Here is what an adjustment IS. An adjustment IS a specific and safe force that is introduced to a subluxated (misaligned) vertebrae. 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 function and heal more efficiently.
Here is what an adjustment IS NOT. An adjustment is NOT a magic trick that magically makes back pain or any other symptom disappear.
Consider this. When people see their medical doctor for an illness, they know that they will leave that doctor still feeling sick with a prescription and instructions to take a pill 3 times a day for 10 days. They also know that after those 30 "appointments", they may still be sick and need to go back to their medical doctor.
Likewise, people who are experiencing acute back pain or other symptoms are probably going to leave their first chiropractic visit still experiencing some symptoms and with a "prescription" for more adjustments. Then after those adjustments, they may choose, and often do choose, to continue to go back to their chiropractor on a regular basis because they now also understand that the health benefits of chiropractic care go beyond just the relief of symptoms.
It's true that people often do report that they feel better in some way after just one adjustment (more energy, better range of motion, breathing easier, better sleep, and yes... even less pain), and that's a very good thing. However, the objective of chiropractic is to correct vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments) whether or not symptoms are present to allow the master control system of the body, the nervous system, to function better.
Whether people still have pain or not (or any other symptom) after an adjustment, they can be confident that with fewer subluxations, they are walking out of the office functioning better than when they walked in.