Adjustment and Manipulation: What's the difference?

OptiStart Chiropractic
March 29, 2018

An adjustment is a procedure used to correct a Subluxation. A Subluxation is a specific joint dysfunction, which is affecting our nervous system’s ability to process. A manipulation is a procedure that is used to increase a joint’s range of motion. These differences may seem trivial, at first glance, but there are several reasons why the differences are important. 

The first is that an adjustment is specific – it is precise in nature – once the three dimensional nature of the subluxation has been determined, a very exact input can be created to correct the problem. A manipulation is non-specific in nature. 

The second is that an adjustment can be applied with very little pressure, requiring no cavitation (crack/noise), therefore those who don’t like noise can still have their subluxations corrected. All adjustments should be comfortable in nature. 

Thirdly, the intention of the adjustment is to remove nerve interference, allowing the body to find a better state of ease, from the inside-out. The intention of a manipulation is to “make things move,” making it a musculoskeletal “treatment” for physical problems, from the “outside in.”

So when explaining what we do to others, and when talking about Chiropractic, be sure to realise that our practice is different, our intention is different, and the only procedures we’ll apply are specific, comfortable, intentioned adjustments.