This is the biggest misconception about what happens when you receive a chiropractic adjustment. Most people think that the “popping” sound you hear when you are receiving an adjustment is the sound of your bones cracking or popping when, in reality, this isn’t what the sound is. The sound you hear during an adjustment or manipulation is called a “cavitation.” This occurs when the joints of the body are moved in such a way that the formation of a gas bubble occurs within the joint itself. When that gas bubble is formed, you hear a popping sound. There is no bone-cracking happening here!
Some people believe that once you start seeing a chiropractor, you must continue indefinitely. While it’s true that some conditions might require ongoing maintenance care, many patients see chiropractors for specific issues and then stop once those issues are resolved. We do encourage some form of maintenance for most of our clients to help encourage active lifestyles and continue to improve upon desired goals and movement-related lifestyle choices. Oftentimes, clients feel so much better after their care that they ask to keep a maintenance schedule to help keep them feeling good and keep them moving longer. But at the end of the day, each patient interaction is different and requires different treatment plans.
While chiropractors are best known for treating back and neck pain, they can treat many issues. This includes conditions of the spine and extremities like headaches, migraines, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, hamstring strains, wrist pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, foot pain, and even hand/feet pain and conditions. Chiropractic care focuses on the body’s overall health and improving the function of the neuromusculoskeletal system.
When performed by a trained and licensed professional, chiropractic adjustments are one of the safest techniques utilized by any healthcare provider. The risk of a serious complication from spinal manipulation is rare to none. There has never been any correlation between cervical manipulation and stroke. However, every medical procedure has risks and benefits. Certain conditions create an environment where manipulation or adjusting may not be the safest technique. It’s essential to discuss any concerns with the chiropractor and ensure that they are aware of your complete health history before undergoing treatment.
Chiropractors are doctors, but their training is distinct from that of medical doctors (MDs) or osteopathic doctors (DOs). A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) undergoes extensive training in their field, similar in length to medical school. During chiropractic school, chiropractors have to take coursework in biochemistry, pathology, clinical pathology, physiology, embryology, skeletal radiology, and of course, chiropractic methods and techniques. Doctors of Chiropractic also must pass a minimum of 4 board examinations, state-specific examinations, and in some states, jurisprudence exams to be licensed. They are licensed professionals who diagnose and treat neuromusculoskeletal disorders, especially those related to the spine.
As with any healthcare decision, it’s important to do your own research, consult with professionals, and make informed choices that are right for your individual health needs.