Most back pain is the result of inflamed and restricted joints. When a joint is inflamed the swelling present impedes normal joint movement. The inflammation further restricts normal movement by laying down adhesions or scar tissue around the joints.
Chiropractors identify these joint restrictions by finding vertebral segments that are inflamed and painful. The chiropractic adjustment restores normal joint movement by freeing up joint restriction and breaking scar tissue around joints. This allows the joint to work normally. Swelling subsides from the joints as there is no longer as much joint and ligament tension in the area.
In this animation the facet joint between the bottom two vertebra on the right is inflamed. This is impeding normal spinal movement. The top two vertebrae are moving normally.
A chiropractic adjustment is a short specific thrust which restores normal movement to a restricted vertebral joint. This results in a reduction of joint swelling and pain.