New research has shown that the ‘crack’ heard during a chiropractic adjustment of a joint is safe, normal and even beneficial to overall maintenance and wellbeing of the musculoskeletal system. The noise of the crack is made from the release of a gas bubble within the joint. This release almost doubles the immediate mobility and range of movement for the patient. The increased mobility achieved from an adjustment is way above what can be achieved with stretching exercises alone. But how does it work?
Our joints are surrounded by synovial fluid which provides lubrication as well as a variety of nutrients for the joints. This fluid assists in maintaining the health of the joints as well as a normal and smooth range of motion. Muscles and ligaments are also attached to the joints to provide stability and force behind our movements. During an adjustment, the joints are moved to the limit of their normal range of motion. Gas bubbles that have formed in the synovial fluid are quickly released as the adjustment increases the space between the joints. The attached muscles relax and the brain reflexively releases natural opiates and endorphins, providing a sense of euphoria for the client.
Our joint movements can be classified into three different ranges of motion: Active Range, Passive Range and Paraphysiological Range. Your active range is the range of motion that can be achieved by the joint and surrounding muscles without any assistance such as when you turn your head to look over your shoulder. Your passive range is the range of motion that can be achieved with a small amount of assistance such as if your chiropractor were to gently stretch your muscles and turn your head for you. The paraphysiological range is the range of motion achieved through a chiropractic adjustment when the audible ‘crack’ occurs. This moves your joints to the limit of their normal range of motion, stretching your muscles and ligaments and releasing the gas bubbles built up within the synovial fluid. This action immediately increases mobility and range of motion and can often assist to ease pain and discomfort.
Click here to check out MRI footage of an adjustment taking place.
While necks and spines form the backbone of chiropractic care, all joints, muscles and ligaments benefit from regular adjustments. Pain in your joints can be as a result of stress or strain from another area of your body. This is why it is important to tell your chiropractor about any pain or issues you may be experiencing.
Our chiropractors assess our clients on an individual basis and differentially provide adjustments as required. Regular adjustments improve your general health and wellbeing and can assist with pain relief, mobility, flexibility, sleep, posture and also help to optimise the functioning of the nervous system. Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in your joints? Give us a call on 3221 1346 to make an appointment with one of our experienced chiropractors and see how we can help you.