Just like anything else, not all chiropractic care is the same. There is a huge difference in chiropractic philosophy, technical abilities and knowledge from one chiropractor to the next. For one thing the chiropractic adjustment requires an extreme amount of athleticism and coordination on the part of the chiropractor. Done well the adjustment is an extremely effective healing technique and can help you with relief from many health problems. Conversely when the adjustment is not done well you will not get results. As an analogy, patients will take great care in picking a surgeon because they know the results they will get vary greatly from one surgeon to the next.
A chiropractic adjustment is a very slight movement of a spinal, pelvic or limb bone such that the bone lines up more accurately with its partner bone at a joint. This repositioning results in better movement occurring between the two bones and less strain inside the joint. This has many positive effects.
People often ask: What is the sound that is often heard with an adjustment? The sound results from a change in pressure dynamics within the joint adjusted. It is similar to taking the top off a bottle of carbonated water or pulling the cork out of a champagne bottle. The sound results from a change in pressure inside an enclosed space whether the enclosed space is a joint in your body or a champagne bottle in your hand. What this means to you is relief of symptoms from pinched nerves and more flexibility.
The statement that chiropractors "crack bones or joints" is not true. What we actually do is use the bone as a lever to slightly stretch the muscles and other soft tissues between two bones. This results in a pressure change inside the joint, the resultant sound asnd relief of symptoms.
The mere presence of a sound with the adjustment does not signify an effective adjustment. The adjustment must be in the precisely correct direction to reposition the bone that is out of alignment.
Sometime in an extremely stiff joint, the sound may not occur until the joint has been loosed up. This may take a variable amount of treatments.
What about people who for whatever reason are afraid of the sound of the adjustment?
Despite the above explanation some people remain fearful of the sound of an adjustment. For these people we offer an alternative technique. This is called joint mobilization. In this case no sound is heard. The joint is gently taken to the end of its motion and a slow stretch is given. This technique combined with all the other techniques we apply will achieve the same results as the adjustment but it often takes a longer period of time.