During a manipulation, the doctor places the patient in a position that isolates the involved joint in order to apply a gentle thrust. The intent of the adjustment is to increase and restore full joint motion, which subsequently decreases muscle tension in the associated muscles.
Chiropractic joint manipulation ensures that joints move freely and can function properly by slightly mobilizing the joint being treated, thereby normalizing motion-sensitive nerves, blocking pain and reducing muscle spasms. Joint manipulation can be a key therapeutic aid to achieving proper joint function and pain management.
Chiropractic joint manipulation is effective because it aims to restore normal and healthy joint function. In order to function properly, joints must move freely. When joints are moving freely and are unrestricted, they can optimally sense joint motion and therefore relay vital information to the spinal cord and brain. On the other hand, when a joint is “restricted,” this can relay inaccurate or insufficient information about the joint’s motion. This typically occurs secondary to injury or overuse. When a tissue or joint is experiencing pain, the nerves subsequently create a guarding reflex that causes the surrounding muscles to tighten and spasm. A chiropractic adjustment/manipulation helps resolve this problem by normalizing joint movement so that correct nerve information is relayed to the spinal cord and brain.