Should I crack my knuckles or neck or back myself?

I hear this question at the clinic all the time!  Many people experience relief by “cracking” themselves and if you do not partake in this practice I am sure you know a friend or family member who does.  This week I had a patient ask if it is okay if they get their child to walk on their back.  I have also had patients ask me if it is okay if they get their spouse to “crack” their back by lifting them up in awkward positions or pushing down on them while lying face down.  Growing up, my parents would get upset with my sister cracking her knuckles and they would say that this would cause arthritis or damage to her hands. Here are my thoughts on all of this…..

Is it safe to “crack” my own neck or back?  Is it okay if my spouse or friend “crack” my back or to have my child walk on my back?…. First off, “cracking your own back” and “having your back adjusted by a chiropractor” are two very different things.  Cracking your back requires no precision, it is not specific and it may or may not “move” the joint that is actually locked up and causing the tension that you feel.  In general, it will likely “crack” a joint above or below the problem area and despite hearing a “pop” which is accompanied by release of endorphins (feel good chemicals in our body) it is not correcting the issue.  Adjusting your back requires training in palpation (chiropractors receive years of training) which allows us to identify the restricted joint.  Once the problem area is identified the chiropractor can apply the correct amount of force to the exact area (again, this requires years of training to perfect this).  The amount of force used in the adjustment is determined by the age of the person, their sex, medical history (osteoporosis? heart issues?), weight and height.  So my question for you is….would you prefer to have someone with no training or education on manipulation and adjusting techniques “crack” your back or a person with a Doctorate, 8 years of education with 4 years dedicated to practising and learning the proper force, technique and skills necessary to adjust various areas of the spine and extremities?

Will I get arthritis if I crack my knuckles?…. believe it or not a California doctor named Donald Unger won a Nobel prize a few years ago for testing this.  He cracked the knuckle of his one hand at least twice a day for 50 years and did not crack the other.  His conclusion: no definitive changes or increased arthritis was found in the knuckle that was cracked.  (Arthritis and Rheumatism, Vol. 41, No. 5, in 1998).

I will keep this post short and sweet, I hope that you learned something from this and please feel free to contact the office if you have any further questions –  Dr. Ryan Broddick

Broddick #Chiropractic and #Acupuncture is a pain relief and wellness clinic located at 62 Stanley Street, Ayr, Ontario serving #Ayr #Paris #Drumbo #GlenMorris #Plattsville #Princeton #Cambridge #Kitchener #Waterloo #Brantford #Ontario and surrounding areas.  We offer a number of cutting edge treatment options so please look through our services and products to see how we may be able to help you!  For updated hours, contests, promotions and health information please visit the clinic Facebook and Twitter pages.


Sleeping positions and pillows!

Are you getting a restful sleep?

Are you experiencing neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain and arm numbness?

Your pillow might be the problem!

 “Pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge,” as per sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist.

At Broddick Chiropractic and Acupuncture, I have patients that come to me for treatment and I find out they have been using the same $5 dollar pillow for several years!  The general rule of thumb is to buy a new pillow every 12-18 months as the pillow will flatten and break down with time.  If that is not reason enough to buy a new pillow you should also know that it may contain skin cells, mold, mildew, fungus, and dust mites, which make up more than half of an older pillow’s weight.  I also do not recommend that you sleep on a cheap $5 dollar pillow!  You spend a good portion of your life in bed so make the investment in a good pillow that keeps your spine in proper alignment and prevents straining the neck muscles and joints.

When shopping for pillows you need to consider a few things, as not everyone has the same requirements.  You are welcome to call or email Broddick Chiropractic and Acupuncture to discuss this.  Here is a list of some of the things you need to consider:

1) Your personal sleeping style:

Back sleepers: Generally require thinner pillows to prevent your head/neck from being strained forward.  Ideal pillows will also have a “lobe” at the bottom which will cradle your neck.

Side sleepers: Require a firmer pillow to fill the distance between the ear and outside shoulder.  Some newer pillows have firmer sections to allow side and back sleepers to change position on the pillow.

Stomach sleepers: No chiropractor (including myself) will recommend this position as it strains the neck and does not support the spine.  If you must sleep in this position then you should use a very thin pillow or no pillow at all.  A useful tip to provide some support to the low back and to reduce back pain is to place a pillow under your stomach.

2) Pillow stuffing:

 The most common pillows are stuffed with foam, polyester fiberfill, down feathers, memory foam and latex.  There are also pillows that use a combination of some or all of these and provide versatility.  You can also find water pillows that have a water chamber and has memory/fibre fill over top and is adjustable in firmness and thickness.  Another newer pillow uses soft “microbeads” and “adjusts” to your sleeping position and head/neck size.  At Broddick Chiropractic and Acupuncture we carry several different types of the above mentioned pillows as everyone has different needs.  I personally recommend pillows that allow for various sleeping positions and incorporate new technology.

Ultimately, the decision you make is up to you and must fit with not only your sleeping “style” but also within your budget.  You can expect to spend between $60 to $100 for a good pillow.  Investing in a good pillow is important, so speak to an expert before making the purchase!  Happy sleeping!  Dr. Ryan Broddick

Broddick #Chiropractic and #Acupuncture is a pain relief and wellness clinic located at 62 Stanley Street, Ayr, Ontario serving #Ayr #Paris #Drumbo #GlenMorris #Plattsville #Princeton #Cambridge #Kitchener #Waterloo #Brantford #Ontario and surrounding areas.  We offer a number of cutting edge treatment options so please look through our services and products to see how we may be able to help you!  For updated hours, contests, promotions and health information please visit the clinic Facebook and Twitter pages.


12 Chiropractic Benefits!

1. Nerve Interference Can Occur Without Pain
• Nerve damage may occur to nerve fibers other than the tiny pain nerve fibers. The tiny pain fibers are small and less liable to mechanically caused irritation. Therefore harmful nerve damage can occur without pain. (Gunn. Spine 1980;5:185-192)

2. To Increase Resistance to Disease
• Nerve compression from spinal misalignments adversely affects the inherent capacities of the body during healthy and unhealthy states.
(Luttges & Gerren. Compression Physiology [Modern Developments in Principles & Practice of Chiropractic, Haldeman ed.] 1980:65-92)

• Chiropractic adjustments positively influence the immune system.
(Brennan. JMPT 1991;14[7]:399-408)

3. To Help Reduce Muscle Tension and Spasm Cycles
• Stretching the joint capsule of fixated joints can inhibit the nerves responsible for muscle spasms, cycles of pain and immobility.
(Kirkaldy-Willis, Cassidy, Can. Fam. Physician 1985;31;535-540)

4. To Prevent Abnormal Nerve Signals Resulting From Stress
• Stress and muscle tension traumatize the proprioceptors (position sensors) causing abnormal nerve impulses. (Parkhurst, Bennett. JOSPT 1994;19(5)282-295)

5. To Improve Flexibility
• Asymptomatic patients increase their ranges of motion and symmetry with Chiropractic care. (Nansel. JMPT 189;12[6]:419-427)

6. To Improve Joint Functioning
• Chiropractic increases the movement of restricted or fixated joints (subluxations) and reduces the excess movement of adjacent compensating hypermobile joints. (Yeomans. JMPT 1992;15[2]:84-87)

7. To Improve Athletic Performance
• Chiropractic care led to improved agility, balance, speed of reaction time, power and kinesthetic perception.(Lauro. J. Chiro. Res. & Clin. Inv. 1991;6[4]:84-87)

• Even small biomechanical abnormalities result in a significant amount of stress on joints. (Renstrom, Johnson, Sports Med. 1985;2:326-333)

• Altered proprioceptive input interferes with normal patters of motion, balance, coordination and equilibrium. (Wyke. Aspects of Manipulative Therapy 1980;67-71)

8. To Improve Organic Functioning
• Chiropractic can decrease blood pressure.(Yates. JMPT 1988;1(6):484-488)

• Function of visceral organs such as the heart, bladder, and digestive organs are influenced by nerve impulses from the spine.
(Sato. The Research Status of Manipulative Therapy 1975;163-172)

• Patients with duodenal ulcers responded better to Chiropractic care than to traditional medical care. (Pikalov, PhD, Kharin, MD. JMPT 1994;17[5]:310-313)

9. To Prevent Spine Disc Degeneration
• Lack of motion in the spine increases the tendency for disc malnutrition. (Holm. Acta. Orthop. Scand. [suppl.25] 1993;64:13-15)

• The most critical variable responsible for the degeneration of discs is declining nutrition. (Buckwater J. Bone & Jt. Surg. 1993;75A [10]:1533-1548)

10. To Prevent Abnormal Nerve Signals
• A dysfunctioning joint sends persistently disturbed sensory feedback to the nervous system, therefore existing motor patterns have to be modified. (Johansson. Heuro-orthopedic 1990;9:1-23)

• Impaired proprioceptive input is related to problems with the musculoskeletal system. (Bullock-Saxton. Spine 1993;1896:704-708)

11. To Improve Posture
• Spinal and postural re-education occurs with rehabilitative techniques since the body’s proprioceptors have the ability to learn.
(Revel. Archives Phys. Med. 1994;75 [Aug]:895-899)

• Spinal manipulation help to improve postural and kinesthetic awareness. (Nyberg & Basmajian. Rational Manual Therapy 1993;451-467)

12. To Reduce the Possibility of Pain Due to Joint Dysfunction
• Chronic lower back pain isn’t an injury but is a result of a downward spiral of inactivity and reduced functional capacity. (Mikheev. The Chiro Report 1993; July:1-6)

• Visual recovery reported after specific adjustments to the cervical spine.(Journal of behavioral Optometry 1990, 1[3]:3)

• Chiropractic adjustments demostrated to heal duodenal ulcers both endoscopically and pain relief 10 days earlier than traditional care.
(JMPT 1994;17[5]:310)

• Chiropractic adjustments may be an effective and safe non-pharmacological alternative for relieving pain and distress of primary dysmenorrhea.(JMPT 1992;15[5]:279)

• Chiropractic adjustment relieved infantile colic within 2 weeks in 94% of the cases.(JMPT 1989;12[4]:281)

• The effects of Chiropractic adjustments on HIV positive patients. Over a 6 month period of the study the control group experienced a 7.96% DECREASE in CD4 counts, while the adjusted group experienced a 48% INCREASE in CD4 cell counts over the same period.(Chiropractic Research journal 1994;3[1]:32)

Thank you for visiting Broddick #Chiropractic and #Acupuncture clinic website!  Our #pain #relief and #wellness #clinic serves #Ayr #Paris #Drumbo #Glen Morris #GlenMorris #Plattsville #Princeton #Cambridge #Kitchener #Waterloo #Brantford #Ontario and surrounding areas.  We offer a number of cutting edge treatment options so please look through our services and products to see how we may be able to help you!  For your convenience we offer #lasertherapy #ultrasound #electrotherapy which includes #TENS #IFC and #EMS pain relief treatments. Dr. Broddick is a licenced #chiropractor and medical #acupuncturist and provides #gentle #adjustments #mobilizations #softtissue #rehab #pain #treatments in a warm, cozy and modern clinic environment.  We also offer #compressionstockings and #compressionsocks along with #custom #orthotics and #cervical #pillows for your comfort.  If you have any questions or concerns or wish to set up an appointment please feel free to use the “contact form” on this website to send your message to the clinic for a prompt response.  For updated hours, contests and health information please visit the clinic Facebook and Twitter pages.