Approximately 65 million Americans suffer from back pain. Out of those that sought medical treatment, the patients who were treated by a chiropractor reported greater satisfaction than those who sought other types of care. Auburn Chiropractic Associates provides spine adjustments, therapeutic services, and conservative health management to treat pain and overall health. Receiving a spine adjustment can be daunting if you don’t understand the process. We want to ease your mind by explaining the steps a chiropractor takes to adjust your spine.
Before the Adjustment
Before the adjustment, your chiropractor will need to know the specific aspect of your spine that needs treatment. They will ask you questions about your health history, perform a physical exam, and possibly recommend taking x-rays. Prepare to explain to your chiropractor the details of your injury. Where is the pain? Did this occur recently, or is it chronic? Would you describe it as a sharp pain or a dull achiness? These are examples of questions to consider prior to your appointment. Your description and input are vital so the chiropractor has complete information to make an accurate diagnosis of your condition.
The spine is an intricate structure spanning from the base of your skull to the coccyx bone. It is the central stabilizer of the entire body. It provides protection to the central nervous system and transmits nerve impulses to and from the brain and to all major organs of the body. This complex nerve system provides the neurological commands that enable all our body processes. Nerve impulses enable us to walk, talk, feel, see, taste, hear and interact with our surroundings and each other. It is imperative that the spine is healthy so that your nerve system functions optimally to keep your body healthy, strong, and pain-free.
The spine is comprised of 33 vertebrae with intervertebral discs between them. There are five different sections of the spine. From top to bottom these sections are the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine sections, and the sacrum and coccyx bones.
Cervical Section: This section starts at the base of the skull and consists of the top 7 vertebrae. They are referred to as C1-C7. C1 and C2 are often referred to as the atlas and axis; they are what connect the skull to the spine. If you are having pain or mobility issues in your neck, you may need an adjustment in the cervical section. You may also need chiropractic treatment of the neck if you have headaches, numbness, pain, or weakness in your arms.
Thoracic Section: This section starts around chest level and consists of 12 vertebrae. They are referred to as T1-T12. These vertebrae serve as attachments for the ribcage. If you’re suffering from pain in your upper or middle back, you may need an adjustment in the thoracic section.
Lumbar Section: This section ends at your hips and consists of 5 vertebrae. They are referred to as L1-L5. Your spinal cord tapers off and ends between L1 and L2. The lumbar section is the main weight-bearing section of the spine. The nerves that provide feeling and function of your legs arise from this section of the spine. If you have lower back pain, leg pain, or numbness, you may need an adjustment of the lumbar section.
Sacrum: The sacrum is a triangular-shaped bone consisting of 5 vertebrae that are fused together rather than having discs between them. They are referred to as S1-S5 segments. The pelvis is connected to the spinal column at this section. If you are experiencing pain or mobility issues in your hips, you may need an adjustment of the lumbosacral spine, sacroiliac joints, or the sacrum.
Coccyx: The coccyx is commonly referred to as your tailbone and consists of 3-5 fused vertebrae. It is the insertion site for multiple muscles, ligaments, and tendons. If you experience pain while sitting, you may need a coccyx adjustment.
During an adjustment to the spine, you will typically lie on a chiropractic table for comfort. Your chiropractor will adjust your spine based on the prior consultation, exam findings, x-ray analysis, and palpation. The adjustment is done by applying pressure with the hands or a small instrument. This pressure will be a short and quick force on the spine to realign the vertebrae, increase the range of motion, or release pressure on nerves and discs. You may hear popping or cracking sounds during the adjustment. These sounds occur when small pockets of air escape the fluid surrounding your joints as pressure is released and structures move.
After the Adjustment
Once your adjustment is complete, your chiropractor will discuss preventative care measures. You will be provided with information regarding posture, exercise, stretches, and general health information such as dietary recommendations and stress management.
How We Can Help
At Auburn Chiropractic Associates, we want to help you live your healthiest life without pain interfering. For 32 years, our team has provided non-invasive, drug-free, conservative health care. We strive to help you reach your pain-free goals and educate you with preventative care measures to ensure the highest quality outcome. Request an appointment today to see how we can help you live your healthiest life. You may reach us at 334-826-2225.