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Chiropractic Vocabulary Words

Words Used by Chiropractors to Diagnose and Treat the Spine and Back Pain


Updated July 23, 2014

The chiropractic profession has its own set of words to describe what they do. 

The main thrust of the work of a chiropractor is to apply a calculated force to spinal joints and other structures in order to effect a change in alignment, and therefore the functioning of the nervous system. The chiropractic profession believes that a well aligned spine positively affects the the overall health of an individual.

Now that you understand how a chiropractor works, can you speak chiropractic-ese?  Below are a few terms to get you started.

1. Subluxation

The subluxation is a term that expresses the condition of the position of spinal bones in relationship to one another. Subluxations are the main pathology treated by chiropractors.

2. Adjustment

The adjustment is the hallmark of chiropractic treatment. It involves applying force to motion segments to effect a positive change in the alignment of the vertebrae.

3. Manipulation

A manipulation is the application of force in a specific fashion. An adjustment is a type of manipulation.

4. Motion Segment

Motion segment is a more technical term describing the area chiropractors assess and adjust.

Date Created: April 2, 2006
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