Chiropractic Adjustments make your Joints Stronger

spinal-adjustmentI had a client ask me a question the other day: “Can repeated adjustments weaken your joints?” I am sure this is something that many other people may have wondered about so here is my reply…..

ACTUALLY, the exact opposite is true. Loss of proper joint alignment and motion are well accepted and researched causes of loss in strength, control and co-ordination. This is without accounting for the degenerative effects that will occur over time when lost alignment and motion are left uncorrected. The moral of the story is that a correctly applied chiropractic adjustment with particular specificity to the joint and plane of motion lost will only serve to strengthen your joints.

A chiropractic adjustment is a force applied to a particular joint in a very specific plane of motion. The direction of the correction should always correspond to the motion or position of alignment lost.

Chiropractic adjustments are repeated with the required frequency until normal joint position and motion is restored, or as good as anatomical constraints such as wear and tear will allow. This is an important distinction to make as most people think that a chiropractic adjustment and manipulation are one and the same thing.

Manipulation which is taught outside of chiropractic circles often involves introducing motion into a group of joints all at one time in a predetermined plane of motion. This is what we refer to as non-specific manipulation. There is often a “one type of manipulation fits all approach“. It is for this reason that non-specific manipulation does not have the same effect as a chiropractic correction.

The joints of the spine have 6 planes of motion (flexion, extension, rotation and lateral flexion to both the right and left). Each level of the spine has varying degrees of this motion available. One cannot anticipate accurately with standard orthopaedic testing the particular plane of motion or alignment lost (what we chiro’s call subluxation) until skilled motion palpation of the offending joint is performed. Once this is determined there is only one specific type of correction (of which there are many to choose from) that will address the problem at hand. As I have heard it said if all you have is a hammer then everything is a nail. A skilled practitioner, just like an articulate individual will have a large vocabulary of corrective techniques to draw upon.

Chiropractic adjustments, for want of a better analogy, could be likened to medication. You need the right ones, at the right dose for the right period of time to get the optimal result.

While I have seen no literature to the effect of a manipulation weakening a joint I suppose it would not be erroneous to say that repeated manipulation of a healthy joint over time could serve to create a degree of instability. Having said that, I would expect that this would have to be with an abnormally high level of treatment frequency (probably daily) for an extended period of time (months to years).

In the end everything does come back to the level of skill your practitioner has, whatever the profession. At Better Health we pride ourselves on being up to date, well researched and evidence based delivering the best possible care to Sydney families.

Yours in Better Health

Dr Andrew Richards Principal Chiropractor Better Health

Dr Andrew Richards
Principal Chiropractor
Better Health,