4 Types of Chiropractic Neck Adjustment Techniques

4 Types of Chiropractic Neck Adjustment Techniques

Many people turn to chiropractic care to help ease neck pain. You might be interested to learn more about these adjustments.

There are four main types of chiropractic neck adjustment techniques. These use various methods to provide pain relief. This article will explore more behind these common techniques. 

1) Cervical Mobilization

Cervical mobilization focuses on using gentle motions around your neck. It incorporates the high-velocity low-amplitude technique which uses quick pressure to release an area. This adjustment is best for reducing pain and increasing your range of motion.

2) Cervical Drop

The cervical drop technique requires you to lie on your stomach or side as the chiropractor moves your neck. To prevent extra pressure around your neck, the headrest will usually drop. After your chiropractor prepares your neck for the adjustment, they will touch certain points, release the headrest, and quickly twist your neck. All of this is done within seconds.

A common type of cervical drop is flexion-distraction. This will release tension in your spine that could spread up to your neck. Over time, this technique will improve spinal flexibility because it places the vertebrae in their correct position. Most of the time, patients will start to find relief from their neck ailments about two weeks after their first flexion-distraction appointment.

3) Cervical Manual Traction

Cervical manual traction allows the chiropractor to move your neck in different angles to determine the best way to fix the area. This will also help them understand the right amount of force to use during the adjustment.

Unlike other neck adjustments, you’ll sit in a chair for this one. Your chiropractor will cradle your head in the palms of their hands and then quickly move it from side to side.

4) Soft Tissue

This technique is often used after a full adjustment. Your chiropractor will gently massage your neck and apply pressure to inflamed areas. This will increase blood circulation and prevent tense muscles from contracting.

All of these neck manipulation techniques are proven to be safe if performed by a licensed chiropractor.

What Causes Neck Pain?

Neck pain can be due to many things. Some culprits could be:

  • Poor posture
  • Stress
  • An injury
  • Arthritis
  • Herniated disc

When Should I Visit the Chiropractor for Neck Pain?

If your neck pain doesn’t go away within a week, you should see a chiropractic appointment. You might also want to visit them sooner if you notice a sharp pain when you move your neck.

Chiropractic Neck Adjustment Benefits:

There are a variety of benefits that come with using chiropractic neck adjustments.

1) It Improves Your Flexibility

A great benefit of chiropractic neck adjustments is that they can improve your flexibility. If your muscles are tight or joints are out of place, it will make it harder for you to move. This can limit your range of motion. A chiropractor will work to reduce poor flexibility by ensuring your bones and muscles are in their proper position.

2) It Stops Tension

If you suffer from severe tension, you might notice that your neck and upper back feel sore. Tension not only tightens your muscles, but can cause them to press on nerves. If too much pressure is on them, the nerves could send out painful pulses.

To stop tension, a chiropractor will feel around your neck and shoulders. This will help them identify areas of concern. After this examination, they will adjust your neck to reduce pressure on your nerves and to calm inflamed muscles. 

3) It Prevents Arthritis

Arthritis causes inflammation throughout your body. If not treated, this inflammation could encourage your bones to wear down. This won’t only reduce your strength but can irritate nerves.

If you suffer from neck pain, it could indicate that the joints in your neck are misplaced. If these joints aren’t put back in place, the constant friction will start to break the bones. Eventually, this could lead to arthritis.

Chiropractic neck adjustments prevent this by ensuring your joints are in place. With consistent care, your chiropractor will also keep the joints healthy by flushing out toxins in and around them.

Can I Do Neck Adjustments By Myself?

It’s important to not do your own neck adjustments. You risk accidentally damaging nerves and even pushing your bones out of place.

While you shouldn’t do neck adjustments yourself, you can do a few things to help relieve the pain.

What Can I Do By Myself?

1) Exercise

One of the best ways to keep your neck healthy and flexible is to exercise. Exercising will help your blood circulation flush out toxins and stretch out tense muscles. It also can help you sleep better because your neck won’t be in pain.

There are plenty of neck exercises you can do to improve flexibility and reduce pain. Many times, your chiropractor will require you to do certain ones after the adjustment. This will help your body recover faster.

Some you could do to keep your neck healthy include:

  • Neck extensions
  • Neck rotations
  • Lateral extensions
  • Shoulder extensions

Besides these, you can do a simple neck turning stretch. By moving your head slowly from side to side, you can safely stretch out your neck muscles. It will also help to improve your range of motion by releasing tension.

2) Eat Anti-Inflammatory Food

Most neck pain is the result of inflammation. You can take synthetic medications to reduce it, but they have their own concerning side effects. Because of this, it’s ideal to add natural anti-inflammatory items to your diet. These won’t only reduce inflammation, but can boost your energy and help your body heal faster.

A few you could add to your meals are:

  • Salmon
  • Turmeric
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Avocados
  • Peppers

3) Watch Your Posture

A common problem that causes neck pain is poor posture. If you slouch when sitting or bend your neck when looking at a device, you’re overexerting your neck muscles. This could lead to painful muscle knots.

To prevent this, watch your posture. Your chiropractor can give you tips as to how you can best sit and stand. They’ll also recommend that you limit the time you spend on your phone to prevent tech neck.

You could also use a neck brace. This will encourage your spine to stay aligned and prevent you from leaning forward, something which can stop strain on the thoracic portion of your spine.

Chiropractic neck adjustments are a natural way to reduce neck tension and improve your flexibility. If you’re interested in having them done, consider stopping by your local chiropractor.

References
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0161475401836915
https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.92.10.1634

Dr. Brent Wells - Anchorage Chiropractor
About the Author

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C.

Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.