Joint Manipulation & Mobilization
Joint manipulation/mobilization, also known as an ‘adjustment’, is a drug-free, non-invasive approach to treating common musculoskeletal conditions such as headache, neck and back pain. Joint manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills a chiropractor develops during four intensive years of study. The doctor typically uses his/her hands to manipulate the joints of the body, often to the spine, in order to reduce pain, improve joint mobility, and restore proper function to the area.
Joint manipulation is a highly controlled low-risk therapy that rarely causes discomfort, and complications from adjustments are extremely rare. The doctor adapts the procedure to meet the specific needs of each patient. Patients often note positive changes in their symptoms immediately following the procedure. It is very rare to experience pain during the manipulation, but it is possible. Often, a sense of pressure release is felt.
Sometimes when a joint is manipulated a loud popping/cracking noise may or may not be produced. This is completely normal. When a joint is manipulated, the synovial fluid, within the joint, moves rapidly from an area of high pressure to low pressure. This quick pressure change causes certain amounts of the synovial fluid inside the joint to change into a gas. It’s this change from a liquid to gaseous state that makes the audible noise.
Clinical experience suggests that individuals with chronic conditions such as degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), recurrent neck pain, back pain or headaches may experience less frequent and less severe symptoms when under regular chiropractic care. This also applies to individuals in highly stressful situations and those who experience repetitive physical and postural strain from their daily activities. Whether ongoing chiropractic treatment can prevent back pain from occurring in the first place, or prevent a previous condition from re-occurring, requires further study.