reason you need the adjustment as well as your health, weight and pain tolerance. Someone who is recovering from a car accident may need adjustments more frequently until they heal compared with someone who is using chiropractic treatment to improve their range of motion. Those who are in a lot of pain can have adjustments done two to three times per week. Those who have healed and are seeking to keep their symptoms at bay may only need an adjustment once every few months. After you have had a few adjustments, you may be able to tell when the gas is filling up between your joints again. You may feel tighter or stiffer. It is typically recommended that you have an adjustment only when you feel necessary to release this pressure and any pain it may be causing.

If you have never had a chiropractic manipulation done, you may have many questions about the process. Finding out what parts of the body a chiropractor typically manipulates, what tools are used and how frequently it should be done can give you a better idea as to what you can expect from the process. For more information, contact a chiropractor like Dr. Jason B Kaster DC.


18 July 2016

Improving Your Back

After struggling with months and months with back pain, I could tell that things weren't getting any better with my DIY methods. I was tired of having trouble every time I needed to move, so I decided to start working with a chiropractor. When I arrived, the doctor worked really hard to diagnose my condition, and then he talked with me about treatments--letting me decide how to proceed. It made me feel really great about working with him, and within a few treatments my back was feeling a lot better. This blog is all about improving your back pain by talking with the right professionals.