Do you hate the sound of someone cracking their fingers or neck? Does the idea of hearing your back crack frighten you? Then, this article is for you! This famous manipulation is still the best-known technique in osteopathic medicine. It arouses fear in some, adoration amongst others; and is sometimes perceived negatively…
Therefore, let’s shed some light on this mysterious technique and the surprising noise that follows soon after.
The “cracking” is defined as a very quick articulation of a joint but within a very small amplitude, hence its name HVT (high velocity technique). The use of this manipulation is to improve the joint mobility, to restore it within its physiological space, reduce articular and muscular compensations, etc.
Sometimes, during the handling, we can hear a ‘crack’ and no; the osteopath has not just broken your back! This distinct noise is associated with the formation of gas bubbles, contained inside the articulation space. During the technique, these bubbles are either compressed or decompressed very rapidly, which consequently will produce… CRACK!!!
If this noise does indicate that the joint in question was put into motion, it does not necessarily mean that the tensions or articular dysfunction has been released. So do not associate the noise with the release of your discomfort.
If you still really don’t want to be manipulated by your osteopath (even after reading this article?!), tell her about your discomfort and she will adapt the treatment to your demands. Fortunately, manipulation is not the only technique that can achieve the desired results.