What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

Today, we are going to identify the who, what, when, where, and why to the chiropractic adjustment. We will also cover what we do as your Sioux Falls Chiropractor. When we break down the word “chiropractic” it defines what chiropractic is. The root word chiro comes from a Greek word meaning hand, and practical refers to action or applied. When we combine the two, we come together with done by hand. A chiropractic adjustment is a very specific maneuver, traditionally done by hand to correct what we refer to as a subluxation.

Who’s the who?

We can’t begin to describe what chiropractic is, without first going over the origin of our “young profession”. Daniel David Palmer, commonly known as DD Palmer, is the founder of chiropractic. DD was actually practicing magnetic healing from an office in Davenport, Iowa when he ran into Harvey Lillard. The story goes that Harvey was very hard of hearing and when DD pushed on the lump, Harvey could hear. This is the story told by Harvey’s daughter on the account of the first adjustment to what we now know as chiropractic. Since this moment our profession has evolved with evidence provided.

When do we Apply a Chiropractic Adjustment?

The vertebral subluxation sounds scary, but in reality, it’s just a fancy term we use to describe 5 things together. First, we have restricted motion. Bones simply lose their natual motion and get “stuck”. Second, the muscle tension from the strain by that joint not working properly. Third, we have the onset of inflammation. Your body is angry at the combination of restriction and tension, and inflammation is a natural response to acute injury to protect it from more injury. Fourth, we have nerve pressure. Nerve pressure happens when the tight muscles and inflammation take up space. This pressure causes a measurable decrease in the ability for that nerve to communicate. When the body can’t communicate with itself it leads to dysfunction. Finally, the harmful effects of dysfunction. Dysfunction is usually the first thing patients recognize as their symptoms.

Where can I get my Chiropractic Adjustment?

ChiroFamily is your go to chiropractor in Sioux Falls. Here, we take our time to understand your health, and also your goals. We listen to you on how you want to be adjusted, as there are many ways we will talk about in a bit.

Why do I Need to be Adjusted?

We mentioned in the subluxation complex restricted motion was first. Often times, your body has this restriction without you knowing it. It’s not until we start to see symptoms for people to say, “I need help”. As chiropractors, we want to do our best to keep that restriction from eventually causing the harmful effects our new patients often notice. Regular chiropractic care can keep your body communicating with itself to greatly reduce the risk of injury. With the mobility that chiropractic, along with exercise techniques to support our adjustments provide, allow our bodies to freely move without straining or forcing muscles and joints beyond their capable range. This will prevent injuries and allow you to keep doing the things you love!

Our Techniques

Let’s take a second and talk about the various techniques used here at the office. I will go over a very short and condensed version of what we do, but should you have any questions or are confused about how one technique works please call the office so we can better explain!

Gonstead Technique

This is hands-on adjustment where you get your neck adjusted while sitting up in a chair, your upper/mid back are adjusted lying face down on the table and your low back and pelvis is adjusted while you lay on your side, otherwise known as side posture.


One of the most common way people get adjusted because it is so diverse. Patients most often get their neck adjusted laying face up, but it can also be done lying face down. Your back and pelvis are adjusted lying face down.

Thompson Drop Table

This can look a lot like diversified, but with a special drop mechanism in the table that adds to the doctor’s adjustment, speeding up their thrust. A drop can be used for your neck, back, pelvis and even extremities!


A small handheld device that delivers a quick impulse that does the adjustment. Patients that prefer not to hear the “cracking” or want a lower force technique often to prefer the activator. It is very popular among kiddos as well! This spring-loaded device can be used on joints, muscles and also works well on extremities.

SOT (Sacral Occipital Technique)

Another great low force technique. This is a very in-depth technique that can build on itself depending on your categorization within the technique. This technique uses blocks that you lie on for your adjustment which allow gravity and your own muscles and ligaments to relax into proper position over a span of several minutes. SOT also offers cranial work, as well as trigger point therapy that affects various organs. Dr. Dani is working on receiving more advanced certification levels in SOT.

So, there you have it, a super quick explanation of the adjusting techniques used here at ChiroFamily. If you know you have a preferred way of being adjusted, please call the office at 605.359.0679 so we can get you scheduled under the doctor that suits you best. Some techniques may work better for patients in certain situations and can be discussed further with your doctor. You can also book online by clicking here.