Dr. Becky Laird, D.C.

Life Source Healing Center
a unique chiropractic experience

Fear of Chiropractic & That Cracking Sound

Hi there,

Today I want to address some of the issues of why many people don’t try chiropractic therapy or continue chiropractic treatment when they need it. Naturally, most people do have a healthy aversion to someone else putting their hands around their neck. It requires a lot of trust. It doesn’t help either when we see action movie stars, these big guys, who kill people by quickly twisting, cracking and breaking their necks. ( It is really not as easy as they make it look. Not that I have tried.) We do, however, see them crack their own neck to loosen up before they get ready to fight and kick some ass. But those guys are usually pretty self destructive, right?

Then the there is the issue of having one’s ” bones cracked ” or joints “popped”. We are told in childhood by our our moms, “don’t pop your knuckles they will get big and cause you to get arthritis when you’re older.” After all who do we trust more, our moms or a bone cracker?

Some think that it “just isn’t natural” to have your bones moved, cracked or popped. That the spine will get injured. Yet most of us play harder and cause more stress to the spine than what a normal chiropractic adjustment delivers. We seem to think that, as we get older we get stiffer and get arthritis. My question is, is That normal? To age, yes, but how fast and how much aging is normal? When is it natural to lose normal range of motion, ROM. The ability to, turn your head and twist the spine to look behind you, stride evenly when walking, or bend down to pick up your shoes without restriction or pain, is natural. When you either suddenly or over time start to have restriction and shortening of these ranges, it is not normal. It happens because the joint spaces have compressed and locked down. When the spine or other joints stay this way for very long it causes inflammation and chronic inflammation leads to arthritis. That leads to premature aging and degeneration. The leading minds in preventative medicine now believe that 80-90% of the major diseases are caused by inflammation. So inflammation can have a great impact on overall health. Though not the only cause of inflammation, it contributes to the over all burden on the body contributing to overall aging .

When a Chiropractic adjustment is done correctly it releases the locked down restrictions. Immediately enhancing nerve function previously limited due to immobility. The adjustment opens the joint making more space for movement and fluid flow. In the process gas releases from the fluid in the joint due to pressure changes. That is the “popping ” sound. Also, endorphins are released that add to the relaxing of the soft tissue. Most people notice immediate relief in, improved ROM, decreased pain and increase sense of well being. Some say they even feel taller!

These adjustments are often no less insulting to the body than when your knees pop when you bend down. Knuckle cracking like your mom warned against, is bad because you are forcing the joint together causing more compression, thus more inflammation. When you turn your head and your neck releases a “pop” it is, releasing naturally, a restriction. This is normal. But when the body gets over extended, as with an accident, fall or too much strain, it can get beyond the ability of the body to integrate, dissipate and otherwise adapt to and handle. That is when pain can start and when help is often needed. The body then has to work harder to do normal daily activities. We will start to feel an increasing soreness and stiffness after doing activities we have been able to previously do without a problem. It makes it more likely that you will injure yourself too. These signs are often dismissed as “getting old.” I have heard this excuse from 23 year olds!!

Sometimes people are afraid that it will hurt to get adjusted especially if something already hurts. I won’t lie, it can hurt for a moment but usually just a moment and then you may feel a little sore the next day. This is more common with the first adjustment. And especially if you are really in pain and have been for a while. So it is best if you can, to address these things before they incapacitate. However, massage, rolfing and physical therapies are not without some degree of discomfort and do work for some issues. However, when the joint is locked down and restricted it is necessary to restore mobility and balance by chiropractic adjustment therapy before these modalities have any lasting effect. Often they work well in-coordination with each other to enhance the therapeutic effect.

I do know that the bottom line often comes down to trust and it should. You should find someone who you are comfortable with, who is knowledgeable and explains your issues to you, takes the time to treat you like they care. Someone that can be thorough and gentle when needed and uses the right amount of finesse to restore function. Someone you can express your concerns to and feel you are being heard. It is common, but I am always surprised when someone who has been in pain for a while and has resigned to it, says that they tried chiropractic and it didn’t work for them. When I ask further, it is more often either because they tried it one or two time and the pain was still there, or they had a “bad experience.” These “bad experiences” range from being hurt, feeling like a number, too hard sell or they just didn’t like the doctor or a combination. This to me is frustrating because these people often don’t get the help they need. Maybe try another doctor. All Chiropractors are not the same! Do most people that are unsatisfied with their medical doctor say ” well I don’t believe in medicine or it didn’t work for me because I had a bad experience with one doctor. No, they go in search of another doctor. And yes there are exceptions. Chiropractic doesn’t work for everything. But have your issue looked at by a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic before you decide it doesn’t. Eight years of professional training in spinal function, structure, bio mechanics and correction give the chiropractor the unique knowledge to assess your issues. And don’t let someone else tell you their story of a “bad experience” stop you from getting help.

Sometimes people wait too long and we can’t help. But it is the same with medicine. I know I am on the proverbial soap box but all the needless suffering saddens me.

I have helped so many people who have been in pain for years, have their pain gone in just a few visits. I know it works. So don’t wait if you feel out of balance, in pain, feel like your getting old before your time or just want to prevent these things. Do not fear the under dogs are here!! ( Sorry couldn’t help myself.) We are trained number one in safety and CORRECTING these issues not just medicating the pain away.

Happy spring and playing!!


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