How Do Chiropractors Know Where To Adjust?

How Do Chiropractors Know Where To Adjust?

Last updated on September 28, 2023

Chiropractors are highly trained allied health professionals that have completed an extensive 5-year university degree to become Doctors Of Chiropractic

Chiropractors are very focused on the spine and nervous system health. This education gives them the tools to detect biomechanical, and neurological musculoskeletal dysfunctions. This allows them to have a deeper understanding of human anatomy and how the body performs for optimal health.

Chiropractors at Ripple Chiropractic use specific observational tools to assess the spine so they can make an accurate diagnosis and know exactly where to adjust, which involves looking into the following:


Useful for identifying and locating abnormal postural deviations from both front and side posture testing. This helps us identify particular structures under too much pressure as well as the weight distribution of the body.

Muscle Imbalances

Locating tight muscles that guard areas of the spine where there is nerve or biomechanical irritation. Yes, muscles are important for keeping us moving but another important responsibility they have is actually supporting and stabilizing our spine/skeletal system. In our experience, muscles will often tense up to protect the spine if it is under too much stress

Spinal Joint Movement

Chiropractors can palpate the spine for restriction of joints (joints that aren’t moving correctly). This is also done by completing a range of motion assessments, and orthopedic testing in addition to palpation.

Functional Movements

By identifying the big key movements we use to do our day-to-day activities and looking at the range of movement imbalances from side to side. When there are distortions to our everyday movements this can cause increased stress on the body, in particular the spine and muscles. Over a long period of time, this distortion can lead to negative impacts on the spine.


Most accurate diagnostic tool Chiropractors use. This allows the team at ripple chiropractic to dive deep into the structure of the spine, looking particularly at segments that are misaligned and not moving correctly and as a result, are changing in shape and degenerating over time. This gives us a better understanding of exactly what is going on, how long this issue has been in the spine as well as what it will take to get things back on track in the long term.


Once a patient is fully relaxed face down on the table, they will use their hands to thoroughly assess the entire spine, feeling for changes in joint mobility, restriction, and muscle tension. These findings are what point the Chiropractor to a specific joint of the spine and then the Chiropractor will set up in a very specific way to perform the adjustment they see best for the patient.

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