A few weeks ago at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast, a colleague of mine explained chiropractic to everyone in the room using the phrase that makes up the title of this blog post. What I've written below was inspired by her explanation of that phrase.
Here is what an adjustment IS. An adjustment is a specific and safe force that is introduced to a vertebrae that is subluxated (misaligned) and thus negatively affecting the function of the nervous system. The body then uses this force to move the vertebrae towards its proper position which allows the nervous system to function better so the body can begin or continue the process of healing itself.
Here is what an adjustment IS NOT. It is not a magic trick that magically makes back pain disappear.
Think about this. When a person sees their medical doctor for an illness, they leave that doctor still feeling sick with a prescription and instructions to take a pill 3 times a day for 10 days. And then after those 30 "appointments", they may still be sick and need to go back to their medical doctor.
Likewise, a person who has hurt their back, especially someone who has never bothered to see a chiropractor on a regular basis, is probably going to leave still having some back pain and with a "prescription" for more adjustments. And then after those adjustments, they may still choose, and often do choose, to continue to go back to their chiropractor on a regular basis.
People often report that they feel better in some way after one adjustment (more energy, clearer thinking, breathing easier, and yes... even less pain), and that's a very good thing. However, the sole objective of chiropractic is to correct vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments) to allow the master control system of the body, the nervous system, to function better.
Whether a person still has pain or not (or any other symptom) after an adjustment, they can rest assured that with fewer subluxations, they are walking out of the office functioning better than when they walked in.