Back Cracking: Is It Safe? A Doctor of Chiropractic Speaks Out

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Does cracking your joints hurt your joints?

If you repeatedly crack your joints the ligaments get loose, somewhat unstable. This produces laxity in the ligaments that hold the joint together so the joint loses its stability. Awkward micro-movements of the joint make it arthritic with the cartilage deteriorating. So the answer is YES, inappropriate repetitive cracking of the joins hurts them… not because of the “crack” but because of ligament and cartilage damage.

But when is it appropriate?

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There is a moment in the movie “Jacob’s Ladder” where the supporting actor playing a chiropractor gives a chiropractic spinal adjustment to the hero and, in Hollywood’s true character; the cracking sound was almost stereophonically broadcast throughout the audience using special effects. It made the audience shudder to their bones, with involuntary physical reactions and verbal responses (I will leave that up to your imagination).

More than half of Canadians and Americans have experienced a chiropractic spinal adjustment. Here in the Philippines, people are catching up on this alternative option. You’ll be surprised if not shocked to know that chiropractors administer somewhere around 8,000,000 (yes, 8 million) spinal adjustments every day in the world. This is a perfectly safe procedure WHEN IT IS PERFORMED BY A QUALIFIED DOCTOR OF CHIROPRACTIC.

Anyone else? Take your chances, it’s your life.

What is that sound in the first place you ask? Is it cracking my bones? Is it snapping my ligaments? It’s neither of those. In fact it is simply the change of air in the joints that move from a liquid suspension to a gaseous state when there is a vacuum formed by the separation of the fluid tension in the sealed synovial fluid filled joint. That’s a mouth full but it means that the “pop” happens when the adjustment creates a temporary vacuum in the joint, much like when a rubber devise is used to stick something to a smooth surface; when you pull in off the smooth surface it makes a popping sound.

Now, every time you visit your chiropractor and hear that crack or pop, you can be at peace and be a little less nervous that he or she is not grinding or cracking your bones, or something to make that ghastly sound. I say ghastly because that’s what some people say about it. Others say “Wow, that feels awesome!” Either way it is perceived, it is safe.

It is actually more than safe; it is smart to undergo suitable chiropractic care when there is something wrong with your spine. Now, if you hesitated to go to a chiropractor because you feared that cracking sound, you can relax, it is safe. If you hesitated to go because it is too expensive, believe me cost will only get higher as the condition is neglected and more damage takes place.

Back Cracking: Formal Training and Education

There are chiropractic colleges worldwide (mostly in the U.S.) that train people to perform these amazing joint adjustments. And just like medicine, it’s a long process (takes around 9 years). First of all, the school starts to prepare the student chiropractor with a historical perspective or philosophy of the profession as to why they are entering a profession that cares for its patients using only natural methods, or at least non-drug and non-surgical approaches. Then the courses focus on the neurology behind why a chiropractic spinal adjustment helps the patient’s own healing abilities to improve their condition and restore their health.

There are courses on basic anatomy with a special focus on detailed spinal anatomy. The spine is a functional structure that supports the entire body frame so there are biomechanical subjects to learn and understand the inter-dynamics of such things as the cross-crawl mechanisms, the interrelationships between the spine and pelvis; between the spine and shoulder girdle; between the neck and head articulations.

The outcome is an expert on the subject of the spine and its function.

Clinical sciences are the next phase of chiropractor training. This is where the manual manipulation techniques for the spine are taught. There are over 150 different named spinal adjusting techniques that I have heard about. Most chiropractors learn about 6 commonly used techniques and then migrate to one of the others based out of personal interest and aptitude. That is why people go to different chiropractors and get some of the same methods but also something very different. It is a most interesting Art and Science.



Source by Michel Tetrault, D.C.

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