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“Self Adjusting” – What You Don’t Know You’re Doing

Lets discuss a concerning trend in across the general public (myself included), and its potential consequences – let us discuss self-adjusting. Everyone is guilty of self-adjusting at one point in his or her life. Whether cracking your knuckles, torquing your head until you get that crack, or twisting yourself in your chair for a little low-back relief, most everyone is familiar with self-adjusting, whether they realize it or not. While it may provide temporary relief, adjusting should be left to a trained professional. Lets discuss why!


We have already discussed how the stimulation of mechanoreceptors in the joints of the spine can inhibit pain signals. In turn, it is unsurprising you feel some relief when you crack your own joints! However, you may actually be doing more harm than good... The chiropractic adjustment is reserved for areas of restricted motion, or joints that are hypomobile. Chiropractors are trained to detect these hypomobile joints, and effectively restore their proper motion. The average individual, however, does not possess the same level of training. The average self-adjuster is unable to detect these hypomobile sections. When a self-adjuster “cracks” their own joints, they are actually creating hypermobile segments.


The hypomobile segment requires precision and accuracy to treat. The segment does not want to move, that is the heart of the problem. When the joint is not accurately treated, the hypomobile segment is not affected, and the joints around the hypomobile segment move instead. This actually creates hypermobility, which is a problem! Hypermobility is a powerful pain generator, and can actually create severe health risks if serious enough (don’t stress, were talking hypermobility as the result of whiplash or trauma, not self adjusting, but the concept of pain generation is the same nonetheless!). Self-adjusting may provide temporary relief. However, this addictive trend imposes negative effects on the health of your joints, and you as a whole!


TLDR; when you crack your own joints you are not addressing the area of dysfunction. It feels good, because the stimulation of mechanoreceptors within joints relieves pain. However, it is creating hypermobility around the true cause of pain, which in turn, creates more pain! Don’t crack your own joints; come see us, and let us get you feeling better, faster – the right way.






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