There are countless philosophies and techniques available to the public through the chiropractic profession. From soft tissue techniques to rehabilitation exercises the options are endless. But the one link that binds all chiropractors amongst all the variability is the adjustment/mobilization.
The purpose of a chiropractic adjustment or mobilization is to restore normal range of motion to joints that aren’t moving properly (restricted). There are many ideas in existence trying to explain how joints become restricted but because we are an evidence based practice we’ll stick to what science has proven.
Joints are lined with tiny pieces of cartilage that are called meniscoids. These meniscoids can get caught on each other from time to time between two joint surfaces. This sticking together can cause the joint to glide improperly. Meniscoid entrapments usually occur when a joint is overloaded. Many things can lead to joint overload; poor posture, scar tissue/adhesions, weak muscles and nerve entrapments to name a few. Several problems can occur from the entrapment of a meniscoid including: Restricted joint motion, pain, muscle spasms, compensation from other joints, joint and disc degeneration (arthritis).
An adjustment consists of a quick but gentle force across the involved joint with the intention being to separate the restricted joint surfaces. Joint mobilization is a much gentler technique and can achieve similar results, but instead of a quick force a slow movement is used. The goal of both is to move the joint in a way that releases the meniscoid entrapment and restores proper motion back to the joint.
The “popping” sound that you hear when an adjustment is given is not actually what we look for. That sound is called a cavitation and is actually carbon dioxide bubbles being released from the fluid inside of a joint. A cavitation occurs when a quick stretch is placed on a fluid. Cavitations are seen all of the time when a boat propeller cuts through water leaving a trail of bubbles. We look for the restoration of the affected joints motion, the sound is just a bonus.
The goal of our treatments at Back to Health Chiropractic & Acupuncture is to fix a problem permanently, so not only does restricted joint motion need to be addressed, but the other factors contributing to the problem as well. These other factors may include: muscle weakness, tight muscles and scar tissue/adhesions.
At Back to Health Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we understand that an adjustment is a powerful tool but it is JUST a tool. We are certified in many other muscle/tendon/ligament treatment techniques aimed to get you out of pain and discomfort as quickly and affectively as possible.