Chiropractic Adjustments

The human body is defined by motion, and it needs proper motion to live and move well. Chiropractic adjustments can help improve muscle function and increase motion in the spine and joints of the body. But what is an adjustment, and what does it mean to receive one in a chiropractic office? 

The term ‘chiropractic’ stems from a Greek word that translates to “done by hand.” Adjustments are hands-on chiropractic maneuvers commonly performed as a therapy to treat musculoskeletal pain.  Adjustments, also called manipulations, can be performed to the spine and other joints of the body. An adjustment is an effective treatment for pain relief and spinal and extremity dysfunction.

The body’s soft tissues—such as joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and soft tissues—may develop adhesions, or sticky areas, over time.  These ‘stuck’ regions can limit range of motion, cause pain, and result in reduced function and performance of the body. Adhesions in the joints of the spine and extremities (arms and legs) can be uncomfortable, even painful. Limited or improper motion of the joints can cause the surrounding soft tissue structures to lack optimal performance. Restoring proper joint and muscle function with healthy movement will reduce pain and create a more efficient body.

“Chiropractic Adjustments” — Explained

How Do Chiropractic Adjustments Work?

Chiropractic manipulation involves correcting abnormal movement patterns in the joints. Improper movement patterns, or limited functioning of the joints in the body, can form from different ways. 

Some examples include repetitive or cumulative stress, surgery recovery, acute trauma or injuries, improper movement such as poor sports technique, overuse, lack of proper muscle and soft tissue recovery, and even poor posture.  The result is restricted joints in the spine or joints, which affect how the body moves and functions.

Adjustments are only performed by a skilled healthcare practitioner with many years of practice and experience. 

Adjustments use a gentle, quick force into the affected joint or region of the body. Knowing where to deliver this maneuver, what speed, and what force is necessary to apply to a region is why adjusting techniques can take years to perfect and perform.

You may be asked to sit upright, lay on your side, or even lay face down on a cushioned table.  This is necessary for our healthcare experts to examine the spine and find where a joint is moving improperly. Once a dysfunctional region or area is identified, a gentle, controlled thrust is applied with the correct pressure and direction into the affected joint or region.

This proper motion is often received well by the body, but there are times where the new movement may create some muscle soreness. This is normal, and temporary. The body is adapting to its ‘new normal’, which will ultimately create better movement and functioning of the affected area.

Adjustments are usually done by hand, although in specific circumstances, a small tool or handheld device may be used instead.  There are many types of chiropractic adjustment techniques, but the most common technique involves a fast, controlled maneuver manually directed into an affected region or joint. The combined impulse of speed and precision thrusts the joint to a healthier, more mobile range of motion. An audible ‘pop’ may occur. This is due to the release of gas from the sudden decrease in pressure in the joint, resulting in a joint cavitation.

Adjustments are beneficial for reducing pain and dysfunction while increasing motion in an affected joint or region of the body.  In fact, adjustments provide a window of healthy, restored movement in the body that can be beneficial for other therapies to be utilized!  This makes for a comprehensive and effective treatment plan. Many patients benefit from our approach to adjustments at Lake Effect Chiropractic!

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Who can benefit from chiropractic adjustments?

Adjustments are used to help improve aches, pains, muscles, and joint dysfunction.  Every treatment plan is unique and specifically tailored to what a person needs. In some instances, a patient may only need one or two chiropractic adjustment sessions. 

Other patients may have a more complicated or complex health situation or have health considerations resulting in slower healing. These scenarios may require more time and multiple chiropractic adjustments to fully reduce pain and improve biomechanical function.  Our Bay City office strives to provide the care that you need.

Chiropractic adjustments offer a safe way to return the body back to full functionality without extreme discomfort.  This leads to a healthier community in the Bay Area, especially for people seeking to move better, feel better, and find alternatives to pain medication.

Our team at Lake Effect Chiropractic utilizes chiropractic adjustments to help patients reduce pain and restore motion to any regions of pain, joint dysfunction, limited function, or decreased range of motion.  Adjustments can be delivered to most joints in the body, including the spine and extremities. Adjustments are performed in a safe and compassionate environment, with a focus on you.

What conditions can chiropractic adjustments help?

Our trained and experienced chiropractors use chiropractic adjustments for a variety of patients.  Every treatment plan is unique to the patient and involves a comprehensive evaluation of the patient to best address his or her needs.  Many muscle and joint conditions benefit from a skilled practitioner utilizing chiropractic care in a treatment. 


Some examples include:


Because the adjustment is a hands-on maneuver, if done incorrectly, it can yield injury.  Therefore, our team goes through intensive training during chiropractic school and yearly continuing education hours to provide high-quality care that is evidence-based, patient centered, safe, and effective.  For the best results, we may combine other treatments along with chiropractic adjustments.  Other therapies may include physical therapy, exercise therapy, soft tissue work such as Active Release Technique, and more, to boost the effectiveness of your treatment.

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Can chiropractic adjustments help me?

In many instances, yes!  During a chiropractic adjustment, our skilled doctors expertly apply a maneuver to a restricted joint in the spine or extremity. This helps reduce pain levels, treat the pain source, improve range of motion, and helps the patient obtain his or her health goals.

Because chiropractic adjustments are so versatile, they can be very effective treatment for back pain, neck pain, knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many other musculoskeletal conditions.

Over time, the joints regain proper functioning and range of motion, and the supportive soft tissues of the body in that region change.  Patients see a noticeable improvement in functioning including performing daily activities, decreased pain, and the ability to move.

Every patient is unique and valuable to our chiropractic office. During the initial appointment, our doctors will discuss your unique needs and create a specific treatment plan for you and your condition.

There are certain times when chiropractic adjustments should not be used.  Some examples include open wounds, broken bones, fragile skin, active cancer sites, history of stroke, and others. 

Our knowledgeable and experienced team is here for you, and alternatives can be discussed that are specific and catered to your needs.

If you’re in the Bay Area and interested in learning more about chiropractic adjustments, give us a call!  We would love for you to speak to our team or visit our office to determine if chiropractic adjustments are right for you.

If you are in the Bay City, MI area...

...Now is a good time to call the only office with a Class IV medical laser, rehab exercises, and certified Active Release Technique office for 50 miles!

Our Doctors are ready and prepared to get you better, faster, for good.      

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What Our Patients Are Saying

"For over 5 years I've really struggled with my neck mobility and carpal tunnel. After one visit, I was finally able to rotate my neck completely to the side and I've seen improvements with my wrist and fingers. Dr. Ashley was so wonderful and took the time to really explain everything to me. I have 3 visits under my belt now and each time I'm surprised with the progress we make. Can't wait for more!


-Sara from Essexville, MI


"Highly highly recommend Lake Effect Chiropractic. Dr. Ashley and Dr. Brittany are both very energetic and extremely knowledgeable in what they do. And Ms. Lisa is just a delight! If you’re looking for a place to feel comfortable while getting the care you’re looking for, Lake Effect Chiropractic is top tier!"

-Hannah from Munger, MI


"Ive had two appointments now w Dr Ashley with GREAT RESULTS. I have had some experience with Chiropractors in my lifetime some are good.. some not so good. This Office is FABULOUS ...if you are thinking about trying them out dont hesitate."

-Susan from Saginaw, MI


"As a first timer to chiropractic care I now wonder what took me so long. After just 2 visits my sciatic pain has improved dramatically. And being a lifelong runner this has been long over due. The entire staff is great! More to come."

-Ted from Bangor Township, MI