Spinal Manipulation is the foundation of chiropractic care. It’s the gentle movement of the vertebrae to relieve pain, restore normal joint function and proper range of motion. Manipulation is often, but not always, accompanied with a “popping” sound. This sound is caused by dissolved gases in the synovial fluid around the joints of the vertebrae coming out of solution. Once the “pop” has occurred, it will not happen again until the gases have redissolved back into the synovial fluid.
The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.