It has come to my attention after 20+ years in practice that one of the main reasons people avoid or discontinue chiropractic care even when they are getting good results is that they are uncomfortable with the “popping” feeling and sound of the manual chiropractic adjustment particularly in the neck. In the past, I’ve reported that this sound is merely pressure releasing from a swollen, injured joint. This pressure is largely made up of nitrogen gas that is only there as a byproduct of the inflammation in the joint. What I’m beginning to understand is that even knowing this, some people still cannot get comfortable with the whole idea.
I always emphasize that chiropractic is meant to be a de-stressing experience. Much like exercise and massage, research has shown that chiropractic adjustments interrupt the stress response at a brain level. So, the last thing I want is someone experiencing stress from their adjustment. This is why almost every chiropractor gets trained in low-force, gentle adjusting techniques that are easy, effective and do not elicit the stereotypical “popping” release of pressure. These techniques may involve an instrument, a special table or simply light touch and my experience is that sometimes less is more, and an alternative technique can often prove more effective for some people.
By restoring the spine back to its normal anatomy and function, and reducing interference to the nerves that communicate between the brain and body, chiropractors get to see peoples pain reduce and health return literally at their fingertips. It troubles me to know there are so many people suffering unnecessarily and aging prematurely without at least attempting to see if chiropractic care could help. If it’s anxiety over the hands-on, audible adjustment that is keeping you from seeking or continuing care, my advice to you is to literally interview your chiropractor about any concerns you may have and work together to agree on a method that you are comfortable and still gets the results anticipated through a series of adjustments.