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Understanding the Chiropractic Adjustment

What Is All the Noise About!?

Brought To You by Clarksville Chiropractic

Most people are confused about Chiropractic and how it works.  Truthfully, most chiropractic patients aren’t worried about the reason it works, they just know it makes them feel better, and for some odd reason, tends to clear up other health issues such as headaches, constipation, IBS, the list goes on.  While some have the ‘ignorance is bliss’ attitude toward chiropractic, this lack of understanding is a big reason why many people hesitate to seek out chiropractic care for their ailments.  So let me put your mind at ease about the most common chiropractic question, “What is the popping noise?”

First, the “popping” sound, medically known as a cavitation, is no more than a gas bubble being released from the joint space as it’s taken past its typical end range of motion for a brief instant.  It is not your bones cracking together.  In fact, the spongy material that prevents your bones from rubbing together, the cartilage, greatly benefits from this increase in motion and delays the degeneration of this cartilage.  There are other techniques chiropractors can use that will not result in this popping sound if you just aren’t comfortable with this, and you can still benefit from the wonderful results our patients see.

“I can pop my own back, thank you very much.  I don’t need to pay someone to do that.”  As a chiropractor I’ve heard this a lot.  What most people don’t understand is how specific the chiropractic adjust is.  It’s a matter of getting a specific segment moving, while stabilizing those that are compensating for its lack of movement.  Simply put, if one joint in your body isn’t moving enough, another one will move too much in an attempt to make up for the lack of motion.  Both scenarios increase your risk of injury and early degeneration.  When you do pop your own spine, what you are likely doing is moving the already mobile segments, which will give you temporary relief.  Because the fixated segment still isn’t moving, the muscles around that segment again tighten up and you feel the need to pop your back 30 minutes later.  If you find yourself popping your own back a half a dozen times a day, you are creating instability in the spine which will put you at an increased risk for injury.

This explanation still doesn’t explain how chiropractic cures other health issues like ear infections in babies, or constipation in adults.  This reason lies in the power of your nervous system.  The function of every organ, tissue, and cell requires a nervous system working on all cylinders.  When functioning properly, your nervous system has the ability to heal tears, fight disease, and combat stress.  However, when you have segments of the spine which aren’t moving properly, the area around these joints become irritated.  You now develop inflammation and irritation surrounding a segment of the spinal nerves which will causes the nerve to “over react”, and depending on the destination of the irritated nerves, this may result in a muscle spasm of the back, headaches, or maybe constipation.   Regardless, there IS going to be some form of irritation which will cause the body to not function properly.  With specific adjustments, the Chiropractic Physician can restore proper motion, therefore, restoring proper function to the nervous system.  The true healing is done by the person’s nervous system, not by the adjustment.

Another huge reason to visit your chiropractor is for the education.  Everyone wants a home remedy, or something THEY can do to keep themselves from getting back into their current condition.  At Clarksville Chiropractic we provide you with health tips (everything from exercises, to stretching, to nutritional advice) that allow you to stay out of pain and function better than ever!  There is more to chiropractic than just the adjustment.  If you are looking for answers on the internet, be prepared to sift through a sea of bogus claims, articles that not only lack evidence, but are written by people who simply regurgitate poorly written posts, and bias information.  Do your health a favor and seek some guidance from a trusted professional.

Stay healthy my friends.


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Clarksville Chiropractic Center is excited to announce the expansion of our clinic to include physical medicine. Montgomery County and surrounding areas will now have a truly holistic and integrated approach to managing their health.