Cracking your knuckles and finger toes can be very satisfying. Doing it provides a feeling of relief, and releasing a pressure from your hands and feet. Imagine if it’s done to your spine, some might think of it as a total relief especially for those who have been suffering from chronic back pain. But some might think it is a little bit risky given the sensitiveness of nerves located in the spine and one wrong move might cost your life. However, cracking your spine is not just only for satisfaction, it actually has a science behind it. It’s called chiropractic.   There are varying definition of chiropractic. Some sources define it as a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. While some sources define it as a health care discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery, with the spine as the primary part of the body that promotes, restores and preserves health.   In simple terms, chiropractors (the professionals who practice chiropractic care) treat musculoskeletal disorders or conditions such as back pain, mild scoliosis, and frozen shoulder through spinal adjustment, back manipulation and neck manipulation. People who have undergone chiropractic care claim that there are actually improvements in their conditions e.g. back pain, joint pain, mild scoliosis, posture problems and frozen shoulders, to name some.   A Chiropractor in action:   In this blog, we will go deeper into the nature of this practice and discuss on the benefits and risks of chiropractic care. What is it for? And to whom is this for?   Here are 10 facts about chiropractic care:    

Pros: Benefits of Chiropractic

    1.It can relieve stress…   According to chiropractic experts, misalignment in your muscular and skeletal systems has an implication in your nervous system which can cause a great deal of mental and physical stress on your body.   By undergoing chiropractic sessions, you will achieve balance through adjustments wherein your body will immediately feel less tense, and this message of relaxation will also go straight to the brain. Patients who have done this claim that once you are adjusted you will find yourself much more equipped to manage stress.     2.It can improve posture…   Chiropractic professionals also say that regular chiropractic adjustments can help align tilting and curves in your spine, and help you improve your posture. However, there are only a few existing proof that chiropractic care can help fix serious cases of scoliosis, although some case studies discuss that it helps prevent and treat the progression of scoliosis for up to 30 percent.   According to musculoskeletal experts, many people develop neck issues younger than ever due to their constant exposure to sedentary jobs or hunched over a phone. But chiropractic professionals say that it can be corrected with regular chiropractic sessions which will improve posture for patients to stand taller and stronger.     3.It can improve your mood… Adjustment is the chiropractor’s way to balance your body’s entire system which includes your body’s chemistry. There are some people who suffer from certain chemical imbalances. With chiropractic care, patients claim that they now enjoy its benefits by having an improved mood. After series of adjustments, patients who are dealing with depression can see an improvement in their mood. Also, patients with ADHD have also seen great benefits after regular adjustments.     4.It can improve immune system… The nervous system is in charge of sending and receiving information which includes sending of information to and from your immune system. However, subluxations or altered position of the spine impedes this process. Adjustments through back manipulation remove subluxations which prevents the nervous system from working properly. To chiropractors, keeping your nervous system working properly keeps your immune system working properly as well. If your immune system works better, the less chances that you will get sick or you will have faster recovery from illnesses.     5.It can improve sleep…   Many Americans suffer from sleep related issues such as insomnia and intermittent sleep. Most of these sleep problems are related to pain, stress and body aches. Taking care of these issues with regular chiropractic care can help improve sleep quality and get the rest that people need.    

Cons: In a Chiropractor’s Perspective

    6.Chiropractic theory and practice are not based on the body of knowledge related to health, disease, and health care that has been widely accepted by the scientific community.   Most chiropractors believe that “subluxations,” or spinal misalignment cause ill health and fixing them by “adjusting” the spine will promote and restore health. In reality, the extent of this belief varies from chiropractor to chiropractor. Some believe that subluxations are the primary cause of ill health while others consider them as an underlying cause. Only a small percentage reject these notions and align their beliefs and practices with those of the science-based medical community.     7.“Cracking” of the spine doesn’t mean much. During spinal manipulation, a “popping” or “cracking” sound is produced which is similar to what occurs when you crack your knuckles. This phenomenon happens due to “cavitation” which occurs when there is a sudden decrease in joint pressure brought on by the manipulation. That allows dissolved gasses in the joint fluid to be released into the joint itself. Chiropractors sometimes state that the noise means that something therapeutic has taken place, however, the noise has no health-related significance and does not indicate that anything has been realigned. Your knuckles do not “go back into place” when you crack them. The same goes with your spinal bones.     8.Neck manipulation is potentially dangerous.   There are many sensitive nerves and arteries in the neck and it is one of the fatal parts of the body. Certain types of chiropractic neck manipulation can damage neck arteries and can possible cause stroke. Though it rarely happens but chiropractors claim that the risk is trivial, but they have made no systematic effort to actually measure it.     9.Patients may have positive testimonies towards chiropractic but it does not mean that it’s actually true.   Satisfaction is not the same thing as effectiveness. Many people who believe they have been helped had conditions that would have resolved without undergoing chiropractic treatment. Some have had treatment for dangers that do not really exist but chiropractors just made them believe that these are imminent because are some chiropractors who actually take courses on how to trick patients to believe in them and get them into undergoing unnecessary treatments. So beware. Make sure to do a background check on the clinic or the professional where you’re going to get treatment from.     10.Chiropractor’s scope is limited to… Appropriate chiropractic treatment is relevant only to a narrow range of ailments, nearly all related to musculoskeletal problems. But some chiropractors assert that they can influence the course of nearly everything which is not really very scientifically proven.     Note: The discussed “cons” of chiropractic are based on a chiropractic expert himself and not based in mere opinion.