The relief that you get at a chiropractor’s office can be immediate and exhilarating. So much so that many people wonder if they can get the same thing at home by trying to adjust themselves. In fact, it’s one of the most common questions asked in a chiropractic office. But while you can occasionally get some relief from cracking your own back, the results tend to be temporary. Learn the difference between what a chiropractic specialist does and what you do to understand why.
What is Chiropractic?
Described as integrative medicine, chiropractic is a licensed medical specialty that tries to improve the function of the spine and other joints through sharp manual adjustments. Specialists focus on conservative care of spine issues and often provide soft-tissue therapies as part of a holistic healthcare plan. The goal is to improve function without using drugs or surgery and many Americans believe it works: It’s estimated that 50 million Americans will see a chiropractor this year alone. Chiropractic is believed to provide relief from:
- Neck pain
Those are just a few conditions. It’s appropriate for adults and children and even recommended for pregnant women.
Can I Do My Own Adjustments?
It’s not uncommon for people to pop or crack their necks and backs. And since adjustments at a chiropractic office are often accompanied by the same sound, at-home patients believe they are getting the same effect. This so-called “self-manipulation” is easy enough to do, but it doesn’t have the same results. For one, experts say that self-manipulation is not specific. Without the ability to adjust a specific joint in certain directions, patients can’t truly make lasting spine changes. Further, experts say the sound you hear from a self-adjustment is often just the movement of an already loose joint, not the stiff joint that’s truly causing the pain. While manipulating the loose joint may feel good, experts say the source of the real problem will soon cause symptoms again.
Can I Hurt Myself?
Cracking your neck, back and other joints can quickly become a habit since it’s easy and fast to do. But health experts say it’s not without its risks. For one, a forceful cracking of the neck can lead to pinched nerves, which is a potentially serious condition. Crack your back too hard and doctors say you can puncture a blood vessel and possibly cause a life-threatening blood clot.
Chiropractic is a popular modality that enthusiasts say can really make a difference, but only if it is done right. Call a chiropractor today to schedule a consultation and learn what chiropractic can done right can do for you.