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Chiropractic Adjustment Information : Cracking Sound in Chiropractic Adjustments

Some people often ask what is the clicking,
or the cracking or popping sound when they are getting an adjustment or they have heard
about an adjustment and their friends have told them that gosh it cracks and it pops
so let me use this model here to show you what is going on when the joint cracks or
pops. With any joint in the spine it is what we call a synovial joint and it is this situation
right here which we are kind of moving and again there are two sets or two facets on
the joint and that is what guides the motion and around this joint typically there are
going to be layers of tissue and inside it contains synovial fluid and that is why it
is called a synovial joint. What happens is when we get this joint to where we call the
paraphysiologic end space or to the very end of its end range and we put that pressure
that directive force in there we are actually mobilizing it or releasing the gas from this
joint space because there is actually a vacuum surrounding that tissue and that fluid or
inside that tissue and that fluid so really all that it is, it is not the bone breaking,
it is not the bone breaking, none of those things are happening, it is just a release
of gas from that joint space, just like when you pop your knuckles, same kind of thing.
A lot of people are very stressed out and very worried and it actually keeps people
from going to see a chiropractor so just to try to alleviate some of that fear and some
of that anxiety, nothing is breaking, chiropractors will assess things so that we are eliminating
that possibility altogether and all that that joint is doing is just eliminating gas from
that joint space.

50 thoughts on “Chiropractic Adjustment Information : Cracking Sound in Chiropractic Adjustments

  1. I've had a constant bad back, in the lower region, lost all flexability, stiffness, constant aching…went to see a chiropractor, he sorted me right out, fantastic!! before i was about 5 inches from touching my toes when bent over which i always put down to tight hamstrings from my cycling/running, after only a couple of sessions i could touch my toes due to the improved flex in my lower spine….and like many, i love the crack!!! it feels kind of relieving..

  2. one thing I do like about chyros is that they won't just prescribe a bunch of drugs to me like most md doctors. MD doctors look more legit than chiros because the pharmaceutical industry backs MDs but not chiros. its all business any way you look at it, but drugs destroy people.

  3. To quote well the well known critic of chiropratic, Samuel Homola, D.C., author and chiropractor, "Popping, like cracking of the knuckles, simply reflects the sudden separation of joint surfaces held in close contact by fluidic contact in a vacuum, it has nothing to do with a bone being 'put back in place'. So is any adjustment being made at all when you have your 'subluxations' 'cracked' and popped' ?

  4. ive heard that if you dont get the gas released that it can build up, go up your backbone and blow your head off. thats why i always release gas as soon as possible to keep that from happening.

  5. I've got a question….. Whenever I push my foot up I feel a little pop and if I turn 360 degrees from there it makes a loud cracking sound, where do you think does the cracking comes from ? Thanks.

  6. @nicedoggylove –
    Yeahhh…! The "Doctor" explained the popping sound!
    It must be the "doggy love" that makes you say that!
    Kinda cute!

  7. Cineradiographs show joint separation; force takes the path of least resistance, hence, even if you are trying to manipulate a 'fixated' joint, the force travels to a mobile joint. the mobile jt certainly doesn't need more mobility, however, u still stimulate type III Inhibitor mechanoreceptors & modulate pain; however, no correction occurs; in-fact many R mistaking natural anomalies 4 misalignments. It would seem a good idea to drop term 'adjustment' especially 1 would have to ignore gravity

  8. @be2008real Wow, I made that post over a year ago. But anyway, I don't know where you get the idea that he was a failure as a Chiropractor. And even if he was, does this mean that everything he says about chiropractic is false? How do you measure a successful chiropractor anyway? One who has over 500 PV's per week? Many chiropractors brag about all the PV's they get per week, as if it is a measure of their success. That's really rushing them through, as far as I am concerned. 😮

  9. It is funny, I have been going to a chiropractor ever since I was 4 yrs. old, and I never heard this explanation before! I always thought the cracking sounds was the bones or joints moving=)

  10. @INTERNATIONALvids Before you hand out your ethics award you should know that chiropractors can't prescribe drugs, even if they wanted to.
    Your blanket statement that "drugs destroy people," is equally erroneous. Drugs prolong the lives of sick people all over Earth. Perhaps even more important, drugs make life worth living in those that suffer through chronic pain.
    So before you write in absolutes, think twice, because here on Earth almost nothing is clear black and white


  11. Shouldn't stretching the neck to open up that area, such as by pulling my chin towards my chest, do a similar thing over time?

  12. Not really explained very well what happens is the synovial fluid has dissolved gas like a soda bottle when it's sealed you don't see any bubbles once you open the lid bubbles form when you pull the joint quickly a vacuum rapidly changes the pressure in the joint causes the dissolved gas to pop into gas forming a small bubble over time the gas bubble goes back into to the dissolved fluid like when you screw the lid back on the soda bottle let it sit for awhile then you can pop it again.

  13. I have been going to the chiropractor for years. The first guy did that whole neck-popping thing and next thing I know I had Bell's Palsy for a couple weeks! Then I told him to stop the neck-popping thing and I never again had a problem. Then he left the practice and new guy came in. He has done a few of the neck-snap manipulations with no problems afterward. Until recently. About a week or so ago, he did one, and now my neck area and traps hurt from time to time. It'll hurt just to lay down in bed or to even talk, and it'll feel like my throat has a frog in it. Worried now that I have irreversible nerve damage and I definitely don't want to die of stroke as some articles say can happen cause of an artial tear of some sort breaking off and causing a clot. I massage and stretch my neck to little or no relief. =:( My sister warned me about chiropractic care. =:/ Debating on if I'll go back or not.

  14. The sounds stems from a lubricant called synovial fluid which helps to lubricate your joints which has a normal pressure.  There are also  cells that live within the joint capsule.  These cells metabolize and produce waste in the form of carbon dioxide gas.   The popping or cracking sound you hear is simply that gas escaping from the synovial fluid when the pressure is released from a chiropractic adjustment.

  15. Cracking a joint makes fluid turn into gas which makes the sound,it's "safe" to do but if you crack a joint to often it will give you arthritis

  16. Why do a always feel like a need to crack my spine? Is it bad to do it to much.. It always needs to pop

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