Nov 30 / admin

To Crack or not to Crack?


‘Manipulation’ in the context of osteopathy or chiropractic refers to the technique of applying a quick force with little depth to a joint to influence function. Practitioners often feel that the technique is more successful when accompanied by the typical ‘crack’ .

This seems to be supported by a small preliminary study which identified greater joint gaping following HVT with cavitation when compared to HVT without1

A further recent study2  seems to also be convergent with many practitioner’s experience of using the technique. The study indicated that muscle spindles adjacent to the site of dysfunction were ‘down regulated’ following an HVT with audible cavitation. The implications are that the effect of HVT could be mediated at a local level, in addition to previous research which has postulated a dual somatosensory central effect.

  1. Cramer D et al;Assessing joint vibration during spinal manipulation; The FASEB journal.
  2. Clark et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011, 12:170
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