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What’s the Difference Between Spinal Manipulation and a Chiropractic Adjustment?

If you have chronic back or neck pain, you might pick up the phone to call a chiropractor. But should you get a spinal manipulation or a chiropractic adjustment? Is there a difference?

Our team at Impact Medical Zephyrhills explains the difference between the two so you can choose the best option for you.

How Can a Chiropractic Adjustment Help?

With a consistent treatment plan tailored to your needs, chiropractic care can help those suffering from:

  • Acute neck pain/chronic neck pain
  • Acute low-back pain/chronic low-back pain
  • Spinal joint pain
  • Knee and arm pain
  • Pain due to sports-related injuries
  • Pain due to an auto accident
  • Other types of musculoskeletal pain

What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is generally used to treat lower back pain, neck pain, and other problems. A chiropractor applies pressure to the vertebrae that display subluxations or abnormal movement patterns.

The entire chiropractic treatment focuses on reducing subluxations and increasing the overall range of motion.

What Does a Chiropractic Adjustment Involve?

A chiropractor will sometimes use a rapid short-lever arm thrust that precisely targets specific vertebrae. You will likely hear an audible release of gas that occurs when the pressure releases the joint’s oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.

On some rare occasions, you may experience discomfort, but this is usually short-lived. The pain occurs if the surrounding muscles start to spasm because you may tense up in anticipation of the adjustment.

Further, some people will not experience the audible cracking sound during an adjustment. The lack of noise is typical if their body is overly tense or if they do not sufficiently relax during treatment.

After Chiropractic Adjustments

After a chiropractic adjustment, you may feel a little sore, but this usually resolves within 12-24 hours. This is very common, since the chiropractor moved joints that were unable to move for a long time.

If you feel sore after your appointment, your chiropractor may recommend applying ice to the area for 15 minutes every two to three hours to alleviate soreness.

What is Spinal Manipulation?

For thousands of years, people in pain have turned to spinal manipulation to gain relief. Various forms of spinal manipulation are used in both Asian and Western medicine.

Spinal manipulation is often called spinal manipulative therapy or manual therapy. This chiropractic treatment involves a combination of moving and jolting joints.

Spinal manipulation relieves pressure on the joints, reduces inflammation, and restores nerve function. It is frequently used to treat back, neck, shoulder, and headache pain.

There are currently over 100 types of spinal manipulation where chiropractors focus on forcing and twisting the spinal region. Some chiropractors use ice and heat therapy, traction devices, or even electrical stimulation.

The Difference Between Spinal Manipulation and Chiropractic Adjustment

The main difference between spinal manipulation and chiropractic adjustment is that adjustments focus on specific areas of the spine rather than on the spine as a whole. Because of this, adjustments can be more effective than full spinal manipulation for long-term relief.

How a Chiropractor Determines the Best Treatment

As stated above, unlike adjustments, manipulation does not target a specific joint or region. A manipulation that is more specific is known as an adjustment.

Adjustments are very precise, and a chiropractor will perform a functional assessment, providing hands-on palpation of each joint to locate any subluxations. This information is considered, as well as possible x-rays to determine the best course of action for treatment.

Zephyrhills Chiropractic Care

If you are looking for a chiropractor in Zephyrhills, look no further! Our chiropractic team at Impact Medical Zephyrhills is ready to help relieve your pain and enhance your mobility today.

Call for a chiropractic consultation today at (813) 706-5156!