There has been significant talk about self-adjustments recently. I consider myself to be a seasoned chiropractor with many years of experience. There’s not a lot I haven’t seen in this profession! I have yet to see a positive result from self-adjustment, so I am definitely biased. With that disclaimer, here are my thoughts on self-adjustment:
- I tried it and it didn’t work for me. My experience is the pain became worse and I needed to see a chiropractor to correct my attempt at a self-adjustment. I determined that if a chiropractor cannot effectively self-adjust, there is very little chance a patient will be able to do so.
- Patients sometimes report that they twist their neck or low back to self-adjust. Usually what happens is the patient will feel initial relief because the joint has been stimulated and it tells the muscles to relax. The problem is the twisting moves the joints that already move, and cannot correct the joint not moving correctly. Therefore the discomfort and problem often returns, encouraging the patient to ‘twist’ again. Over time, this could result in an area of the spine that moves too easily; and still hurts or hurts more than it did originally.
- Chiropractors seek other chiropractors for spinal manipulation. This leads me to believe that many other chiropractors agree that self-adjusting does not work well.
- Patient safety is a concern for me. We only get one back, and it is important to properly care for it to ensure a good quality of life as we age. Improperly moving joints create increased wear and tear on the joint, and encourage arthritic changes in the joint over time.
There is a recent commercial that asks the question, “What is in better shape, your body or your car?” I think too many of us would say that our car is in better shape. Protecting our spine reaches into how we care for our whole body. Are we eating right, exercising and stretching, maintaining appropriate weight and getting a good night’s sleep? All of these affect our health and the health of our spine. If we keep our spine healthy, and see our chiropractors, we shouldn’t need to worry about self-adjustments! I'd love to hear from you. What do you think?