Let’s start by tackling everyone’s big fear. The elephant in the room with every patient new to chiropractic care. What is the cracking sound you hear when being adjusted. Quick answer is… No, it’s not your bones breaking but if I’m being totally honest I’d be concerned as well if I was unsure. I’ll be the first to admit that YouTube “Crack Addicts” (Video’s of people being adjusted) and most, if not all, Bruce Lee films we’ve watched growing up really haven’t helped ease our minds either. Rest assured, there is an answer and I’m going to do my best to help explain it.
Let’s use the neck in our example. Between each vertebra, lies joints (Facet joints) on either side that connect one spinal segment to another. These joints allow us to move our neck in all different directions. Each joint is composed of two articular surfaces, a capsule that surrounds them, and synovial fluid inside (lubrication for the joint surfaces to glide against one another). These are the basics without getting too complicated.
I like to use the “Suction Cup Analogy”. Take a suction cup and press it against a sheet of glass – this is a restricted joint. High tension and limited mobility. When you hear the “pop” after removing it from the glass, the pressure is being released from under the cup and it regains it’s ability to move freely. This is the same within the joint. When distracting the joint and increasing the space between the two articular surfaces an elastic recoil effect occurs forming gas bubbles inside the capsule. This increases the joint volume and space between the articular surfaces, which promotes an increase in range of motion. Restoring functional range of motion to the restrictions of the joints can help to promote surrounding muscular relaxation, and decreased pain.
As the gas begins to dissolve, these restrictions can reoccur, that’s why joints have the ability to be adjusted multiple times over the course of care. At EPIC we don’t rely solely on the adjustment to correct the condition or issue. Using an adjustment is just one of our many tools to help facilitate the healing process for whatever condition the patient may have. The time following an adjustment is a great opportunity to help promote functional movement patterns and train proper muscle control in areas of pain. That’s why exercises and soft tissue therapies will always be used in concurrence with care.
I hope this helps rest your fear, and don’t forget as awesome as Bruce Lee is no necks were broken during the filming of his movies. (Not a known fact, but I hope so.) I appreciate you reading along and for more information, tips, and tricks to help ease your every day complaints follow our Instagram account at @epic_chiropractic. To schedule a visit you can book now at http://www.epicchirocare.com or call at (267)-534-4123.
– Tyler Barton, DC
Owner/Co-Founder of EPIC Chiropractic