By WIN Provider: Dr. Laura Custode, Chiropractor

Cracking, popping, putting you ‘back into alignment’. What is happening when you are being adjusted? Do you have to be adjusted if you see a Chiropractor? Dr. Custode, one of the WIN Chiropractors at both the Niagara Falls and Fonthill clinics, is answering all of your questions about adjustments.

What Happens During An Adjustment?

First things first: nothing is cracking, or being relocated when you’re adjusted.

An adjustment (aka spinal manipulative therapy) is a high velocity (fast), low amplitude (shallow) thrust that helps to restore the range of motion where it is restricted in a joint.

The ‘crack’ or ‘pop’ you hear is simply the release of gas from the joint when the pressure changes.

What Can Adjustments Help With?

Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and Medical Doctors use spinal manipulative therapy as part of treatment for many conditions such as low back pain, neck pain, headaches and acute rib pain. Spinal manipulative therapy is an evidence-based treatment.

There is high quality research to support its use. The best evidence is for use of adjustments in conjunction with other treatment modalities such as exercise therapy.

Are Adjustments Always Part of the Plan?

Do you have to be adjusted if you see a Chiropractor? Absolutely not. Sometimes adjustments are not the right treatment option for patients, sometimes patients choose not to be adjusted. Part of providing great care is taking into consideration your patient’s comfortability and preferences, along with the best evidence and your clinical experience.


Adjustments are just one of the many tools Chiropractors can use to help you move and feel better. Joint mobilizations are low velocity (slow), low amplitude (shallow) oscillations that can be used to relieve restricted joints in the same way as adjustments. Your chiropractor may also offer soft tissue therapy, acupuncture, exercise prescription, assisted stretching or modalities such as Laser or Shockwave therapy.


Still unsure about being adjusted or if seeing a Chiropractor is right for you? Dr. Laura Custode is offering complimentary phone consultations to answer any of your questions. Please contact the clinic to set up an appointment today.