A spinal adjustment or spinal manipulation applies controlled pressure to normalize muscles, ligaments, pressure points and vertebrae in the spinal column. This may also involve pelvic realignments, which can relieve an unsteady, painful or misaligned gait, and trouble sitting or standing. Adjusting misalignments in the spine reduces pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, and tension that can lead to other health issues.

Spinal adjustments are applied to certain vertebrae of the spine which are no longer in their proper position or where functioning has become impaired. Vertebrae which lose their normal position or proper motion are commonly termed vertebral subluxations. The chiropractor uses a number of unique tests and procedures to determine which, if any, vertebrae are subluxated. If subluxations are found, immediate correction is generally indicated. Since like cavities subluxations are not always painful during the initial stages, even those who are not experiencing back or neck discomfort should receive periodic spinal checkups.