Cranial, TMJ, Spinal and Extremity Adjustments, or manipulations as they're sometimes referred to, are the minor movements of slightly misaligned or somewhat fixated (stuck) joints. The objective of this therapeutic movement is to realign the misaligned joints and restore normal motion that has been lost for any number of reasons ranging from normal daily "wear and tear", stress, poor posture, repetitive overuse, toxicity or trauma such as a car accident or work injury.
All misalignment, if not corrected, tend to eventually lead to degenerative arthritis or chronic syndromes like sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines, TMJ syndrome, tennis elbow, heel spurs, rotator cuff, or disc disease and even disc rupture (sliipped disc).
When these misalignments occur in the cranial bones (skull bones), TMJ (jaw joint) or vertebrae ( spinal bones), they can have an overall systemic effect on the muscular and the nervous system. As the nervous system controls all other systems directly or indirectly, and as all pain is felt by the nervous system, such cranial, jaw and spinal misaligments and fixations can be the cause of many pains, discomforts and symptoms , sometimes missed by those doctors not trained in chiropractic.
The adjustments themselves are a quick release and realignment from the chiropractor utilizing the hands or an instrument to move a joints towards a more normal alignment and movement. This quick movement is usually without discomfort, especially if you fully relax. (We do have special instrument adjusting for those who do not prefer hand done adjustments.
Usually, you will hear a noise that sounds like you're cracking your knuckles, scientifically referred to as "joint cavitation". It is the release of gases such as oxygen and nitrogen from the joint. Cavitiation as such is painless and harmless.
For those who need an even gentler approach, the Arthro Stim pictured to the left provides completely comfortable instrument assisted adjustments without the joint cracking sound.
As with many therapeutic procedures performed by doctors, there may be some brief soreness after the initial adjustment or two, though usually there is not. It is important that you know this is usually of no concern, no more than when a person feels a bit sore after his or her first visits to the gym. Chiropactic care is much safer than medical or dental care. Indeed, it is much more dangerous to take aspirin, ibuprofin, muscle relaxers, pain pills or tylenol than to see a chiropractor!