What is a neck adjustment?

A neck adjustment (cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure meant to relieve neck muscle tension, treat headaches, and align your upper spine.

Neck adjustments, and chiropractic adjustments in general, may be great alternatives to surgery and pharmaceuticals for certain patients looking for a less invasive approach.

The science behind neck adjustments by qualified professionals is much more substantial.

How do you know if you need a neck adjustment? You may need a neck adjustment if you experience any ailments such as chronic neck pain, shoulder pain, chronic headachesmigraines, Ménière’s disease, post concussion syndrome, balance issues, or any other health & neurological problems that neck adjustments have been shown to treat. If you are curious about if a neck adjustment is right for you, contact us.

Is a chiropractic neck adjustment safe? Yes, a chiropractic neck adjustment is safe. When performed by a qualified professional, neck adjustments are more about aligning the upper cervical spine than cracking the neck.

Upper cervical chiropractors use instruments to deliver safer, more precise neck adjustments than typical chiropractors. These instrument-assisted adjustments are painless and less jarring, whereas typical neck adjustments may lead to some discomfort for some people.

How does a chiropractor adjust your neck?

A conventional chiropractor may adjust you any one of a number of different ways. They may use their hands or perhaps a specialized table or other instruments to make adjustments.

A qualified upper cervical chiropractor adjusts your neck using very precise manual or instrument assisted adjustments — some table-mounted and some handheld. These instrument-assisted neck adjustments are very safe, very precise, and very comfortable.

Some chiropractors “adjust” your neck by cracking it somewhat violently. That’s their main focus, and it’s the wrong focus. High-velocity chiropractic manipulation increases the risk of adverse effects.

Are neck adjustments safe?

Yes, neck adjustments are safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional. Qualified chiropractors should be more focused on neck alignment than “cracking” your neck, which may increase the risk of blood vessel strain.

Upper cervical chiropractors use precise, handheld instruments in their adjustments, which make a visit to the chiropractor even safer.

Neck adjustments lead to stroke or death significantly less often than:

  1. Having surgery
  2. Driving a car
  3. Using ibuprofen
  4. Taking oral contraceptives
  5. Going to work

There is a 1 in 1,000,000-5,800,000 chance that improper neck adjustments may lead to stroke. (Some studies estimate stroke occurs in 1 out of half a million adjustments, while others estimate 1 out of 5.8 million. Many estimates fall in between.)

This risk is increased when your chiropractor focuses more on cracking your neck than aligning it. It is also important to make sure you are not at increased risk of vertebral artery dissection. Higher velocity adjustments are a risk factor for blood vessel strain.

This risk is decreased when a qualified professional utilizes safer, more precise instrument-assisted adjustments. Also, the gentler the adjustment, the safer it is.

Why does my neck hurt after the chiropractor adjusted it? Your neck may hurt after the chiropractor adjusted it because the realigned vertebrae have moved slightly. This can lead to soreness in your muscles or spinal joints, but don’t worry. It’s a sign that alignment has happened.

Benefits of Neck Adjustments

Side Effects

There is a small possibility that neck adjustments may:

  • Lead to muscle soreness when spinal discs move and realign
  • Cause strain on blood vessels
  • Worsen a disk herniation (consult a neurologist if you have a herniated disc and are seeking spinal manipulation therapy)
  • Bone fracture, if you have very brittle bones or osteoporosis and your chiropractor does not adjust their manual therapy accordingly
  • Can cause stroke or paralysis or similar serious complications, in the most severe cases

Of course, instrument-assisted adjustments from upper cervical chiropractors are a lot safer and more precise than typical neck adjustments.

When you get an upper cervical adjustment at Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic, you can rest assured that your safety and overall healthcare is our top concern.

Traditional Chiropractic vs. Upper Cervical Neck Adjustment

Traditional chiropractors tend to treat the whole spine with manual therapy, manipulation, and mobilization (“manual” just means using the hands).

Many crack your back or neck, which shouldn’t be the goal of chiropractic care. Also, traditional chiropractic adjustments may include quick, rough, uncomfortable motions.

Upper cervical chiropractors focus on the upper two vertebrae of your spine (C1 and C2, or the atlas and the axis), which are in the neck area. Using instrument-assisted adjustments, upper cervical neck adjustments are safer, more comfortable, and more precise.

Also, upper cervical chiropractors emphasize precise diagnostics using x-rays that closely follow patients’ progress after each manipulative therapy session.

Dr. Ty Carzoli owns and operates Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic. He is an orthospinology expert qualified in upper cervical spinal adjustments, but he is also qualified to work on the whole spine.

However, Dr. Carzoli has found that many health problems can be addressed with upper cervical chiropractic care alone.

Schedule a Neck Adjustment in Denver, CO

Set up your appointment with Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic for safe, precise, painless, instrument-assisted neck adjustments. We reserve Fridays for out of town patients.

New patient? Find out what you should expect and how to move forward.

Want to hear more about Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic? Our patients’ success stories speak for themselves.

20 million Americans visit chiropractors each year, according to the American Chiropractic Association. They are looking for relief from lower back pain, migraines, sciatica, car accident injuries, and so much more. You could make that number 20,000,001.

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