Chiropractic adjustments have been performed for over 100 years! The purpose of adjustments are to increase motion and mobility in a joint that lacks it. The importance of joint mobility (especially in the spine) is so vital because many muscles, nerves, and ligaments are involved! If there is a decrease in mobility, the surrounding and assisting muscles can become inflamed, tight, and form what is called muscular adhesions. Muscular adhesion is a fancy term used to say a "knot in the muscle". Usually these knots are one of the biggest causes of pain. Nerves also exit from the spine, therefore if there is a decrease in mobility, the nerves cannot communicate as efficient as they should! This can be visualized as a kink in a hose: some water may trickle through, but not nearly as much if the hose is not kinked. Any joint in the body could become "stuck" or lack mobility, therefore any joint can be adjusted (within reason). See below for common adjustments, techniques used, and frequent conditions that benefit greatly from chiropractic care.
Common Joints adjusted
Temporomandibular Joint (Jaw)
techniques Dr. O'brien Uses
This is the traditional "popping" type of adjustment. This technique utilizes high velocity and low force (HVLA) movements to increase mobility in the joint. This technique can be used on ANY moveable joint.
This technique is contraindicated with some underlying conditions, patient comfort, and other natural physiological changes with age. If the "popping" adjustment scares you or makes you uncomfortable, please verbalize this before the adjustment. Any other contraindicating conditions can be found and determined during the comprehensive exam.
This technique is a low force technique that is safe and comfortable for most patients regardless of underlying conditions and physiological changes with age like arthritis. This technique utilizes pieces of the chiropractic table that pop up and the Doctor will push back down over specific joints that are restricted.
Logan Basic is a specific technique that focuses on the kinetic chain stemming from the low back and ligaments surrounding the pelvis (near the gluteal region). The kinetic chain is described as a chain of events or a "trickle down effect" from one specific joint that is dysfunctional. For an example, you sprain your ankle and you limp for a week. The altered gait has now put some unusual stress on the knee, which in turn, altered the function of your hip, resulting in some low back pain. The purpose of this technique is to focus on dysfunction in the pelvic region that commonly causes full spine complaints due the kinetic chain. This technique is a very low force technique that is great for babies, kiddos, and pregnant women.
Other techniques can be used in place of certain adjustments like specific stretches performed on the patient and soft tissue work (Such as Graston, Cupping, and Myofasical Release) with similar clinical outcomes according to recent research.
More Populations that Benefit from Care
Prenatal care is so essential to allow for a more comfortable pregnancy and allow the body to naturally best prepare for child birth.
Postpartum care is beneficial for mamas for so many great reasons! Child birth (regardless of how you had the child) is traumatic for the body. Most moms can relate when someone says it feels like you did a full body workout for a full 12 hours non stop then proceded to be hit by a bus the days following delivery. Chiropractic care can help the body recover faster from child birth, which is so important mentally and physically.
Adjustments looks very different at different ages. For and example, babies get adjusted with a "massage like" technique to softly and carefully decrease muscular imbalances and better align the spine and cranium. Child birth, learning how to walk and move, and being a toddler is hard on the body, therefore pediatric chiropractic care can help keep the spine in alignment and free of restrictions.
Athletes/Heavily Active Patients
Care for athletes is so essential for recovery as treating the muscular imbalances can aid in the general aches and pains associated with training and competing, but also can help improve performance overall. A body that is "in alignment" and stable, can function and perform more efficiently.
Common Conditions treated by Chiropractic care
Low Back Pain
Mid Back Pain
Arthritis (pain management)
Numbness, Pain, and/or Tingling down the arms and legs
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Lower Extremity Complaints
Upper Extremity Complaints