Is Your Chiropractor Adjusting Your Neck Correctly?

Whether it's from whiplash, a herniated disc, or a poor sleeping posture, many of us have experienced neck pain. A recent article in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders reported that neck pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders, with a prevalence rate of 27 per 1,000. Chiropractors are known for helping their patients heal and get pain relief from several musculoskeletal conditions, including the neck. According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractors focus on treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system and nervous system that include: neck pain, back pain, and pain in the joints of the arms or legs. 

A recent article in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics concluded that chiropractic care improved the outcome for acute and chronic neck pain treatments. A chiropractic neck adjustment is just one of the ways your chiropractor may help relieve your neck pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, a chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which chiropractors use their hands or a small instrument to improve spinal motion and physical function.

Your chiropractor has gone through extensive training

Many of us enjoy the immediate relief experience, and even the sound we hear, during a chiropractic neck adjustment. Some of us even get a sense of satisfaction from watching YouTube videos of someone else getting a chiropractic adjustment. If you've ever wondered about your chiropractor's qualifications when it comes to adjusting your neck, this should help put your mind at ease. 

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that chiropractors must attend an accredited chiropractic school for four years to obtain a doctorate of chiropractic (D.C.) degree. During that time, chiropractic students complete extensive coursework in anatomy and physiology while being trained to perform clinical adjustment techniques. A part of their graduation requirements includes adjusting hundreds of patients. After successfully completing their coursework, chiropractors must pass a rigorous four-part board exam before they become licensed to perform any kind of adjustment on patients.

Neck adjustments may look and feel different

Whether you experienced a neck adjustment in real life or have seen them performed virtually, you have probably noticed it done in several different ways. This can leave you wondering if your chiropractor is adjusting your neck correctly. According to SPINE-health, chiropractors use more than 100 adjustment techniques but usually focus on eight to ten in their practice. Depending on which chiropractor you visit, a chiropractic neck adjustments may look and feel different. 

Stephen Youmans, D.C., reports that the most frequently used chiropractic technique is the high-velocity, low amplitude thrust (HVLA). This type of adjustment is when the chiropractor applies a specific force using their hands, and that satisfying popping sound is heard (via SPINE-health). The other kind of adjustment is a low-force adjustment that usually doesn't involve a thrust or twisting motion. Your chiropractor's technique to adjust your neck should help relieve your pain. If a technique causes discomfort or worsens symptoms, your chiropractor will likely use a different technique to adjust your neck. Your neck pain is literally in good hands with a chiropractor.