To Crack Or Not To Crack -- A Chiropractor's view

  • By Vincent Chavira
  • 16 Nov, 2017

Ask Dr. Vince

Why do I need to see someone if I can crack my own back?-John S.


           This is always a great question! That pop/crack sound you hear is gas releasing from within the joint. So why does it feel good to “pop/crack” your joints? This can relieve pressure within the joint and increase joint mobility resulting in temporary relief from pain.


When you self-adjust, you will typically apply too much force to get the pop resulting in a muscle spasm and increased pain. I especially warn individuals to refrain from popping their neck because two major arteries which supply blood to the brain are located in between the vertebrae. Over rotation can cause a dissection and can lead to a catastrophic event.


Unfortunately, if you find you are self-adjusting multiple times throughout the day, you are probably releasing the vertebral joint above or below the restricted vertebral joint that needs attention. The restricted segment is potentially the reason causing the pain, stiffness and achiness. An adjustment that is performed by a licensed professional on the specific segment(s) that are restricted will result in a more positive outcome.


A safe and more effective approach is to have a licensed professional evaluate what is bothering you, assess the way you function and identify the region causing you to experience pain and/or stiffness. On most occasions additional work is needed within the structures (e.g. muscles) that help support the spine. It may take several treatments to return you to optimal health. This will depend on how your body responds and the daily stressors that you are subjected to.

Please email your questions to drchavira@azsds.com and we will discuss some of your topics.


In health,


Dr. Chavira received his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training Education degree from New Mexico State University. His desire to improve patients’ quality of life though non-invasive techniques led him to seek a Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Palmer College of Chiropractic West. He has over 16 years of experience working in acute care, aquatic therapy, multidisciplinary clinics, as well as on-site medial staff support at various athletic events.
Section Resources

AZ Spine Disc And Sport Chiropractic Medical Blog

By Dr. Jonathan Komar 06 Dec, 2017
Welcome to this audio Blog from AZSDS.  In this segment we talk toDr. Jonathan Komar.  Dr. Jonathan Komar is Board Certified in both Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as Pain Medicine. Dr. Komar has practiced medicine in the Valley for over 14 years.  In this visit we learn about PRP Therapy. 

Click play to hear what Dr. Komar has to say about this amazing regenerative therapy.  



By Vincent Chavira 16 Nov, 2017

Why do I need to see someone if I can crack my own back?-John S.


           This is always a great question! That pop/crack sound you hear is gas releasing from within the joint. So why does it feel good to “pop/crack” your joints? This can relieve pressure within the joint and increase joint mobility resulting in temporary relief from pain.


When you self-adjust, you will typically apply too much force to get the pop resulting in a muscle spasm and increased pain. I especially warn individuals to refrain from popping their neck because two major arteries which supply blood to the brain are located in between the vertebrae. Over rotation can cause a dissection and can lead to a catastrophic event.


Unfortunately, if you find you are self-adjusting multiple times throughout the day, you are probably releasing the vertebral joint above or below the restricted vertebral joint that needs attention. The restricted segment is potentially the reason causing the pain, stiffness and achiness. An adjustment that is performed by a licensed professional on the specific segment(s) that are restricted will result in a more positive outcome.


A safe and more effective approach is to have a licensed professional evaluate what is bothering you, assess the way you function and identify the region causing you to experience pain and/or stiffness. On most occasions additional work is needed within the structures (e.g. muscles) that help support the spine. It may take several treatments to return you to optimal health. This will depend on how your body responds and the daily stressors that you are subjected to.

Please email your questions to drchavira@azsds.com and we will discuss some of your topics.


In health,


By Dr. Angela Christopher 01 Nov, 2017
It's week 5 of my SHAPE ReClaimed diet program. I haven't had much time to blog or much to blog about. I really enjoy this program. I have stuck with it, and it continues to work. I started at 181.8lbs, my all time heaviest weight. Five weeks in I weigh 157.2lbs and have lost more weight than I thought I would in such a short period. I finally fit in most of my clothes again. More importantly, I have the energy and will to get out of my house for exercise and have fun. I finally feel good in my own skin again.

Today I went back and did the same hike that I did week 1. I was amazed. At Week 1 I truly thought I might be the person saved from the mountain by helicopter. Today I hardly even felt like I got any exercise. I ended up going to the gym afterward. I guess I hadn't realized how much the extra weight affected my health. My energy was so low before the weight loss. Now I really feel like a new person. My goal was initially to stick to the program for six weeks. I will post before and after pics at the six-week mark.

I wasn't sure what my expectations were before I started, but I am sure that I have already surpassed them. I have no plans to stop this program anytime soon.

I plan to stick to the fast track program until the end of the year. My “normal” weight is an athletic 140 lbs. I plan to get back there and stay there.

Like most women, getting back into shape is what excites me the most. More importantly, this program is about all the great things that can happen when you get your inflammation under control. It has been amazing to have my Crohn's and Ulcerative colitis under control. I truly feel like I never had it. I can't wait to see what my GI doctor says after my next scope.
By Dr. Angela Christopher 16 Oct, 2017
This morning I stepped on the scale and I weighed in at 161.0. I started this journey at 181.8. I am 1 month into this program, and I am feeling amazing! Like any women, I still wake up and hope to see the scale drop lower than it does each morning, but then the provider in me takes over, and I remember that I continue to make progress not only on the scale but with my body composition. When I started weighing in on the body composition scale, my reading said “overweight.” It now says “healthy.” I have also lost 10% body fat since I started!

My blog posts have been fewer recently because I have had almost no free time. It's amazing the things that change when you start to feel good. The combination of a high energy level and an uninterrupted night’s sleep has energized me. I have always been a light sleeper and since taking the SHAPE ReClaimed drops I have slept through each night like a baby. I am going to the gym regularly now. No longer in my baggy clothes, always in form-fitting clothes, sometimes even shorts. Four weeks ago there is no way you would have caught me out of my house in shorts. I didn't even like to wear them inside in case that pesky mirror caught me off guard.

Even more important than the weight loss is something I have talked very little about in my blogs. One of the reasons I chose this anti-inflammatory program was because I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis over 15 years ago. I have been 100% asymptotic while on this program. I don't remember any one week period where I have been 100% asymptotic in the past 15 years much less four weeks! This is also exciting and allows me to get out of the house more.

I will admit, I have had some small “cheats” over the past two weeks. I don't recommend you do this, but I want to be honest about my experience. As a large doctor’s office, we have patients bring us treats often, and drug reps bring us meals often. I have avoided the large majority. There have been a couple of occasions in which I chose to try “a little” of something. We have a patient who brought big boxes of dark chocolate candies mixed with fruits. My entire staff thought they were terrible, so I wanted to try it and see how it could be THAT bad. I loved them. Now we have had these boxes of uneaten candies sitting around and on three different occasions. Have eaten a small package. Last night I hosted a party for my women's marketing group, and I decided to have two small glasses of wine, a small bowl of enchiladas from a local caterer that I have heard good things about for ages, and two mini cupcakes. Every other thing I ate this week was part of my planning and prepared by me. Although I made these decisions and it wasn't the best idea, I have still moved forward this week.
More Posts

AZ Spine Disc And Sport Chiropractic Medical Blog

By Dr. Jonathan Komar 06 Dec, 2017
Welcome to this audio Blog from AZSDS.  In this segment we talk toDr. Jonathan Komar.  Dr. Jonathan Komar is Board Certified in both Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as Pain Medicine. Dr. Komar has practiced medicine in the Valley for over 14 years.  In this visit we learn about PRP Therapy. 

Click play to hear what Dr. Komar has to say about this amazing regenerative therapy.  



By Vincent Chavira 16 Nov, 2017

Why do I need to see someone if I can crack my own back?-John S.


           This is always a great question! That pop/crack sound you hear is gas releasing from within the joint. So why does it feel good to “pop/crack” your joints? This can relieve pressure within the joint and increase joint mobility resulting in temporary relief from pain.


When you self-adjust, you will typically apply too much force to get the pop resulting in a muscle spasm and increased pain. I especially warn individuals to refrain from popping their neck because two major arteries which supply blood to the brain are located in between the vertebrae. Over rotation can cause a dissection and can lead to a catastrophic event.


Unfortunately, if you find you are self-adjusting multiple times throughout the day, you are probably releasing the vertebral joint above or below the restricted vertebral joint that needs attention. The restricted segment is potentially the reason causing the pain, stiffness and achiness. An adjustment that is performed by a licensed professional on the specific segment(s) that are restricted will result in a more positive outcome.


A safe and more effective approach is to have a licensed professional evaluate what is bothering you, assess the way you function and identify the region causing you to experience pain and/or stiffness. On most occasions additional work is needed within the structures (e.g. muscles) that help support the spine. It may take several treatments to return you to optimal health. This will depend on how your body responds and the daily stressors that you are subjected to.

Please email your questions to drchavira@azsds.com and we will discuss some of your topics.


In health,


By Dr. Angela Christopher 01 Nov, 2017
It's week 5 of my SHAPE ReClaimed diet program. I haven't had much time to blog or much to blog about. I really enjoy this program. I have stuck with it, and it continues to work. I started at 181.8lbs, my all time heaviest weight. Five weeks in I weigh 157.2lbs and have lost more weight than I thought I would in such a short period. I finally fit in most of my clothes again. More importantly, I have the energy and will to get out of my house for exercise and have fun. I finally feel good in my own skin again.

Today I went back and did the same hike that I did week 1. I was amazed. At Week 1 I truly thought I might be the person saved from the mountain by helicopter. Today I hardly even felt like I got any exercise. I ended up going to the gym afterward. I guess I hadn't realized how much the extra weight affected my health. My energy was so low before the weight loss. Now I really feel like a new person. My goal was initially to stick to the program for six weeks. I will post before and after pics at the six-week mark.

I wasn't sure what my expectations were before I started, but I am sure that I have already surpassed them. I have no plans to stop this program anytime soon.

I plan to stick to the fast track program until the end of the year. My “normal” weight is an athletic 140 lbs. I plan to get back there and stay there.

Like most women, getting back into shape is what excites me the most. More importantly, this program is about all the great things that can happen when you get your inflammation under control. It has been amazing to have my Crohn's and Ulcerative colitis under control. I truly feel like I never had it. I can't wait to see what my GI doctor says after my next scope.
By Dr. Angela Christopher 16 Oct, 2017
This morning I stepped on the scale and I weighed in at 161.0. I started this journey at 181.8. I am 1 month into this program, and I am feeling amazing! Like any women, I still wake up and hope to see the scale drop lower than it does each morning, but then the provider in me takes over, and I remember that I continue to make progress not only on the scale but with my body composition. When I started weighing in on the body composition scale, my reading said “overweight.” It now says “healthy.” I have also lost 10% body fat since I started!

My blog posts have been fewer recently because I have had almost no free time. It's amazing the things that change when you start to feel good. The combination of a high energy level and an uninterrupted night’s sleep has energized me. I have always been a light sleeper and since taking the SHAPE ReClaimed drops I have slept through each night like a baby. I am going to the gym regularly now. No longer in my baggy clothes, always in form-fitting clothes, sometimes even shorts. Four weeks ago there is no way you would have caught me out of my house in shorts. I didn't even like to wear them inside in case that pesky mirror caught me off guard.

Even more important than the weight loss is something I have talked very little about in my blogs. One of the reasons I chose this anti-inflammatory program was because I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis over 15 years ago. I have been 100% asymptotic while on this program. I don't remember any one week period where I have been 100% asymptotic in the past 15 years much less four weeks! This is also exciting and allows me to get out of the house more.

I will admit, I have had some small “cheats” over the past two weeks. I don't recommend you do this, but I want to be honest about my experience. As a large doctor’s office, we have patients bring us treats often, and drug reps bring us meals often. I have avoided the large majority. There have been a couple of occasions in which I chose to try “a little” of something. We have a patient who brought big boxes of dark chocolate candies mixed with fruits. My entire staff thought they were terrible, so I wanted to try it and see how it could be THAT bad. I loved them. Now we have had these boxes of uneaten candies sitting around and on three different occasions. Have eaten a small package. Last night I hosted a party for my women's marketing group, and I decided to have two small glasses of wine, a small bowl of enchiladas from a local caterer that I have heard good things about for ages, and two mini cupcakes. Every other thing I ate this week was part of my planning and prepared by me. Although I made these decisions and it wasn't the best idea, I have still moved forward this week.
By Dr. Angela Christopher 04 Oct, 2017
I have had a very busy week this week, and where that would have been an excuse for me any other time over the past year, I have continued to make progress with the Shape ReClaimed diet and my health this week. I have continued to work to get out of Ketosis, and I have kept my calorie content up and have eaten a lot more fruit (apples, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries) and Blue Diamond nut thin crackers. My caloric intake has stayed consistently higher than some may want, but I am also increasing my exercise and still have a small caloric deficit daily. If you are on the Shape ReClaimed program, I highly recommend you track your progress with the “my fitness pal” app, so you can understand what your daily caloric deficit is.

Because of the changes I made this week, my weight loss has been a bit slower, but steady. I am completely fine with this because I feel good. I don’t feel deprived in any way. I enjoy this program and although I initially told myself that I was going to commit to 6 weeks of the fast track program. I now know that I want to do this program longer. I will most likely continue the fast track program until the holidays.
By Dr. Angela Christopher 26 Sep, 2017

This past week has been a mind-battle for me. As a practitioner, I should know better than most that the number on the scale isn’t what matters and that if you do this program correctly, the results will be achieved and will last. But like any human, especially any woman, I want to see that number on the scale drop every day. The reality of this is, if we are doing this correctly, the weight isn't going to drop every day. We have fluctuations in our hormones and other body systems that cause changes.


There are positives and negatives to stepping on a scale daily. The main positive is the accountability. Of course, the motivation that comes along with stepping on the scale and seeing the number drop helps a lot also. Sometimes when you don’t see that number drop you think you are failing, or even worse, if the number increases.


As I neared the start of my 3rd week on the SHAPE ReClaimed program, my scale decided to play tricks on me. I have seen it go up 2lbs and then down .5 and then up .2 and then down 1. For the first five days of this week my scale fluctuated, but my weight essentially stayed the same. Over the past three days, I have dropped another 2lbs. I am now down 16lbs total in 2.5 weeks.


What has changed? For me, several things and it is important to take this into account. Last week my Urinalysis findings showed that I was in large ketosis. The great thing about this program is that we can make changes to stop this before it becomes a problem. For me, that meant adding more fruits, and I hadn’t been eating rice crackers previously but added them this week. It was also the week of my cycle that my body is naturally going to store more water. I have also gotten back into great exercise habits. My energy level has been so high that I am doing two workouts a day at times. I’m still not super aggressive, just because I’m not conditioned, but I am working my way back to it. I know that I am adding lean mass and dropping fat mass and if you look at the picture from my last blog it's a great reminder that muscle truly weights more than fat.



By Dr. Angela Christopher 22 Sep, 2017

There are so many great foods that can be eaten on the SHAPE Reclaimed diet program. My absolute favorite is cauliflower rice with stir fry. I have made several versions, but this is my favorite so far:


Rice:

-Use a couple sprays of organic coconut oil nonstick spray in the pan

-Sautee 1 large yellow onion (chopped) and a cup of fresh jalapeños (chopped) for about 2 minutes until lightly browned

-Stir in 2 bags of pre-chopped fresh cauliflower pearls

(If you can't find, use a food processor to create the same from 2 heads of cauliflower)

-Cook over a medium heat until browned (about 8 minutes)


Stir fry:

-In the same pan used for the cauliflower rice spray a couple more sprays of organic nonstick coconut oil spray

-Add in I package of organic chicken breast stops, cut in half.

-Add in a few tablespoons of organic Worcestershire sauce, black pepper to taste and garlic and pepper Mrs. Dash seasoning to taste

-Add in 1 red onion (chopped), cook until both the chicken and onion brown

-Add in 2 heads of chopped broccoli until it starts to soften

-Finish with 4 cups of organic baby spinach until leaves soften.


This will make enough for a large family or many servings to eat throughout the week


By Dr. Angela Christopher 19 Sep, 2017
Once again I am blogging sooner than expected. I am so excited about the Energy I have on the Shape Reclaimed ™ diet plan that I feel I have to share. After making small modifications following my UA yesterday, I felt amazing. I got home at the end of my 14 hour work day and for the first time in 3 years felt I HAD to do some exercise. For those who don’t know me. I am a very hands-on chiropractor. I do a lot of muscle work and have a very busy and fast paced day running around my 14,000 square foot office. In addition to adding more fruit and a little more fat into my diet yesterday, I did get my weekly B12/ turbo shot. I get these in my office weekly and have for over a year now. I do swear by the sustainable energy I get from these shots, but they aren’t an instant fix, so I don’t think I can correlate how I felt last night with the B12. I decided to go out and do a big loop around the surrounding neighborhoods, just under 5 miles. It was still in the 90’s (nice and cool….), so I told myself I may walk part of it and turn around and come home depending on how I felt. Not only did I feel good enough to do the whole thing, I decided to do several stretches of jogging. I felt I could push it more than I did, but am still learning my limits, so I decided to behave. Also, I weighed in this morning and crossed my next barrier into the  160’s. I started in the low 180’s. This morning I weighed in at 168.8lbs. Although I still have a long way to go, the progress is so motivating that I had to share. I am down a total of exactly 13lbs. In addition, I have been struggling with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis for many years. My conditions have been under control so far during this program. Sometimes veggies are difficult for me to break down, but I have been on a very heavy veggie diet and have been feeling great. I haven't had any GI symptoms to speak of at all. I am cautious to make sure I cook most of my veggies, which does help me to break them down more easily.  I am truly surprised at how well I’m doing!
By Dr. Angela Christopher 15 Sep, 2017

Here I am posting sooner than expected about my SHAPE reclaimed experience because I find the whole process very fascinating. It’s only 3.5 days since my last entry, but they have been eventful days. I decided to add exercise in this week. The first day I decided to go on a hike. It's still summer in AZ, and my body didn’t much appreciate starting at 10 am. I have done this moderate hike many times in the past, but not for many months. It was 110F by the time I finished my 4-mile hike, and I felt like I was close to heat exhaustion. I assume that the low calorie and carbohydrate intake was also a factor. The next morning I had lost 3lbs.

The following day I was much more hungry than I had been so far. I was craving eggs and salsa and literally at eggs and salsa all day, as well as a little fruit. The following day I had gained 3lbs, very likely from the salt intake and recovering from the lost water the day before. Yesterday I went to the gym and decided to do 50 minutes of exercise on the elliptical and some TRX work. My energy was surprisingly high, and that indoor workout felt great. I was also happy to wake up this morning having lost another 2lbs. I ate a much more balanced meals yesterday, high protein, lots of veggies and a few fruits. I was busy earlier in the week and ended up putting off my progress urinalysis.

I did a urinalysis on myself today (this is something the doctor monitoring your program will do on a weekly basis). A significant finding on my UA was a large amount of ketones found in my urine.  It is typical to have some ketones in the urine while on this program, but large ketosis is something I need to get my body out of quickly. Being in large ketosis means my body thinks I’m starving, even though I am keeping my calorie intake around 1200/day. As a side note, I also want to point out that there is no “one size fits all” on this program and typically we don't count calories. I like to use the “my fitness pal” app to look at the ratios of my macros and for easy tracking of my progress. Knowing that my body is in large ketosis early on makes it very easy to change with simple dietary modifications. I need to increase the fruit in my diet and take another sample in a few days. It is essential to get out of large ketosis quickly so that the body doesn’t start learning to store extra fat. This is a problem I have with other popular diets, without the monitoring it can be easy to get into ketosis and lose weight, but as soon as the person comes off of the diet and out of ketosis, their bodies want to hold on to everything put into it. Trace proteins were also found in the urine and isn't a worrisome finding. This could be as simple as having some muscle breakdown from exercise, but I do want to monitor this because ideally I want to be in the best state to recruit my fat stores as energy and not my muscle. 

My PH also went from alkaline to acidic. This is also common early on in the program. Ideally, I would be somewhere in the middle, I added the SHAPE Reclaimed mineral PH drops to my water after starting and I may be using too much. I plan to start using the product just a couple times a day rather than with all of my water.  The final finding was that my specific gravity decreased significantly. This indicates that my salt intake is too low compared to my water intake. While learning about this diet, one of the facts I learned is that typical Mortons table salt has only about 5% mineral content, other content being high in aluminum (also related to dementia in several peers reviewed studies). Himalayan Salt contains only 18%, Redmond sea salt 34%, and Celtic Sea salt 85% (more than ocean water, which is 70%). This is going to be a necessary modification for me going forward, and I plan to purchase extra Celtic Sea salt to keep on my shelf for patients who need it during this program (and in general as it is a much better source of salt). What an important part of this program to do the weekly urinalysis! 

The drops and the urinalysis are such important components in the success of this program. I will be making the modifications and will be interested in seeing what changes in next week’s UA. Even though I am still trying to get into my groove, this journey has been very productive. Ten days into the diet program I am down 12 lbs, I am not hungry, don’t have cravings and (other than the overheated hike) I feel like my energy level is better than it was before I started.



By Dr. Angela Christopher 15 Sep, 2017

I’m Dr. Angela Christopher, a chiropractor and the owner of AZ Spine Disc and Sport. Most of my life I have had the body I wanted from lots of exercise and a well-balanced diet. I have always been interested and enjoyed fitness and nutrition, and then three years ago my life changed. I embarked on a very stressful expansion of my business and my waistline. I competed in Ironman Arizona 11/2013 and slowly went from exercising 40 hours a week to ZERO. Recently I have found that aside from my scrubs and “work out clothes” nothing in my closet fits. Like many, I have gone through some many diet plans like the HCG diet and calculating macros and have fought through bouts of training for a few months with CrossFit or hiking, but nothing has lasted. I have recently felt so uncomfortable with the way I look, that I don’t even feel comfortable putting on gym clothes and going to the gym. It has made me not want to go out with my husband or friends in public or be in any pictures or face time, even with my young nieces. When I think about how much this has changed my life for the negative, I realized it was time to do something about it.  


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