Spinal adjustment, also known as chiropractic adjustment or spinal manipulation, is a procedure in which a trained medical professional, usually a chiropractor, osteopathic physician or physical therapist, manually applies controlled or sudden force to adjust the joints of the spine. The purpose is to properly align musculoskeletal structure to restore mobility after sudden injury or stress from repetitive motion. Twenty-two million Americans annually seek spinal adjustments from a chiropractor to relieve back or neck pain, or headaches.
What to expect
At your initial visit, your chiropractor will ask you a series of questions to establish your health history and determine whether your symptoms are best treated with a spinal adjustment. He will also perform a physical examination and/or perform x-rays.
Known as The Discoverer of Chiropractic and as The Founder of the chiropractic profession and Palmer College of Chiropractic, Daniel David (D.D.) Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment on Sept. 18, 1895, in Davenport, Iowa. He founded Palmer School and Cure (now Palmer College of Chiropractic) in Davenport in 1897 and died in 1913. He was posthumously named a distinguished Fellow in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic in 2006.
Palmer and others continued to refine chiropractic manual adjusting techniques as well as study how manual manipulation can relieve pain and improve function. While spinal manipulation continues to be a centerpiece of chiropractic care, modern chiropractors have developed a variety of practice styles, featuring different therapies and modalities, to address patients’ needs. They practice a holistic approach to health care that generally excludes drugs or surgery.