It is important to understand how joints work. Joints allow motion between bones. They are controlled by muscles that are attached to the bones. The muscles are controlled by nerves. Joints are surrounded by a capsule made of ligament material that holds it together. In that capsule is fluid in which gas is dissolved. Joints are also rich in neurological receptors that send signals to the spinal cord and brain about movement and position of the joint.
It is healthy for the joint to move through its normal range. If the joint becomes tight or fixated, the neurological receptors will begin to send false information to the spinal cord and brain. This can be interpreted as pain and can also lead to other problems, as when something is not functioning well, something else will have to work extra hard to pick up the slack.
The nerves will create reflexes that cause the muscles in the area surrounding the joint to tighten, or spasm. This is a defensive mechanism of the brain and will further limit movement. Therefore, in order for joints to function properly, they most move properly. This is where manipulation of the joint helps.
Properly performed manipulation
Manipulation should be performed with only as little force as is required. It does not involve sudden twisting of the neck or any other joint. It is a subtle, gentle and controlled procedure that can be performed on nearly every injured joint in the body in various ways. Manipulative procedures range from very gentle, non-force mobilizations to more intense adjustments in which audible sounds are heard. Not all manipulation procedures are appropriate for all patients or conditions. Proper diagnosis is important to determine what will work best for the individual situation.
Chiropractic manipulation slightly opens the joint, restoring normal motion allowing the nerve receptors to send accurate information to the spinal cord and brain. This movement can also block pain and reduce muscle spasm.
During manipulation, joint surfaces are separated. This causes a change in pressure inside the joint creating a release of gas in the joint. The “cracking” noise frequently heard during manipulation is similar to gas being released when opening a carbonated beverage.
When performed by an expert, manipulation is safe and effective. Dr. Inesta is well trained, experienced and licensed to perform manipulation. He is able to recognize patients who should not receive manipulation, and to minimize the risk of injury to all patients on an individual basis.