Joint Cracking (Manipulation)

Joint cracking (manipulation) Excellent work, taking the first steps to understanding the pros and cons of Joint Cracking! Once you read this page answer the questions on the sheet given by your physiotherapist at Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia and bring that to your next treatment session. Joint Cracking is a commonly used treatment in the private sector of the health community. Your physiotherapist at Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia has requested that you read this page so that you understand your condition and know how to best manage in between physiotherapy consultations.

What is Joint Cracking?

Joint Cracking, known medically as Joint Manipulation, should not be confused with Joint Mobilisation. Manipulation is a technique, commonly used by chiropractors, and more rarely physiotherapists, where a high velocity, low amplitude thrusting manoeuvre is performed with the aim of achieving a therapeutic effect. This movement often results in a “clicking” or “popping” sound.

What does this do to Me?

Joint Manipulation has been shown to relieve musculoskeletal pain, unlock joints and improve joint range of motion. Joint Manipulation has been shown to be effective in treating acute spinal disorders without radiculopathy, that is, without nerve involvement. This technique may be used by Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia Clinicians promote movement in very stiff joints.

Are there any Risks?

As Joint Manipulation is a high-velocity treatment, it does come with some risks, and should not be used as a routine treatment for any condition. Some more serious risks, although very uncommon, are vertebrobasilar accidents, stroke, spinal disc herniation, spinal or rib fractures, and cauda equina syndrome. Some side effects that may occur are local discomfort, headaches, tiredness or radiating discomfort. Your Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia Clinician can guide you as to whether or not this form of treatment is appropriate for you and your condition.
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