In addition to adjusting the spine and pelvis, almost every other joint of the body can be adjusted by the chiropractor. This includes the joints of the hands and feet, wrists and ankles, elbows and knees, shoulders and hips, ribs and the jaw. In fact, some chiropractors are even trained in techniques to adjust the joints (sutures) of the skull.
Like the joints of the spine, joints in the extremities can also become misaligned and fixated. Chiropractic adjustive techniques can restore and enhance extremity joint functioning which can increase the life of the joint and keep wear and tear to a minimum. This is of special interest to athletes who generally demand optimal joint performance from highly stressed joints. Adjusting provides an immediate increase in joint range of motion and also supplies the joint with nutrients, as motion is the only way to bring nutrients into the joint cartilage and flush wastes products out.
Did your mother ever warn you that "cracking" your knuckles would give you arthritis? If she did, we're sorry to say that she was wrong! Research has actually shown that individuals who habitually "crack" their knuckles over their lifetime actually lower the incidence of arthritis in their knuckles compared with those who do not. Researchers believe the knuckle "cracking" increases joint nutrition and maintains joint motion, both of which are essential for a healthy joint.