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Commonly Asked Questions Series – (2) Adjustments

Can I go to a chiropractor and not get adjusted?

Frequently, while discussing consent with patients, and while going over various treatment options, patients are surprised when chiropractic adjustments are offered as optional, or when I suggest we avoid adjustments altogether. This is because many people think that “chiropractic treatment” is synonymous with “spinal adjusting,” however adjustments are only a small part of what chiropractic entails.

Normally, a chiropractic appointment will start with a comprehensive physical assessment, as well as questions regarding your health history. The intention is to arrive at a diagnosis. This is followed by treatment when appropriate. Treatment may include soft tissue therapy (treatment to the muscles), mobilizations (moving the joints through their full range of motion), manipulations (A.K.A. adjustments), other modalities (such as ultrasound, TENS, and heat), exercises (stretching, strengthening, balance), education and nutritional advice. A referral to another health care provider is also a possibility. Spinal manipulation is only one option of many!

Additionally, there are certain groups of people who should not receive adjustments at all, or those who should avoid adjustments to certain regions of the body. While this is determined on an individual basis, determining factors may include systemic or underlying conditions, use of particular medications, trauma, or severity of symptoms.

Therefore, if you are having an issue and are considering chiropractic treatment, but are concerned about the adjustment, one option may be to book a short, 10 minute consultation to discuss your condition and your concerns. The chiropractor may suggest various treatment options such as chiropractic, massage therapy, or acupuncture. Many chiropractic clinics will offer these consultations free of charge.

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