Is It Safe to Self Adjust?


by Dr. Gurj Kalay

As a chiropractor clinic in Yuba City, we often encounter patients who have attempted to self-adjust their spine. While the immediate ‘crack’ can feel satisfying, the question remains: is it safe to self-adjust your spine? This blog post will jump into the safety and implications of self-adjusting and why visiting a chiropractor is a more effective and safer choice.

Understanding Spinal Adjustments

Spinal adjustments are maneuvers performed to realign the vertebrae, reduce pain and improve function. Chiropractors are trained to understand the intricacies of the spine, including the proper force, angle and direction needed for adjustments. Self-adjusting, on the other hand, lacks this precision and understanding, which can lead to potential risks.

Risks of Self-Adjustment

Excessive Force and Incorrect Angles

One of the risks of self-adjusting is the application of excessive force or adjusting at incorrect angles. Without proper training, it’s easy to use more force than necessary or manipulate the spine in ways that can cause harm rather than relief.

Overstretching Ligaments

Self-adjusting can lead to the overstressing and stretching of ligaments surrounding the spine. Ligaments are not very elastic; once stretched, they don’t return to their original state, which can lead to joint instability and increased risk of injury.

Creating or Worsening Misalignments

The ‘cracking’ sound often sought after in self-adjustments might temporarily relieve tension. However, without the correct technique, it’s possible to move the vertebrae in the wrong direction, worsening any existing misalignments or creating new ones.

Masking Underlying Issues

Self-adjusting can sometimes provide temporary relief from discomfort, which might lead to the false belief that the underlying issue has been resolved. This can delay the diagnosis and treatment of more serious conditions.

The Benefits of Professional Chiropractic Care

Expert Assessment and Diagnosis

A chiropractor like Dr. Kalay will begin with a thorough assessment, including medical history, physical examination and possibly imaging studies. This allows for an accurate diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan to address your pain.

Precision and Safety

Chiropractors use specific techniques designed for individual needs, ensuring adjustments are both precise and safe. This reduces the risk of injury and increases the effectiveness of the treatment.

Holistic Approach

Chiropractic care often involves a holistic approach to health, addressing not just the spine but also lifestyle factors, nutrition and exercise. This comprehensive approach can lead to more sustainable health improvements.

Treatment of Underlying Conditions

Rather than just providing temporary relief, chiropractors aim to treat the underlying cause of discomfort. This may involve a series of adjustments, therapeutic exercises and advice on posture and ergonomics.

When to Visit a Chiropractor

It’s advisable to visit a chiropractor if you experience chronic back or neck pain, after a car accident, during pregnancy, or if you have a job that strains your back. Also, consider chiropractic care if you want to improve your overall spinal health and well-being.

See a Chiropractor Instead of Self-Adjusting

While self-adjusting your spine or neck may seem like a quick and easy solution to discomfort, it carries significant risks and often fails to address the root cause of the problem. As a chiropractor, I recommend seeking professional help for spinal issues. Chiropractic care not only ensures safety and precision in adjustments but also offers a holistic approach to your overall health. If you’re experiencing back or neck pain, or simply want to maintain a healthy spine, consider scheduling a visit with a licensed chiropractor. Remember, your spine is the backbone of your health, and it deserves expert care.


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