2 Your Health: The safe spinal adjustment

Editor’s Note: “2 Your Health” is a new column in the SaddleBrooke Progress dedicated to health issues. Each month different doctors and or medical associations, from varying specialties, will be writing on issues of importance. Articles are based on experiences and independent research conducted by the doctors or medical associations. We encourage anyone considering changing medications and or altering medical therapy, as a result of information contained in these articles, to consult your doctor first. Robson Publishing, a division of Robson Communities, Inc. is not liable for information contained in these articles.

Dr. Craig Brue

The past few years I have been using two different chiropractic adjusting instruments, the Activator and the Impulse Adjusting Instrument. When I use an instrument to adjust the spine, patients will feel a light tapping sensation. The Activator is a spring loaded instrument and the Impulse is an electrical device. Often I am asked, “How does that work?” or “How can that procedure help?”

I have now been in practice for more than 40 years and I can tell you that there is no one spinal adjusting procedure that helps every spinal condition. Back and neck problems are unique to each patient. As I have told many patients, “Simple things help.” It is not about how hard you adjust the spine; it’s about how right you adjust the spine. Also, there are many simple things you can do to help back and neck pain that are related to posture, position, exercises, rest, ice, heat and gentle stretches. The body has a miraculous ability to heal and repair without aggressive, invasive procedures.

A chiropractor does not have to snap, crack or pop your spine to help you. As a matter of fact, the more aggressive spinal adjusting techniques are not always the best or safest adjusting techniques. Aggressive manipulation may be contraindicated with severe disc degeneration, osteoporosis and advanced osteoarthritis.

So how does a doctor of chiropractic know which technique is best? The answer is usually experience. The answer is also a thorough consultation, examination and x-ray studies. As I have told many patients, “To see is to know and not to see is to guess.” Your spine is too important for guess work. My advice: Don’t let anyone do spinal manipulation or adjustments unless they know exactly what is causing your back pain.

Chiropractic care is both a science and an art. There are some chiropractors that are very aggressive with their adjusting techniques. Aggressive spinal adjustments can actually aggravate back and neck pain. As a patient gets older, I usually find that the less aggressive adjusting techniques are both safe and effective.

I often compare an instrument adjustment to a mosquito bite. When a mosquito bites you, you really don’t know it; however, your body knows that something has happened because your body will soon have a healing response to that little bite. Similarly, your body will have a healing response to a very light spinal adjustment because it happens so quickly.

A chiropractic adjustment does not have to hurt to help. You will never feel worse after a simple spinal adjustment with a chiropractic adjusting instrument. If you would like to find out more information about painless spinal adjustments, please go to these websites for further information: goimpulse.com and activator.com. If you have any questions about spinal adjusting instruments, you are welcome to call our office for information.

Dr. Craig Brue is an author, lecturer and chiropractic provider in SaddleBrooke, Arizona.

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