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How Manipulation Works


If you've ever been in a car accident, played a sport, fell down or just bumped into something too hard, it's very possible that you are not functioning at your best due to a misalignment. While there are many potential mechanical or structural causes for misalignment, there are also chemical reasons. For instance, if you smoke or drink excessively or even just have a poor diet, the chemical issues in your body can eventually cause underlying conditions and disease to appear.

The following is a more detailed explanation of how manipulation works:

Based upon the scientific evidence, chiropractic spinal adjustments stimulate mechanoreceptors and nociceptors of the spinal joints resulting in afferent discharges and subsequently causing central modulation with an effect at the cord and brain levels. This causes pain reductions and secondary hyperalgesia (pain reduction in remote regions) which appears to be due to central sensitization of the spinal dorsal horn neurons,while primary hyperalgesia is caused by nociceptor sensitization.

This verifies that chiropractic adjustments influence the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. In the central nervous system, chiropractic spinal adjustments reduce pain by effecting the thalamus and descending central pain pathways.

Chiropractic spinal adjustments also create functional changes in multiple regions of the brain based upon multiple outcome measures that are measureable and reproducible. The areas of the brain affected by chiropractic adjustments effect the following functions: emotions, learning, motivation, memory, consciousness, homeostasis, perception, motor control, self-awareness, cognitive function, voluntary movements, decision making, touch, temperature, pain of the skin- epithelial tissue-skeletal muscles-bones-internal organs and cardiovascular system. This has far reaching effects in setting the foundation for understanding how the adjustment works in systemic and autonomic changes by being able to measure and reproduce functional changes within the brain as direct sequellae.

The evidence also reveals that only chiropractic adjustments (high velocity-low amplitude) render these findings and mobilization of joints conclusively do not. In addition, muscle impairment doesnot automatically improve with symptoms abating creating the necessity for both short and long-term care. This indicates that the deficits in proprioception and motor control, rather than the pain itself, may be the main factors defining the clinical picture and chronicity of various chronic pain conditions.

Reference: Studin M., & Owens W., (2015) How Does the Chiropractic Adjustment Work? A Literature Review of Pain Mechanisms and Brain Function Alteration, The American Chiropractor 37(8) 30, 32-34, 36-38, 40, 42-43

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