This skilled joint mobilization and manipulation is an important part of
treatment protocol for many musculeskeletal
Joints in the neck, back and extremities are often "adjusted" to
help restore normal range of motion and
decrease pain. Ideally, the
patient is adjusted immediately after having moist heat with muscle
and therapeutic massage. At that time the patient is
very relaxed and the muscles and soft tissues are
thereby providing less resistance to the joint mobilization efforts.
A small explosion of gas
bubbles often goes off inside the joint
when it is cavitated or spread apart during manipulation, producing
an audible "click" or "pop." The result is a reflexive relaxation of
the muscles attached to the joint,
allowing it to move more fully,
freely and with less pain.