Osteopaths and chiropractors alike are often known for "the click."

But what exactly is that sound you hear?


In technical terms, it's called a High Velocity Low Amplitude Thrust (HVT for short), but we often refer to it as "a manipulation."  It's an important tool in our osteopathic toolbox....but by no means the only one!

We take a joint past the point where it's stuck and use a short/quick impulse to get the joint moving again. This helps evenly distribute movement and forces through the spine. The sound you hear is just gases releasing from the joint space, much the same as if you were to crack your knuckles. At the same time, a bombardment of nerve signals is sent back to the brain from that level in the spinal cord, which helps to reset the circuits of pain and dysfunction in the area.

These manipulations are often scary for people, but despite the sound you hear they are not painful and hugely beneficial for your healing process. However, your osteopath will have already evaluated whether the technique is necessary, appropriate, and safe for the patient in each session. And osteopaths use a whole host of other soft tissue and myofascial release techniques, so don't rely solely on the manipulations!



Sometimes it takes getting out of your normal, everyday routine to see that maybe it’s that exact routine that’s causing your pain. Most people in my clinic haven’t had an injury. They haven’t been in a car accident or had a huge impact injury. Their pain has come on by a silly movement, overdoing an activity or a gradual accumulation of symptoms over time. We don’t want to admit that our daily habits are causing our pain; after all, daily habits are the hardest thing to change.  

So sometimes it takes going on holiday to realise that your daily habits are, in fact, causing your pain.

Is it the way you carry your work bag?
Are you carrying too much to work? 
Do you spend too much time hunched over the computer?
Do you wear the wrong shoes for your daily Bootcamp class?
Do you sit in the same scrunched position on the sofa every night?
Is your mattress/pillow completely worn out?
Are you giving yourself enough time to actual rest and relax?

Whatever the “habit” it for you, is it causing your pain? I hear from so many patients that their recurring back pain was ‘so much better’ whilst on holiday. Many people attribute this to the sun and just not being at work, but maybe it’s something more.  Start looking at all the little things that make up your day and analysing what makes your pain better or worse. Then start trying to make little tweaks to allow your body to move in a better and more pain-free way!