Snap! Pop! Crack! The sounds often associated with a chiropractic office. While potentially terrifying, these sounds are harmless and, despite several urban legends, the sounds have nothing to do with bone-on-bone grinding. Unfortunately, the sounds are possibly discomforting and may lead to people avoiding the care they really need. Thankfully, the somewhat unnerving noise has an explanation, which relates to the spinal adjustments and manipulations used by doctors of chiropractic.
Chiropractic or spinal manipulation is the tool a chiropractor uses to realign your spinal column or to reduce subluxation – the improper positioning of vertebrae and bone that lead to poor nerve communication. These procedures are used to improve not only overall health but also mobility and function.
While any procedure involving your spine is likely to cause some anxiety or uneasiness, that anxiety is likely magnified when popping sounds accompany the procedure. While potentially disconcerting, these sounds are not a sign of trouble or injury. The sound is normal in spinal manipulations because of the sudden release of air trapped in the fluid surrounding the joints. The proper term for this occurrence is joint cavitation. When chiropractors precisely adjust the positioning of the spinal, using gentle and direct force, the shift in position causes the release of air to happen. However, despite the reputation, popping sounds do not always occur, and they should not be a sign the therapy is effective or ineffective. Chiropractic care is a precise practice that requires continued treatment to work, and your chiropractor will help develop the best plan and timeline that works for your specific condition.
Do not adjust your spine on your own. While many people try to twist, turn and contort their bodies, hoping to find some back relief, performing any kind of spinal manipulation on your own is dangerous and possibly life threatening. Doctors of chiropractic spend years and over 4,500 hours practicing and studying the techniques for effective spinal treatment. While they may make it look easy, the process comprises delicate and precise movements that take years to master. Attempting to perform these treatments on your own can further aggravate underlying conditions, leading to long-term damage or worse.
Spinal manipulation is an exact science, and those experienced and licensed to do it should be the only ones to perform it. If you are interested in spinal manipulation for a chronic or sudden condition, then contact a local doctor of chiropractic to discuss your options.
Wikipedia, Chiropractic Care