A chiropractic adjustment is a highly specialized procedure your doctor of chiropractic uses to free your body from a serious form of health-destroying stress called the subluxation.

What is a subluxation? Simply stated, a subluxation is a distortion in your structural system that interferes with the nerve communications in your body.

How do you know if you have a subluxation? While there are some simple things that will tell you if you might have one, chiropractic education involves years of study and training for your chiropractor to master the techniques needed to locate and correct your subluxations.


When you first visit your chiropractor you will receive a chiropractic structural analysis to determine where and how many subluxations are in your body.

Once your chiropractor has determined the location of your subluxation(s) using various tools of analysis, he/she must determine the lux2following:

  • In which direction is the subluxation out of alignment or distorted?
  • What is the body trying to do in this area of stress and tension?
  • What is the minimal amount of force necessary for realignment?
  • Which is the best technique (style of adjusting) to use?
  • Are there any factors which would contraindicate or prevent the adjustment?
  • Is the patient relaxed enough for the adjustment?
  • Which subluxations are primary and which are defensive or secondary?  


An experienced chiropractor may quickly go through a mental “checklist” of the questions above. Chiropractors may also include in the checklist a certain “feeling” when an adjustment is just right. This “feeling” can’t easily be put into words, but when the chiropractor has you under his or her hands, intuition and experience come into play. This includes a sensitivity to the patient knowing that every person is unique. No two adjustments are ever the same.


Adjustments from different chiropractors may feel different. One reason for this is that each chiropractor is physically unique: some are tall, some are short, they have different sized hands and they use different adjusting techniques. These differences are natural when dealing with adjusting, for it is an artistic as well as a scientific procedure.


lux3But all chiropractors have the same goal—the elimination or reduction of your subluxations to reduce the stress on your nervous system to permit you to unleash your inner healing ability.


Your chiropractor is not really “putting the bone back in place.” The adjustment is unlocking the jammed tissues and nearby body parts from their stuck or fixated positions. They are then free to move where the body wants them to go. Only the body knows exactly where its parts need to be. The chiropractor can, however, make a reasonable determination of the general direction using analysis tools including motion palpation, study of the electrical quality of the muscles (S-EMG), imaging tools such as MRI and X-ray, biofeedback, autonomic awareness and others.


 If your body is out of alignment it is always trying to realign itself and return to a state of ease or relaxation. It is unnatural to be under stress or tension—it is natural for it to be released. Your muscles are continuously working to put your body parts back to where they should be. The chiropractor doesn’t actually put the part back in place—he/she supplies just the little bit of force needed to free it so your body will realign it.


As an example, let’s say your car is stuck in the mud or snow and its wheels are spinning and spinning. Then along comes a friend who pushes the car—the wheels finally catch—and the car jumps out of its rut. Now ask yourself, “Did your friend really push your two-ton car out of the mud?” Of course not! He just supplied the right amount of force in the right direction that the car needed to dislodge itself.


Do you have to be strong to give an adjustment? No, strength is not necessary—skill is. An adjustment has little to do with actual strength since the body is always trying to pull the vertebrae back into proper alignment and release unnatural stress from your muscles, tissues and joints. Most of the force is already there, locked up and therefore not moving. The chiropractor has the right “key” to open the “locked” areas. Just the right touch in the correct direction (at the proper moment) should be all that is needed. Some adjusting techniques use so little force patients barely feel anything!

A small female chiropractor of slight build can, with the proper adjusting technique, move man-mountains.


Not all chiropractors work alike. The chiropractic profession has developed over a hundred different techniques to analyze the body for subluxations and adjust or release them. Each chiropractor usually has a favorite technique that he or she employs for the majority of patients. Why not ask what type of adjusting technique he or she uses and why?

Any questions?  Call us.  (661) 942-5000.