"I meet people every day who pop & crack their own neck and back. People do a “self-manipulation” hoping for temporary relief of pain and stiffness, which quickly becomes an easy habit that they repeat throughout the day. It feels good, so they keep doing it. However, the relief from a self manipulation does not last.
So, what about when a chiropractor does it?! 🤷🏻♀️
Chiropractors are well known for performing adjustments. An adjustment is a quick and shallow force, directed into a joint, to help it move more freely throughout its range of motion. This adjustment is often (but not always) accompanied by a popping sound (aka a cavitation).
The biggest difference between a Chiropractic adjustment and self-manipulation is SPECIFICITY - the ability to direct a force towards an individual joint and in a chosen direction. This specificity comes with years of training in palpation, anatomy, vectors, and of course practice.
Self-manipulation is completely NON-SPECIFIC. When someone self-manipulates their neck, they are more than likely ‘cracking’ the joint that is already hypermobile rather than the joint that is “stuck.” This non-specific movement is why some people get a temporary relief from cracking their joints due an automatic release in #endorphins (feel-good chemicals). However, lasting relief does not occur because the source of the symptoms (joint restriction) is still there. In contrast, during an adjustment, the chiropractor finds and adjusts the stuck joint to help resolve the restriction and provide longer-lasting pain relief!
That #cavitation is caused by the process of tribonucleation. When the joint surfaces get pulled apart, there is a certain point when the fluid inside the joint cannot expand any more and the gas layer is created. The formation of the gas layer causes a resultant POP. But cavitations are unrelated to the pain relief experienced after an #adjustment . The pain relief comes from the improvement in joint motion, relaxation in muscles and the reduction in nerve irritation which results from the adjustment!
So unfortunately, not even a #Chiropractor can adjust themselves!
#repost @drambereckel - 4 hours ago