First lets go over what an adjustment is. Sometimes patients have the idea that when the come in for a chiropractic adjustment, that I have to figure out what vertebrae is out of place and “crack” it back into place. I like to explain to patients that the adjustment is more about relieving restrictions in the spinal joints. There are spinal joints, or facet joints, between each vertebrae of the spinal column. They allow the spine to bend forward and backward, and for turning and twisting from left to right. When we don’t move enough in our daily lives, these joints lose some normal range of motion. This lack of range of motion can cause these joints to become achy and stiff, and this in turn, will cause the muscles around that joint to become tight. When these muscles are tight for too long they become very achy. Think about how your shoulder would feel if you held your arm out straight to the side for an hour. The muscles surrounding these achy joints will remain tight and achy as long as the joints are stiff, without normal range of motion. The adjustment provides very specific movement through the joints and allows full range of motion to be restored. As soon as the joints are adjusted and range of motion restored, the muscles surrounding those joints will reflexively relax, and the achy burning pain will relieve. This is why when you receive a proper adjustment, you feel that instantaneous relief of tension in the neck or lower back. If the joints are achy and in need of an adjustment, muscles surrounding them will remain tight and very sore. Most of us have jobs were we spend a great deal of time sitting and working, without much movement, causing many of our spinal joints in the neck and upper and lower back to stiffen up and become restricted in their motion. Periodic chiropractic treatments help to alleviate these restrictions and allow full range of motion to be restored, thus allowing us to feel better on a regular basis.