For this edition I would like to discuss why joint adjustments / manipulations are used as part of treatment at In Motion Spine & Joint Center. An adjustment involves bending or rotating a “stuck” joint to the end of its range of motion and applying a very quick but short force beyond that range. This increases the range or quality of motion.
So why do joints get stuck?
Gravity and Posture: Gravity encourages slouching, slouching causes poor postural habits, and those habits make joints stiff.
Injury: Injuries cause muscle spasms, muscle spasms, after only days cause joints to get stuck and stay that way.
Body Type / Genetics: Some people are just stiff. You can gauge yourself by placing your palm down on a desk and lifting one of your fingers with the other hand. If you feel a lot of resistance, you probably have stiff joints. Compare this with others.
If increasing range of motion is the goal, then it is crucial that adjustments are applied only to joints that are stuck! When joints get stuck in one area, we feel tight and restricted, and some people will try to “pop” their own neck or back, a wildly common trend among middle and high school students. Self-adjusting may fix your tight feelings after a couple of times over a couple days, and that’s great. If you get short term relief and feel yourself needing this pop more and more, you are likely making the problem worse by causing instability in the region. Instability is much more difficult to fix and causes arthritis at an early age. Joint popping feels good because it causes a release of chemicals that the brain loves, but it’s only helpful if used in the right spots.
At In Motion Spine & Joint Center, knowledge and research about how joints should move is applied both to analysis and treatment. After the joints are adjusted Drs. Hawkins and House go one step further to find out why they got stuck. Tight muscles are stretched with Active Release Technique and proper movement patterns are trained through specific rehab exercises. For questions or if your child is consistently popping their neck, please call 302-4747 or visit WWW.IMSJC.COM.