What IS that Popping Sound?!?

The other morning I was watching an exercise video and my 5 year-old daughter walked in and started watching too.  It was cute watching her go through the motions of the exercises.  The trainer on the video, talked about a modification to an exercise and said, “… you can do this if you need to make an adjustment.”  My daughter looked at me with a puzzled look.  She’s been a Chiropractic patient all her life and the word adjustment has a very specific meaning to her.  Why was the trainer talking about adjustments?

It made me think that the rest of the world is probably just the opposite.  You hear the word adjustment and you think of fixing your clothing or your attitude.  But what is a Chiropractic adjustment?  This article will explain the Chiropractic adjustment, its goal and the theory of Chiropractic.  And yes…. I will tell you what that popping sound is!

The spine has three main purposes: 1) Structure 2) Motion and 3) Protecting the Nervous System.  While Chiropractors have a reputation as back doctors, we really are nervous system doctors.  It just so happens that the most important parts of your nervous system are in your spine.  The theory of Chiropractic is that the body has the innate power to heal itself and maintain proper function.  The nervous system is central to this function.  When there is interference in the nervous system it compromises the body’s ability to carry out its innate functions.  Interference can be caused by altered or restricted motion in segments of the spine.  This is called joint dysfunction or subluxation

The primary treatment of Chiropractic is the adjustment (also called spinal manipulation).  When joint dysfunction is detected the doctor will contact that joint in a specific way and deliver a shallow but quick thrust.  The thrust is deep enough to move the joint through its full range of motion, causing a release of the tension in the joint and interference in the nervous system.  Is that simple or what?

Chiropractic adjustments are routinely used to treat back pain, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, pinched nerves, and many other musculoskeletal (that’s muscle and joint) problems.  There is a lot of scientific evidence to support Chiropractic adjustments.  It’s the most researched method for the treatment of low back pain.  This research has shown it to be superior to ibuprofen, muscle relaxers, exercise and surgery for many of these types of problems considering cost, effectiveness and risk.  Speaking of risk… the likelihood of side effects and serious complications are minute when compared to other options.  It’s not to say that there is no risk; there is just no laundry list of bad things that may happen to you like you’d see on drug commercials (such as bloating, dryness, diarrhea, heart attack, blindness, bleeding out various orifices, etc). 

Now… the popping sound.  It’s not the sound of bones crunching, cracking, or breaking.  It’s not harmful.  The sound happens when surface tension of joint fluid breaks, causing the gas in the joint to expand with a little pop.  If this explanation is too complicated think about when you click your tongue at the top of your mouth.  It’s the same principle. 

Adjustments should be performed by trained and licensed health care professionals only.  This is the best way to minimize risk and ensure that you receive the benefits described in the literature and this article.  For more information you can contact me, Dr. Young at Body of Health.  (541) 753-1287 or [email protected].  I’ll be happy to answer your questions about Chiropractic adjustments and unleashing the innate power of your nervous system.

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