During a manipulation, the doctor places the patient in a position that isolates the involved joint in order to apply a gentle thrust. The intent of the adjustment is to increase and restore full joint motion, which subsequently decreases muscle tension in the associated muscles.
Chiropractic joint manipulation ensures that joints move freely and can function properly by slightly mobilizing the joint being treated, thereby normalizing motion-sensitive nerves, blocking pain and reducing muscle spasms. Joint manipulation can be a key therapeutic aid to achieving proper joint function and pain management.
Why is chiropractic manipulation effective?
Chiropractic joint manipulation is effective because it aims to restore normal and healthy joint function. In order to function properly, joints must move freely. When joints are moving freely and are unrestricted, they can optimally sense joint motion and therefore relay vital information to the spinal cord and brain. On the other hand, when a joint is “restricted,” this can relay inaccurate or insufficient information about the joint’s motion. This typically occurs secondary to injury or overuse. When a tissue or joint is experiencing pain, the nerves subsequently create a guarding reflex that causes the surrounding muscles to tighten and spasm. A chiropractic adjustment/manipulation helps resolve this problem by normalizing joint movement so that correct nerve information is relayed to the spinal cord and brain.
Healthy joints will have a high degree of freedom, which will allow you to select for more efficient, and adaptable complex movement. Movement patterning will allow for more variables, which means a better movement competency. You’re joints are bathed in receptors. So if your joints are able to freely move in all directions, your brain will receive good quality up to date information (uploaded information). Your movement development (movement competency) will get better. Good quality tissue means creating better movers. Thus articular maintenance is of the highest priority to ensure clean afference.
If you were a great mover at age 14, you probably will not be a great mover at 55 because entropy is going to kick in. All the joints feeding afference to the central nervous system means less quality information is flowing to the brain causing adaptable complex movement to diminish.
Maintenance of your joints is the most important thing you can do because you want to ensure clean afference. The information going to your brain will dictate output of movement. If you want good quality movement you need good quality incoming information.