What Is Chiropractic Manipulation Like, Does It Hurt, And How Would I Know If Something Is Going Wrong?

Ronald Glick, M.D., UPMCABCNEWS.com

Question: What is chiropractic manipulation like, does it hurt, and how would I know if something is going wrong?

Answer: For someone who hasn't experienced chiropractic manipulation in the past, more than anything it's just an unusual sensation where you feel a pop or a release as the chiropractor does his thing. Typically, what he's doing is treating an area of restriction, so there may be a limitation where these facet joints -- it doesn't open the way it's supposed to, or close -- and by positioning a person in a certain way and then doing the manipulation, that allows the chiropractor to restore motion to an area and relieve pressure on the nerve as well as allow the muscles to relax. It typically isn't a painful sensation.

The real key is for the patient to relax so that the chiropractor can address the energy and the force just into the exact area that it needs to be addressed to.

Typically there's not a lot of pain or discomfort associated with a manipulation. If someone is experiencing more pain or other symptoms over the course of a series of treatments they should certainly let the chiropractor know, and that may point to the need for other evaluation.