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How Does the Chiropractic adjustment work?

Updated: Mar 7

Hey Dr. McNamara here with the lovely Carlee, and we are about going to talk a little bit about the upside of chiropractic adjustments.

So according to this study by the American college of physicians, it is actually recommended to start with treatments for low back pain and neck pain such as chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage before turning to drugs or surgery. So, now a little bit about the chiropractic adjustment.

So this is something we learned during school. It is something that only chiropractors learn how to do, and, we spend, three to four years learning it, depending on what school you go to.

And I can tell you what it is, a physical motor skill that takes a while to learn. My wife can tell you herself cause she was my Guinea pig, and at first, I wasn't so good, but got better over time, I got to adjusting more patients and practicing and practicing over those years I got really good at it.

So now I just want to show you a little bit about it, and explain what I'm doing as I go through and adjust Carlee here.

So I just want to start off by explaining the difference between active and passive range of motion. Cause that'll make more sense as I get into the actual adjustment.

So Carlee, if you want to just look over the shoulder, as far as you can, she's got pretty good active range of motion.

Now go ahead and look over the shoulder too, good. So Carlee’s not really missing any active range of motion. That means she has good motor control her brain is able to tell her muscles in her neck, turn the head. Now passive range of motion is going to your full active, and then you can go a little bit more into passive.

Chiropractic examination
Chiropractic examination

See that, now we'll do the other way. And you can just go a little bit more. So you have an extra range of passive range of motion. Now where the chiropractic adjustment takes place is at the very end of that passive range of motion.

We applied quick thrust and we beat the muscle stretch reflex, similar to when we hit your knee and you kick we are faster than that because that's what we train to do.

So Carlee, go ahead and lay face down for me and we'll get started. So we adjust Diversified here at McLaughlin chiropractic primarily, but we have other techniques we use as well. I'm going to show you the diversified adjustment and we're going to start with the leg check.

So you can see that she has a short right leg. That means she has some sort of contraction in the pelvis or somewhere at the spine and we're going to find it and we're going to find it by using the training we learned in school and that we practice every single day here. So I'm just going to check fluid range of motion of her pelvis.

Now we can see she's a little stuck as both legs are moving when it should only be one as I'm pushing on her pelvis.

So, I’m feeling for tightness, any type of lack of range of motion, how bouncing, and how springy the spine is.

Carlee's pretty flexible and she's getting little Pops here before I even adjusting. I'll start with the mid back and she's got some restriction through here.

So Carlee, go ahead and drop your arms down for, I'm going to place my contact hand on the patient where the vertebrae is missing with range of motion.

Now I'm going to have her take a deep breath then and applied quick thrust at the end of that range of motion.

You see that those very fast that's because it has to be fast in order to avoid injury and to beat that muscle stretch reflex.

So she doesn't tense up. I'll go through here. Can I take a deep breath for me… good, So now I'm going to take her to her passive end range and apply a quick thrust.

And I’m also going to check the vertebrae above. Alright Carlee go ahead and go on your side, this side up for me. This is a side posture adjustment, and you are in good position position.

Good, so let's do the other side up side. So you can see it is very quick. Alright good, now let's go face up for me. So I'm going to check her cervical spine. Now we got her mid-back thoracic spine and we got her low back lumbar spine and pelvis adjusted. Now last but not least for cervical spine, your neck.

Now, the neck has coupled motion, so when you laterally bend, you also rotate. So I’m going to find with vertebrae isn’t moving as well.

I’m going to make a contact, I'm going to laterally bend and rotate, and then thrust. We are going to do the same thing on this vertebrae That's also lacking range of motion and that is a chiropractic adjustment.

Carlee, how did that feel? I feel great. Excellent.

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