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Terms Your Chiropractor Might Use During Your Visits

Dec 18, 2013

Terms Your Chiropractor Might Use During Your VisitsYou may notice that your chiropractor uses terms which you may not be familiar with. In order to get as much out of your appointment as possible, it is important to be aware of some of the most common terms your chiropractor might use.


This term is defined as a partial or incomplete dislocation. Usually it results in a joint that is only in partial alignment.


Many chiropractors use this term when correcting spinal problems, either by hand or by using an instrument.

Spinal Manipulation

A spinal manipulation is a forceful thrust that works to increase mobility by stretching a joint past its passive range of motion. It is usually accompanied by a clicking or popping sound.

Acute and Chronic Back Pain

If your chiropractor refers to your back pain as acute it means that the pain will last for a short period of time, usually from a few days while chronic back pain is an episode that is expected to last for at least three months. Learn more about chronic back pain and why back pain is so common from this article.


Whiplash is a term given to a variety of neck injuries that are caused by a sudden distortion of the neck that is associated with extension. Whiplash injuries are common in motor vehicle accidents.

Herniated Disk

This is a common disorder in which a disc of the spine has ruptured, most commonly at the weakest point. Most herniated discs are found in the lower back.

Sciatic Nerve

This is the main nerve that travels from the lower back to the legs. Sciatica is an irritation of the compressed sciatic nerve causing pain from the lower back to the leg. Learn about chiropractic treatment for sciatica from our previous article.