Many people experience some sort of back pain in their lifetime. If you’re reading this, chances are you are one of them. Back pain is one of the most common types of musculoskeletal problems. One treatment option is spinal manipulation or an adjustment but it should only be done by a professional. Let’s talk some about the spine, manipulation and why it is important to have medical professional like a chiropractor perform an adjustment and not be a Do-it-yourselfer and self adjust.

Spinal Anatomy

First, let us discuss a little anatomy. The spinal column is made up of multiple vertebrae. It consists of 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, the sacrum , and the coccyx (tailbone). They are all stacked on top of each other with a spongy cushion called a disc between each vertebrae. These strong bones protect the delicate spinal cord and the nerves that runs through and out the vertebrae foramen. The spinal cord and nerves send nerve impulses to organs, muscles, and other support tissues. It transmits signals to and from your brain for everything we do; regulating every job in the human body. In addition to the nerves, there are multiple ligaments, tendons and muscles that connect to the vertebra to move and support the spine and body.

Did you know our vertebrae can move in many different ways? A vertebra can move in flexion/extension movement, right/left lateral flexion or rotate to the left or right. Parts of your spine move in certain directions better than others due to the way the bones are made. It is important to allow a health care professional with the correct education and training like a chiropractor to treat the spine and conditions related to the spine.

Chiropractic manipulation/adjusting

Chiropractors are specially trained to know evaluate, exam and treat the spine and conditions related to the spine. They can discover which way your vertebrae has been restricted causing intersegmental dysfunction and movement restriction. An examination should be performed based on the condition and person being treated. It may include history, vitals, orthopedic tests, neurological tests, and more functional testing . Chiropractic or spinal manipulation is a safe and evidence based treatment for conservative treatment of back and neck pain. Self adjusting is not recommended due to complexity of issues that can cause back and neck symptoms.

Why Not to Self adjust

Certain conditions can affect the body in different ways which can be made worse by self-adjusting. Prime examples include the following: decrease in bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis, disc issues causing neurological issues, certain cardiac conditions and active cancer. There are a multitude of different conditions that have red flags or contraindications that chiropractors are trained to look for. Chiropractors are trained to look for improper movements and can correct them before adjusting different regions. There are many conditions out there so it is important to see a chiropractor and not self adjust. There are many different techniques that can be used to “adjust” someone.

Now self-adjusting does and will happen as some people love the adjustment. People seem to love the “popping” sound that can be heard during different adjusting styles. Every joint in our body has a capsule around it that contains gases and liquids. When you hear the pop it is movement of those gases and liquids in the capsule. Self -adjusting gets an area moving but it is not specific. It may get an area moving that may not necessarily need it. Next time you’re thinking about how to self-adjust, remember how delicate and complex your body is. Seek help from a professional like a chiropractor.

Athletes benefit from Chiropractics


If you have more questions about your spine and how it works, just give Fletcher Chiropractic a call or text us at 402.261.5766. We’d be happy to answer your questions and do our best to help you feel your best!  Contact Fletcher Chiropractic at or find out more information at