How Do Chiropractic Adjustments Work?

Understand how chiropractic adjustments are used to help the body.


Chiropractic is a full healthcare system that focuses on using natural, hands-on care to restore, maintain, and optimize health. Chiropractic’s sole goal is to find and eliminate subluxations so that adequate nerve flow can be restored. While mainstream medicine concentrates on healing sickness through surgery and pharmaceuticals, chiropractic’s purpose is to optimize health through a non-invasive, drug-free method. Find answers to all of your questions right here to decide if chiropractic care will help you. 

What are chiropractic adjustments?

A chiropractic adjustment involves a licensed chiropractor manipulating joints in the body with special equipment or their hands. The procedure is also called manipulation of the spine or joints. It can aid in the reduction of pain as well as the alignment and overall physical function of the body.

Chiropractors treat a variety of nervous system and musculoskeletal disorders. Low back pain, headaches, neck discomfort, muscle pains, and other body joints can all benefit from chiropractic care. Chiropractors can use adjustments to realign joints and increase the range of motion available to a person. 

Generally, treatments do not hurt, but you can feel sore after, similar to after a workout. However, with time, the muscles will adjust and loosen up. Chiropractors can make adjustments on almost any part of the body, including the head, jaws, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, pelvis, knees, and ankles. 

Finally, chiropractors can help with more than just bones, many help with soft tissue, cartilage, connective tissue, joints, and muscles. While they focus on the spine, overall, they work to find the parts affecting individuals and help to improve overall health. Think of chiropractic care as a form of physical medicine with hands-on, active treatments.

Are chiropractic adjustments good for you?

Chiropractic adjustments can help in a multitude of ways without the stress of invasive surgery or other intense treatments. Here are just a few of the ways adjustments can help you. 

  • Reduce pain, headaches, stress
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Help with scoliosis and kyphosis 
  • Improve sciatica pain
  • Reduced inflammation 
  • Improved neurological conditions
  • Improved colic, acid reflux, and ear infections in children. 
  • Better athletic performance
  • Pinched nerves
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced sleep problems
  • Decreased vertigo

What happens when you get adjusted by a chiropractor?

As with all medical appointments, you will start with a consultation to discuss your overall health, a physical exam, medical history, x-rays, and finances. The first appointment may or may not include an adjustment as the chiropractor will use the information they receive from you to create a personalized treatment plan. 

After the initial appointment, you will get your first adjustment. Before commencing the adjustment, your chiropractor will most likely examine your whole range of motion, halting promptly if any movement causes pain. To achieve the adjustment, the chiropractor may press his or her hands down on the targeted spot.

You may experience a popping sound that’s completely normal. Most adjustments are on your back on a drop table that can move as needed. Appointments will take longer the first few times as more areas will need treatment. Treatments will happen between one and four weeks and sometimes can happen multiple times a week. 

Wear loose-fitting clothes for the adjustment, so they do not get in the way during treatment. Expect the chiropractor to lift your legs and arms, shift your back, and more. After the adjustment, you can expect some ache or soreness. Be sure to use ice or heat for comfort as needed

How do chiropractors know where to adjust?

Chiropractors utilize a variety of techniques to assess where patients need help and where they should be adjusted. One of the most used is palpation. We examine the patient’s response to pressure and manipulation with our hands. The chiropractor will also use x-rays and other technology to ensure a precise adjustment that’s both gentle and effective.

Among some of the tools available to the chiropractor are diagnostic thermography, which finds points of nerve pressure. Also, when the chiropractor takes your history, they can find what areas need work. Often, trauma can cause misalignments which can give a clear indication of what areas need work. 

Do chiropractic adjustments work for everyone?

Not everyone will enjoy the treatments or wish to continue; however, an adjustment can help anyone. Think of chiropractors as a doctor for the spine, although they can do much more. The only way to know if the treatments will help you is to try out a couple of treatments. 

What happens to your bones during a chiropractic adjustment?

The goal of this chiropractic treatment is to reduce joint pain and stiffness while improving range of motion, nerve irritation, and function. A chiropractic adjustment usually consists of a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust to a joint, as well as an audible release of gas (joint cavitation) generated by the release of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, which relieves joint pressure.

As the chiropractor pushes on certain areas, they will mobilize joints to achieve decreased pressure and increased joint function. Additionally, you may hear popping, cracking, or crunching sounds from the release of gasses in joint spaces; it’s not your bones! 

How do you know if you need an adjustment?

Several things can indicate the need for an adjustment. First, a sedentary lifestyle may indicate unnecessary pressure on the spine and shoulders, like sitting at a desk all day. Second, unexplained headaches could indicate a need, as can stiffness in the neck or joints. Third, uneven shoe wear and tear can indicate a misalignment. 

Next, new leg pain or an accident can indicate a problem a chiropractor can help with using adjustments. Chronic back, muscle, or joint pain can signal the need for a visit to the chiropractor. People who are athletes or active in sports can benefit as well. Finally, if you simply want to feel better, then a trip to the chiropractor can alleviate discomfort and improve your life. 

Why does a chiropractor crack your neck?

Adjusting the neck can help to reduce the pressure in the neck joints that can cause discomfort. Since the neck contains paired joints (joints have fluids that contain carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen that help your tissue and bones move smoothly together), which has facet joints that release gas in the form of bubbles, the release of gas occurs when the facet joint is stretched up and down. When your chiropractor carefully manipulates the joints, they can make a cracking or popping sound.

Why does a chiropractor check your feet?

One of the first things the chiropractors examine, regardless of your complaint or disease, is your feet. While it may seem surprising, doctors can tell a lot from your feet. First, the position of the feet can diagnose postural distortions and compensations from both weight-bearing and gravity. As your feet hold up your entire body, they have a lot of stress that needs attention. Feet can turn in or out, and these deviations give an indication of spinal issues. 

Second, leg length can indicate a structural issue, especially if one leg is longer than the other. Third, feet connect to ankles include reflexes, all of which can have an effect on the spine. By looking at the feet, doctors can uncover issues and provide proper treatment. 

What is the best thing to do after a chiropractic adjustment?

Before doing anything else after a chiropractic adjustment, start increasing your water intake. Next, give your body time to rest and get a good night’s sleep. Alternatively, try not to sit too long. Instead, try to stand and move at least every half hour.

Try to pay attention to your posture, too, as good posture can better distribute body weight. Add exercise to your routine, too, and pay attention to your body in case it’s trying to tell you something. Lastly, eat a healthy diet to nourish your body and keep you in good health. 

Why Choose Portland Wellness Care for Chiropractic Adjustments?

To help relieve neck discomfort, Portland Wellness Care employs both western and eastern therapy. We also have numerous medical specialists on staff, including a chiropractor, who may help with a variety of problems. When you visit our clinic, you will be given a treatment plan that is personalized to your specific needs and circumstances.

To assist you with feeling better, we offer same-day appointments and walk-ins. In addition, we can help you live a more pleasant life by encouraging your body to perform properly, from massage to sports medicine and more. To begin your recovery journey, call Portland Wellness Care today and make an appointment with one of our medical specialists.


Chiropractic care consists primarily of correcting the spine and body structure to aid in the restoration of the neurological system. Along with working with soft tissues, chiropractors can remove irritations to the spine through manual manipulation. Improve your life by improving the function of your body and spine for a host of health benefits. Call and schedule Portland Wellness Care today and start your journey to a new and healthy you.


Portland Wellness Care offers free consultations for patients who have questions, such as: What is the best treatment plan for me? What services will help me most? What the out-of-pocket costs might I incurred? How long will my treatment plan last?
or call us today at (971) 379-2455
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