What Exactly Is A Spinal Adjustment?

Chiropractor performing spinal adjustment

A spinal adjustment, also referred to as spinal manipulation, is a technique for correcting spinal joint abnormalities that is unique to chiropractic medicine. No matter how a spinal adjustment is performed, the intention is to correct the alignment of the vertebrae to relieve pain and discomfort while improving overall well-being.

The Process Of A Spinal Adjustment

The process of a spinal adjustment has undergone significant evolution as the field has increased in popularity. The most common technique used for spinal manipulation involves high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust, however, not all techniques call for this type of movement. Spinal adjustments fall into a few different categories.

  • Toggle Drop – This adjustment method is what many think of when they think of the chiropractor. The chiropractor uses a quick thrusting motion to adjust the spine and improve mobility.
  • Lumbar Roll – This technique puts the patient on their side and the chiropractor uses a quick, twisting pressure to realign vertebra.
  • Table/Instrument Spinal Adjustment – Chiropractors can utilize specialized instruments that operate by spring loaded activation to perform a more gentle method of manipulation. This technique is often referred to as a “no-pop” adjustment.

Spinal Adjustment FAQ

Is Spinal Adjustment Safe?

This is a common question we receive from patients who are apprehensive to try this kind of adjustment. It is a perfectly safe option for patients when performed by a trained specialist, like a chiropractor.

Who Should Get An Adjustment?

Patients who are struggling with low back pain, neck pain, or headaches, often find the most benefit from an adjustment. However, it can be beneficial in treating a variety of problems. Especially with many of us sitting at a desk all day, back adjustments can help you unwind and relieve any tension caused by your everyday life.

Who Should NOT Get A Spinal Adjustment?

This kind of adjustment is not for everyone. Those with osteoporosis, cancer of the spine, or blood disorders should ask their treating physician before seeking chiropractic care.

How Many Adjustments Do I Need?

Every patient is different. Often, a series of chiropractic treatments over a period of time help patients get the most benefit from their spinal adjustment.

What Should I Expect During This Kind of a Chiropractic Appointment?

Check out our blog on this question here.

How Long Will A Spinal Adjustment Take?

Typically, the adjustment process will take about 15 minutes. In some cases, your chiropractor may recommend additional treatments, such as massage, electrical stimulation, or stretching, that may add to your appointment time.

What Should I Do After My Appointment?

You may experience some soreness in the parts of the body that were treated. You’ll want to take it easy following your adjustment and be sure to drink plenty of water to flush out any toxins that were released during your adjustment.


A back adjustment can be highly beneficial when added to your regular self-care or pain relief routine. A trained specialist can help you identify underlying problems that may be causing you discomfort to help you improve your overall wellness.


If you’re interested in the benefits a spinal adjustment can offer you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Funk at Ideal Health today!