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Spinal Manipulations

Le Craquement d'une articulation ou d'une vertèbre est une techinique très utilisée par votre ostéopathe

What is a Spinal Manipulation?

A Spinal manipulation, or more technically a HVLAT (High Velocity and Low Amplitude Thrust), is one of the most used techniques by osteopaths to facilitate joint mobility. It is a fast and effective technique to relieving acute pain in the neck, back, or a peripheral joint.

When and Why is it useful?

During your session, we start by making you move your neck and back to see in which position your body is happy or less inclined to move, and whether it causes pain at some point in your range of movement.


As a general rule, when a joint is "stuck", it is due to either one big wrong movement beforehand, such as lifting a heavy cardboard and while going back up, feeling a sharp pain in the lower back; or it can come from a succession of small bad positions every day, such as sleeping on a bad mattress for months.

Enfant endormi

In both cases, your vertebrae move a little too far from its comfort zone, and the muscles surrounding it contract to protect it and prevent this from happening again.

It is almost never dangerous. Your body is extremely smart, and will block the damaged area long before you get a chance to do some proper damages.

How the "cracking" part works


When you see an osteopath for acute spinal pain, we often start by massaging the muscles around the joint, to help restore some movement, then we perform the famous manipulation.

We NEVER put a "vertebra in place" . What we do is actually much simpler.

Your affected joint is not moving. Since then ; the "oil" in the joint does not move and does not lubricate the entire surface. We mechanically create a little space, by pulling or rotating to create a chemical reaction.

Imagine a bottle of sparkling water. If the bottle is stationary, the top part of the bottle is never wet. If you turn the cap, carbon dioxide escapes and mixes the water throughout the bottle. The same principle applies when we "crack" a vertebra. We lubricate the joint to allow it to move freely. And Voilà !

Why we do not "crack" everyone

The golden rule for any osteopathic technique is: "first obtain the patient's consent"!

It's your body, the decision is yours!

We can only tell you that this or that technique seems to us to be the most appropriate to effectively treat what you are suffering from. We NEVER make you crack without warning you beforehand!

We do not manipulate certain categories of people. These techniques are extremely low risk. We always ask you a lot of questions that may seem unnecessary to you during your 1st session, but they are essential in determining what can and cannot be done safely.

We therefore do not perform this these techniques on children who have not finished their puberty. Their bones are sometimes not fully solidified yet and since we don't do body x-rays before a session, we use a series of other techniques instead.

People considered "older", especially postmenopausal women, sometimes suffer from osteoporosis, also known as "glass bones". applying any extra stress to the bones is not recommended, as they are up to 3x more prone to fracture.

Finally, for certain pathologies, this is simply not an effective technique! Osteopathy is based on scientifically proven techniques for their effectiveness.

For a herniated disc as an example, scientific research indicates that it does not systematically help to improve this pathology!

What are the risks of being manipulated?

The Risks are EXTREMELY LOW.

The National Council for Osteopathic Research has listed all the manipulations that have had undesirable side effects. The results show that statistically, between 1 / 100,000 and 1 / 1,000,000 manipulations have harmful consequences on the patient.

In comparison, taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as doliprane for prolonged periods kills 1 in 1,000 people.

The "cracks" are therefore up to 1000 times less risky than taking certain over the counter medication.

Ostéopathe au travail
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