The Zen Corner

Science, Art, and Philosophy of Chiropractic


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Forceful Cracking

Many people have seen cracking, snapping, and popping in their necks and backs. There are too many homemade tutorials that claim to be therapeutic and relaxing. Some would teach to do on their own, which can be very dangerous because this can cause other health problems as previous blogs have mentioned.

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Forceful cracking of the neck and back by an unprofessional can cause unwanted side effects because there is no knowledge and experience from a professional. So people who learn forceful cracking the neck and back on youtube, rely on their muscle force and override the resistance of another. There is a sheer force of mass and speed that overrides the person’s response to guard and move the joints in order to create the sound effects. Which this sound is often mistaken for the therapeutic product for relaxation and removing pain. While there is a cracking, popping, and snapping going on, there is also the possibility of damaging structures.

  1. Sprain the local muscle groups, which can cause soreness, sharp pains, and dull achiness from damaging the muscles from the sudden shear force.
  2. Damage the disc from twisting the disc and tearing the annular fibers of the disc, which can endanger the person to have disc herniations in the future.
  3. Fracture the spine and causing more permanent damages. Bones in the spine can be in a delicate situation and professionals who take x-rays will know this possibility.

There are reasons why physical assessments and having a professional licensure is required for a Chiropractor to adjust the spine. Many people assume it is easy what a Chiropractor does and mimics their chiropractic adjustment. As mentioned in previous blogs before, chiropractic isn’t like using a hammer and slamming the bent nail in. A professional knows that we have to be careful and effective. Tapping and directing carefully to put the nail where it needs to be.

landing2A chiropractic adjustment is often confused with moving spine; like it is moving an inanimate object. The problem is that that moving the spine involves a living person. Which means this bone isn’t an object but a living object. So forcefully cracking or moving a spine will be difficult if the person who is receiving it wasn’t so willing to allow it to move. This will be like hitting a brick wall. So then person pushes harder and harder and the person receiving the push will get stiffer and stiffer. Once the person receiving the push gives in a little, one can imagine the amount of force may have caused some problems.

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A Chiropractic legend Dr. Sigafoose retold his story about his encounter with Dr. Gonstead. Dr. Gonstead was an icon for chiropractors.  If you wanted to be the best, you have to adjust like Dr. Gonstead. He sat next to him at a conference and was told from Dr. Gonstead that one must be one with the bone to adjust the bone. Many of his students that experienced his adjustments mentioned his hands were like pillows and never suspected anything forceful. Dr. Gonstead had rheumatoid arthritis that was cured with chiropractic when he was young. Since then he because of a chiropractor, developed a specific chiropractic technique and a system to do chiropractic adjustment that did not require a forceful maneuver.

Chiropractic adjustment is an Art of Ease

Chiropractic adjustments seem like a physical maneuver only, but it is a cooperation between the chiropractor and the person who is receiving the chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustment was never meant to be a forceful maneuver but a gentle guided touch with slight speed. Dr. Gonstead was never known to be a forceful chiropractor, he was known for his gentle pillow like hands that will help the nervous system to ease.

The less force utilized in a chiropractic adjustment of the spine, there is more skill and finesse. Using brute force often does not produce the same result compared to a professional, specific, diligent chiropractic adjustment. These skills take many years to master and continued training. There are skill levels in chiropractors compared to a novice or amateur who is trying to copy the chiropractic adjustment.

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When critics argue that they do not need training and that they can produce the same result as a professional, that depends on what they are looking for. If a forceful cracking of the neck and back is the product you want then you might be able to reproduce that. When the condition is more complex, severe pain is involved, and daily activity is diminished, the forceful cracking may or may not beneficial to the person in pain. Examination and assessment are needed for a specific adjustment.

 

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Chiropractic Adjustment-Side affects, Reactions, Adverse Reaction

The chiropractic adjustment is a special procedure that a Chiropractor does to correct or relieve your underlying problem called subluxation. The Chiropractor spends years mastering to correct a subluxation. Subluxation causes pressure on your nerves and causes other symptoms health conditions. Some Chiropractors adjust many segments for up to 7-10 segments. Chiropractor with more scientific and specific approach adjusts fewer segments to get the most positive outcome. As an analogy, we say that adjusting the spine is like a hammer and a bent nail. We can quickly fix the problem by smashing the nail and bend the nail even more and we can never go back to fix it again. Or a more corrective adjusting is like gentle tapping and nudging can get the nail into the correct spot without bending the nail further. Here are following Chiropractor’s approach, who will be specific and scientific:

  • In which direction is the vertebra out of alignment?Spine
  • What is the minimal amount of force necessary for re-alignment?
  • Is it better to adjust facing down or on their side?
  • Are there any factors which would prevent the adjustment?
  • Is the client relaxed enough for the adjustment?

An experienced Chiropractor has a checklist in their mind and goes through them quickly. As Chiropractors are more experienced, as they go through their mental checklist another factor plays is their intuition after many adjustments they have done in the past. An adjustment from one chiropractor may feel different when given by another. Simply due to physical differences of the Chiropractor being short or tall, different hand sizes, or any other can make a different chiropractic adjustment.

Side Affect:

After an adjustment, some people experience a feeling of deepening peace and relaxation. This relaxed feeling may last for the rest of the day or week and may lead to deep, refreshing sleep. Others have at times felt warm feeling flowing to various parts of their bodies that are very soothing. Some feel very energetic and do all their chores and business that day with light, happy feeling.

Others may find that their symptoms have begun to disappear, that the problems that they came to the office for have begun to lessen after the first visit. This is never to be confused that the problem is gone for the rest of your life. Just like working out and building muscles, healing takes time. There are also some people who do not feel any different after an adjustment. People with chronic problems usually do not see the immediate results right away. This does not necessarily mean that they are not benefiting from their adjustments, an absence of no effect after an adjustment just means that they’re not feeling any external reactions.Ask-your-doctor-if-getting-adjusted-is-right-for-you

Reactions:

Another set of people, usually a minority, may feel discomfort, muscle soreness or even some pain and they may experience a headache or some other uncomfortable feeling. There are many reasons and they are the following:

  1. You may be experiencing a detoxification: Cleansing of your body starts to initiate after the adjustment. When toxins and poisons leave the body systems, there may be the increase in discomforts such as a headache, sniffles, a slight fever, strong feeling of drowsiness, lethargy or any similar reactions. There is an increase in blood flow to get rid of the toxins from the body systems, they tend to have an external reaction that is noticeable.
  2. The muscles are starting to realigning the spine. After a Chiropractic adjustment, often the muscles that haven’t worked for many years may be in a weak state. Now that the muscles are starting to work again they may become sore or “charlie horse.” This condition is temporary and will soon disappear after muscles have strengthened themselves.
  3. The nerves that were compressed for a long time are now coming back to life. Old injuries that haven’t healed completely may be reawakened in order for more complete healing to start. It is often times old memories and feelings associated with the original injury may also come to the surface.

Adverse Reaction:

There are claims online stating that there are severe complications such chirotable290x196as stroke, neck pain, bleeding in the brain, headaches. Most of these online articles do not have much evidence and objective facts that are only for shocking people in the media. Although, if a Chiropractor was not being careful and reckless with the Chiropractic adjustments, there can be problems that can be created. There are chiropractic offices that tend to adjust the same locations or adjust as many as 10 segments or joints each visit. Some are not utilizing any examination before they adjust or after they adjust. When Chiropractors are specific and scientific, the adverse reactions are less likely to occur.

“Any person can learn to hit the high spots, replace and displace vertebrae, relieve one disease and cause another. Let us as chiropractors, show the world that chiropractic is a science….Why not be specific….Why not combine the science of chiropractic with the ART of adjusting?” – D.D. Palmer (Founder of Chiropractic Profession)

“Chiropractic is not easy. It is a scientific approach. In order to get those things right, they have to be so right. None of us can be too careful. Too many of the chiropractors are unwilling to really study enough to truly understand spinal mechanics.” –C.S. Gonstead ( Known as “Miracle Man,” Founder of Gonstead Chiropractic Technique)