Joint manipulation – also called the joint adjustment – is a precise and highly skilled movement of a chiropractor usually applied using his or hand to a joint. When a chiropractor adjusts or manipulates a joint, gas bubbles escapes from the fluid lining the joint, causing an audible “popping” or “clicking” sound.
Joint manipulation is an extensively researched technique employed by a licensed, well-trained chiropractor. Complications and other side effects, such as muscle soreness, seldom occur in this procedure.
Having a joint manipulation performed by a highly skilled chiropractor reaps several benefits, and these include:
Reduction of back pain. One of the most common reasons people avail of chiropractic services is pain, particularly low back pain. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine states that eight out of ten individuals experience low back pain at some point within their lives .
Manipulation releases the pressure within the joint and loosens the tight tissues around the joint, resulting in reduction of perceived pain.
Alleviation of muscle tension. Muscle tension is a condition that results from the semi-contracted state of muscles for an extended period commonly caused by the physiological effects of stress. Stress alters the nervous system function leading to the constriction of blood vessels, reduction of blood supply to the soft tissues, buildup of wastes within the muscles, and ultimately the development of muscle tension.
Joint manipulation reverses these effects of stress to the human body. By releasing the mechanical pressure within the joint, it reestablishes the blood supply, not only to the affected joint, but also to the surrounding soft tissues, and flushes out accumulated wastes within the muscles, resulting in the relief of tension and relaxation of the affected muscle .
Improvement in the range of motion. The range of motion is the full movement potential of a joint, particularly during its flexion or extension. Limitation in the range of motion may happen even in the absence of fractures, dislocations, or joint infections. It can occur in the presence of tissue swelling, muscle stiffness, injuries, and pain.
Joint manipulation can help alleviate the causes of range of motion limitations, thereby improving the range of motion of the affected joint .
1. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine: Spinal Manipulation for Low-Back Pain
2. Spinal-health.com: Manual Physical Therapy for Pain Relief
3. Physical Therapy; Manipulation of the Cervical Spine: Risks and Benefits; Richard Fabio; January 1999