Have you ever wondered if you can adjust yourself similar to how the chiropractor would? It's a question Dr. Davis receives frequently for many reason...maybe because someone's looking for ways to relieve pain, go longer between office visits, or simply because it's a habit many of us may have acquired over the years. This week, Dr. Davis took the time to dive into this question with us, giving us some valuable insight on this popular discussion.
First, the adjustment is much more than just the “popping” your neck or back. It is a specific maneuver that is designed to either place a vertebra in the proper position, or to restore proper motion to a joint. Chiropractors perform detailed exams before adjusting patients to ensure that they know which joint needs to be adjusted. It's important the right joins are adjusted and adjusted properly because excessive "popping" and adjusting of these joints can cause wear and tear if not done by a professional. With just under 50% of the population reporting they crack their own bones at least once a day, that is quite a bit of wear and tear that doesn't lead to a positive outcome in the long run.
(Here, you can watch Dr. Davis, explain more on the science behind "adjusting" yourself.)
Another important note is that a vertebra can be misaligned in a number of ways. A vertebra can move in 16 different directions, so it is important to know which direction it has moved before making the adjustment. Chiropractors are trained to determine what direction the vertebra has moved and how to put it in the proper position. Dr. Davis stresses that here, at Chiropractic First of Iowa, he is very specific and detailed when examining his patients before their adjustment for this very reason.
Second, have you ever noticed how often people crack their own neck? The reason for this is that when the popping noise occurs the body releases endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel good. The problem is endorphins only last in the blood stream for 15-20 minutes. After that you start to feel the need to pop your neck again. This is avoiding the root of the issue. The endorphins cover up the problem temporarily. An adjustment, on the other hand, is putting the vertebra into the proper position, therefore fixing the problem, so you don’t have to rely on endorphins to feel better.
Dr. Davis wants to get to the root of the issue so that you can feel happy and pain free while avoiding unnecessary wear and tear of your joints.