Does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis?
There is no evidence that cracking your joints causes arthritis. In fact osteoarthritis is characterised by very stiff and painful joints and the treatment of choice is to mobilise the joints to alleviate the pain via chiropractic therapy. This usually provides a great deal of improvement for sufferers of arthritis.
Does it hurt to have your back cracked?
In the majority of cases it is completely painless to have your spine adjusted. This is amazing in itself because usually the joints that are adjusted are inflammed. To ensure that your adjustments don’t hurt and that there is minimal post-adjustment soreness, joints are usually adjusted in a direction that is painless (if it hurts to turn to the left and not to the right then an appropriate adjustment will be performed so that you are not turned to the left).
I mentioned post-adjustment soreness – this is something that occurs as a result of doing something that your body is not normally used to. It is very similar to feeling sore after your first massage, your first session in the gym, or your first long run. Post adjustment soreness only lasts for about 24 hours after your first and occasionally your second adjustment. It is usually more of an ache than a sharp pain.
Is it dangerous to have your neck adjusted?
Yes, it is dangerous to have your neck adjusted. Your neck contains major arteries to your brain, not to mention the fact that your spine encases your spinal cord which if severed can lead to paralysis. For this reason it is important that only qualified professionals be allowed to adjust your spine. Having said that it is very safe to have your neck adjusted. There is very minimal risk of any major complication occurring from an adjustment when performed by a qualified professional – so much so that our insurance premiums per year are only $3000. When you consider that GPs pay tens of thousands of dollars to be insured against negligence or malpractice, chiropractic is extremely safe. It costs about $3000 a year to be insured to hire out a couple of canoes to the general public.
There is less than 1 in 139,000 chances of straining a ligament or disk in the neck from an adjustment , 1 in 62,000 chances of straining a ligament or disk in the low back from an adjustment (Dvorak study in Prinpicles and Practice of Chiropractic, Haldeman 2nd Edition), and 1 in 5.85 million chances of having a stroke or stroke like symptoms from neck manipulations (Haldeman,et al. Spine vol 24-8, 1999).
Chiropractic adjustments are recognised here in Australia and overseas as being the safest and most cost effective way of dealing with neck and low back pain, over anti-inflammatories and other alternatives (Manga Report, Ontario Ministry of Health, 1993).
Is it true that I need to see a chiropractor for the rest of my life?
Yes absolutely – chiropractic is recommended for everyone throughout their life to promote full pain-free range of movement and enhanced health and well-being. Looking after your spine is like looking after your teeth (except that you can replace your teeth). The frequency of visits differs depending on the individual – some people prefer a monthly checkup while others prefer a quarterly, half-yearly or yearly checkups.
Why do babies need adjusting?
Babies often suffer from colic, reflux, irritability, restlessness, and prolonged unexplained crying. These symptoms can be caused by a lengthy delivery, the use of forceps during the delivery, stomach sleeping or one-sided breast feeding. How do you know when a baby is suffering from a headache? They cry, scream, vomit, and don’t sleep very well. They tend to be very grumpy as well. Parents have found that their child is often a lot more content after chiropractic care, and they tend to sleep more soundly and for longer periods.
Is ice or heat better for my sore back?
Use ice. Ice reduces swelling and inflammation which is directly responsible for pain. Heat increases the inflammation process and can prolong recovery. Heat often relieves the pain temporarily but it does nothing to reduce the swelling and inflammation. If you need to use heat for pain relief it is better to have a hot shower which provides generalised heat rather than heat to a specific body part.
My back pain feels muscular, shouldn’t I just get a massage?
In the vast majority of cases back pain is simply the result of inflammation of the joints of the spine rather than muscle spasm or strain. The difficulty is in identifying which joint is inflammed. Once the swelling in the joints has subsided it is a good idea to ensure that the muscles around the area are supple and of equal length. Remedial massage should be done in conjunction with a good flexibility and muscle rehabilitation program.
How many treatments am I going to need before I am out of pain?
As a general rule most patients will be pain free within the first 6 – 8 visits. The only exception to this is if the condition is the result of arthritis, major trauma, serious illness, or long-standing condition. These often requires a lot more intensive massage and rehabilitation work to alleviate pain and prevent a recurrence of symptoms.
Core Stability – the key to a healthy pain free spine.
Core stability is essential for keeping your spine healthy and pain free. Core stability is achieved by having a normally functioning spinal column free from pain and inflammation, and having a well toned and actively controlled abdominal and pelvic muscular system. It is akin to wearing a lumbar brace for back support with the abdominal and pelvic muscles forming the brace. There are many different exercises available to improve your core stability and many of these are aimed at improving your balance and improving your abdominal control. With good core stability your back will be stronger and less prone to injury. Many patients practicing core stability exercises find that their adjustments last for longer and they don’t need to see the chiropractor as often.