Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation – “Adjustment”

The Chiropractic “Adjustment”

Chiropractors often refer to their specific form of spinal manipulation or spinal mobilization as an “Adjustment”. What distinguishes the chiropractic adjustment from other forms of manipulation is the specific nature of the “adjustment”. Chiropractors use a variety of tests to determine the specific vertebrae requiring correction and additionally the specific motion requiring correction.

The common goal of a chiropractic adjustment is to enhance joint function, specifically: restoring normal joint motion and position, muscle activity and as a consequence improving the messaging between the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system in what is known as proprioception. Improved proprioception has positive benefits from reducing pain levels, reduced risk of falls, improved sports performance and general sense of well being.

Proprioception is the concept of knowing where your body is in space (body awareness). Unlike the six exteroceptive senses (sight, taste, smell, touch, hearing and Balance) by which we perceive the outside world, proprioception is the sense of knowing the relative position of body segments are in relation to other body segments (our internal world). Through the processing of this incoming information regarding external forces acting on the body, the nervous system can vary muscle tension in an immediate response allowing us to move in a smooth, balanced and coordinated manner. No wonder so many athletes report the benefits of the Chiropractic adjustment! Additionally this increased proprioception has a sedating and pain relieving capability (via increased afferentation).

The early chiropractic adjustments were performed through the use of the Chiropractors hands and positioning of the patient to allow the delivery of a high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust. As Chiropractic has evolved over the last one hundred years, many new techniques have been developed. Today the Chiropractor has at their disposal a selection of ways to deliver the “Chiropractic Adjustment”, all with the goal of restoring normal joint motion and position, resting muscle tonicity and as a consequence improving the messaging between the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system.

Chiropractic Manipulation Techniques

At Spine Central we offer a range of methods and techniques, using specific tables and instruments. The underlying principle at Spine Central is the treatment should follow the needs and preferences of each patient individually. Some patients prefer the traditional chiropractic adjustments and respond well to them. While others, either due to their personal preference or there specific condition require a gentler approach.


We offer the following techniques.

  • Through the Chiropractors hands – Spinal Manipulation (High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Thrust). The most frequently used chiropractic technique, spinal manipulation, is the traditional high-velocity low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust. The manipulation often results in an audible “pop,” as chiropractors use their hands to apply a controlled sudden force to a joint while the body is positioned in a specific way.
  • Through specially designed instruments – Activator and Impulse instruments
  • Through specially designed tables – Drop-table, Flexion-distraction tables




Bronfort, G., Haas, M., Evans, R., Leininger, B. and Triano, J., 2010. Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies18(1), p.3.