Are chiropractors all about the “crack”?
If there is one thing that a new patient usually knows about chiropractic, it is those loud “cracking” sounds involved with adjustments. These audible releases of gas pockets are generally known as “cavitations” that are the result of joints releasing gas pockets and popping, much like blowing bubbles with a straw into your drink.
I am here to let you know that not all chiropractors main focus is on achieving these “cracks”. When I treat patients my main goal is to regain proper motion of the joints regardless if I get that “crack” or not. While many patients attribute a successful treatment with hearing that distinct popping sound this can often be misleading as to whether the treatment was effective or not. There are times when the treatment involves a “crack” but was not effective at fixing the problem and there are other times when no “crack” is heard and the patient feels relief. Obviously though, there are many times that there is that “crack” and the patient feels immediate relief.
When I treat I use a variety of methods to help decrease the pain the patient feels and improve their function of the injured area. I will usually involve deep tissue massage to the injured area to help loosen the muscles from being too tight. Also, I will use stretches to increase the patient’s flexibility.
Other methods that I use include the Active Release Technique which involves pinning a tight muscle with my thumb and stretching it out. This improves flexibility, decreases tightness and breaks up adhesions (eg. scar tissue). One last technique I may use is the Graston techique which involves a steel tool rubbing against an injured muscle to also break up tight muscles and scar tissue.
At the end of the day, chiropractic adjustments are my main method of treating but at least you now know that I can be so much more than just all about the “crack”!
Dr. Alex Murray