"(Q) 07.04.12. "Dear Doctor Vikingo,
If your chiropractor "cracks" your neck/back the expanding gas will create microbubbles and bubble nuclei. A subsequent dive would expand the quantity and size of the bubbles.
Does anyone know how long the microbubbles and nuclei continue to be a threat?
I imagine the same concern would apply to inadvertently cracking your knuckles while lifting a tank or a "popping" knee or hip joint.
"Hi M S,
It indeed is very likely if you're hearing sharp cracking or popping sounds during chiropractic treatment that small cavities of partial vacuum are forming & then collapsing within the synovial fluid around the affected joint.
However, these microbubbles cannot precipitate DCI in the absence of an appropriate inert gas loading. Moreover, because they last for only a very short period, chiropractic treatment prior to a dive does not pose a DCS risk.
BTW, indeed being hard on knee or hip joints immediately post-dive (where one does have an inert gas loading), such as when a climbing ladder back into the boat with weights or tanks on, is unwise. I know several very august diving medicine doctors who vigorously caution against such activity.
This is educational only and does not constitute or imply a doctor-patient relationship. It is not medical advice to you or any other individual, and should not be construed as such."