As I was talking to a patient about how their neck pain was decreasing and their hand tingling was getting better, I said let’s get those wrists adjusted to make sure they aren’t subluxated too.  This sparked an interesting conversation and a realization on my side that not all patients, and the general population, know that chiropractors can adjust extremities.

By extremities I mean shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles and feet.

The adjustments can either be done manually or with an instrument.  Often when I adjust extremities I do a combination of both techniques.  So why would a chiropractor want to adjust your extremities?

A lot of rotator cuff type injuries can be helped with chiropractic adjustments.  Even having a rotator cuff tear can be helped with adjusting.  Some studies have shown that up to 70% of people with shoulder pain have a partial tear in their rotator cuff and never even know it.  An MRI is the imaging used to diagnosis this, and unless the patient is hampered by the pain a lot of people don’t get that far into investigating the condition.

Tennis elbow.  You don’t have to be a tennis player to get this one.  Any repetitive motion with hand rotation can cause it.  Mousing, swiping a touch screen, sorting papers….

Carpal tunnel syndrome.  Your carpal tunnel is actually a band of ligaments that hold your wrist bones, nerves and blood vessels in place.  If the bones in this area get subluxated they can impinge on the nerves and cause pain, numbness and tingling.

Knee pain.  I see a lot of meniscus issues in my office.  Most of these are not severe enough to need surgery, so some aligning of the tibia, fibula and femur along with some soft tissue work can provide relief.

Ankle pain, especially after a sprain (a twisted ankle).

Foot pain.  This one gets even more involved.  If your feet, ankles or knees are subluxated it can cause you to have compensations throughout your entire spine.  We call this the crooked man.  Custom shoe orthotics can help support you better and make up for structural imbalances.  Custom shoe orthotics are specially made from a casting that is specific to your foot.  They are much more supportive and corrective than the Dr. Scholl’s you get off the shelf.

Crooked Man. Rotation of feet, ankles and knees can cause back and neck pain.