When a person experiences pain, what is really happening is due to an injury or degenerative change there is damage to a tissue (i.e. muscle, ligament, tendon, skin, bone, organ…) This damage either applies pressure on to the nerve which then sends a signal to the brain causing us to experience pain, or the tissue itself releases chemicals in response to the damage which also sends signal to the brain to cause us to feel pain. This is why pain relievers work (don’t be fooled- it’s only temporary), their action is on the signal causing our brain to tell us we have pain- it blocks or quiets the signal.
Chiropractic’s action is also on the nervous system, but instead of blocking the pain signals, the goal is removal or repair of the disturbance, blockage or damage causing the pain. This is accomplished primarily through the adjustment. Let’s use the example where a person visits a chiropractor due to pain in their low back. We already know that if this person is experiencing pain then there is a nerve that is transmitting a signal to the brain to allow us to experience it.