The act of an 'adjustment' has been repeatedly shown to be a safe and effective treatment for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. The job of the physician is to assess the joint that may need to be manipulated and then perform a quick movement into the joint. Sometimes (not always) the movement will elicit a 'pop' which is termed cavitation.
The goal of the manipulation is threefold:
1. increase joint mobility
2. relieve pain and reduce muscle spasm
3. restore optimal joint function.
Manipulation is an aspect of treatment. All physical medicine providers should provide appropriate exercises/stretches in order to maintain any functional gains attained during active treatment.