A Chiropractic adjustment (or manipulation) refers to a Chiropractor applying a manual force in a
specific manner to a vertebral joint segment that have abnormal movement patterns.
The objective of this Chiropractic treatment is to restore normal movement to the restricted
joint segment, with the goals of increasing range of motion, reducing nerve irritability and
A Chiropractic adjustment typically involves:
- A high velocity, short lever arm thrust applied to a vertebra
- An accompanying, audible release of gas (joint cavitation) that is caused by the
- release of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, which releases joint pressure (cavitation)
- A relieving sensation most of the time, although minor discomfort has been reported (that usually lasts for a short duration) if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the patient tenses up during this chiropractic care.
It should be known that joint cavitation or cracking does not occur at times, typically as a result of significant muscle splinting or the patient not being adequately relaxed during the Chiropractic manipulation. At times like this, it is sometimes best for the Chiropractor to apply ice, have the patient rest, or do electrical stimulation and massage prior to attempting the Chiropractic adjustment.