Why do joints “POP”?

When you’re tense, your muscles tighten as a kind of defense. This causes the joint to become restricted. Nitrogen gas, which is present in the air around us and in our tissues, is a small enough molecule that the pressure causes it to be suspended in the fluid surrounding the joint, like the carbon dioxide that becomes dissolved in your soda bottle.

When the pressure is released, there is a “pop” as the nitrogen forms little bubbles, like the popping sound that you hear when you release a cork. If an adjustment is performed on a stiff joint, it may make this sound, whereas if the joint is already moving, it usually won’t make this sound of release.

What is mobilization?  

Even when you're in severe pain, and your muscles are tight and sore, there is always some degree of movement. When you stretch, you know instinctively how far to go.

When I guide a joint through its normal movement pattern, I can feel where the limitations are, and I can pulse the joint so that it opens just a little bit. This gentle motion stretches the supporting structures and frees any fibrous scars that may be present around the joint. Treatment with early, persistent, controlled movement minimizes the formation of scar tissue, and helps reduce pain. As much as 80% of my work as a chiropractor is manual therapy, working within the normal range of motion. After relaxing the area with some gentle massage and mobilization, it's usually easy to do the adjustment, and very little force is needed.

The choice is yours. Sometimes an adjustment will help to move the healing process along more quickly... but if you prefer a more gradual approach, just let me know. Whether it's your neck, your lower back, your shoulder, your ankle, or your hip, gently pulsing the joint sends a signal back to the brain that relieves pain.

What is craniosacral therapy?

The craniosacral system involves movement of cerebrospinal fluid throughout the central nervous system. The fluid is produced and reabsorbed, creating wave-like movements of the bones of the skull. There is a corresponding movement in the sacrum that draws the fluid into the lower back. In craniosacral therapy, subtle pressure is applied to the sacrum or to the bones of the skull to enhance the flow of fluid throughout the central nervous system.