This is one of the most common questions I am asked in practice.
YES! As a chiropractor, I still need to see a chiropractor to take care of my own spine.
Even though I can analyze and adjust the spines of my patients, I can’t do this for myself. It is important to realize that each and every time a chiropractor checks the spine, they do it methodically, evaluating the bones and muscles for patterns of compensation and alignment. This is impossible to do to yourself!
It is also impossible to “self adjust”. In your spine, the bones line up, making joints with each other and moving in a coupled motion. When one of these areas gets stuck, or moves in an abnormal way, the joints above and below have to move more to allow you to do things like tip your head to the side. (As in the left side of the graphic below)
Self-Adjusting releases the joints which are already moving too much. (Center graphic) This feels better because it sends a burst of information to your brain. However, over time these joints can become hyper-mobile from having to work too hard. This leads to sloppy joint movement and early damage.
A Chiropractic Adjustment normalizes the motion in the spine by releasing the restricted or subluxated joint. (As in the right side of the graphic above) By maintaining normal motion in the spine, the joints are protected and there is less pain and restriction.
The next time you catch yourself twisting to “pop” your back when you have been sitting poorly or pulling your head to the side, remember that you can actually be causing more damage than help. Always leave adjustments to the professionals! Don’t “pop” your friend’s backs or give someone a “bear hug”, these can injure the delicate joints of the spine. I don’t self adjust and I am a trained Chiropractor.
Do you have questions about anything you have read here? Drop me a private question below or in the public comments.