Chiropractic Subluxations and Adjustments

Written by Ron Grassi, DC MS ACFEI

Chiropractors believe that good health is determined by a healthy nervous system, particularly a healthy spinal column. Occasionally, vertebrae become misaligned and place pressure on the nerves exiting the spinal cord. The misalignment of a vertebra is called a chiropractic subluxation.

When subluxations occur, chiropractors use specific techniques to return the vertebrae into their proper positions or mobilize them so they can move freely. These techniques are called spinal manipulations or adjustments. During an adjustment, the vertebra is freed from the misaligned position and returned to the proper position in the spinal column. Once performed, the adjustment allows the body to heal and maintain homeostasis.


Chiropractors are trained in a variety of adjustment techniques. Some are done by hand; some require the use of specialized instruments. Since each patient is different, your chiropractor will choose the best technique for your condition. However, feel free to ask the chiropractor which technique he or she will be doing and how it will be done.

Some common adjustment techniques used by chiropractors include the following:

Keep in mind that you may need to return to the chiropractor's office for additional adjustments before you experience complete relief from your symptoms.

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