To understand what the adjustment is really doing we need to understand what the subluxation really is. As you know I have said over and over that subluxation is previous injuries that have healed wrong. To be more precise when you have a subluxation event you get joints in the spine that are now moving less than they used to, some moving more, and some that are more out of alignment. This creates a pattern of motion that is memorized by your muscle memory, your spinal cord memory, and the cerebellum in the brain. It is essentially a program change in your nerve system, a new habit, a bad habit. And as with all habits, the longer you have it the harder it is to break and the longer it takes to change it.
Over time the habit becomes more and more firmly seated, more permanent. If you are a child the bones will actually change their shape to adapt to the new and bad habits. If you are an adult the joints will accelerate their wear and tear resulting in degenerative arthritis or what we call subluxation degeneration. And it becomes more and more firmly fixed into your nerve system memory.
These memories are abnormal motion and alignment patterns but they appear normal to your brain, so chiropractors often refer to them as abnormal-normal motion patterns. But more technically they are called negative neurological habit patterns, and if we are to have any success at correcting subluxation, these negative neurological habit patterns must be changed.
Enter the adjustment. The only treatment for this is the adjustment. The primary job of the adjustment is to be a habit breaker. Each one builds on the previous to slowly change the habit patterns established in the muscle, spinal cord, and cerebellum. It is a process that requires time and patience, much the same that straightening teeth with braces requires time and patience. It is a remolding, or a retraining process as the old abnormal/normals are replaced with something that is more normal. You can then understand why sooner is better with this, and why it takes time to make permanent change, and why we have wellness care to keep these old habits from creeping back in.