16 Mar What are the cracks, doc?
Approximately 8-10% of the population visit a chiropractor with regularity. If you are reading this you probably have visited a chiropractor or at least would consider doing so. So, of the 2 million or so Australians that visit a chiropractor, what do they all experience when they are having their spinal check over? Or more specifically, what are the "cracks" that you might hear.
There are many different chiropractic adjustment methods. Some techniques use pressure so gentle that you can hardly feel contact. On the other end of the spectrum there are some adjustment methods that are pretty strenuous (For chiropractor and patient)
With many of the adjustment methods used you can hear or feel a small "crack" or "click". Many people love the feeling that this creates. But what makes the noise?
Picture a full unopened bottle of soda water. you know there is gas stored in the bottle but there are no bubbles and no sound from the bottle. What happens when you unscrew the lid?
You see bubbles and hear a whoosh sound as gas and pressure is released. Well guess what! This is a great analogy as to what happens in the human body with an adjustment.
In the human body our spinal joints have normal gases within them. As the adjustment imparts a quick movement, there is a pressure change in the joint and a human body version of opening the lid on the soda water happens. The pressure returns to the same pressure as before the adjustment over a period of hours, but the benefit of the extra motion in the joint can last for much longer.
The adjustment effects localised nerve receptors and nerve fibres. This impacts the brain through the nerve pathways and also the areas around the joint and can even effect the related organ areas through complex reflex effects.
Whether you receive regular chiropractic care, or plan to in the future, the methods used can vary widely, but the important thing to remember is that the chiropractor is always setting out to impact your nervous system, as that is the master controlling system that governs the entire body function.
Yours in Health
Dr Michael Bloom