What Causes The Popping Sound At The Chiropractor?

So you’ve probably seen my videos where I am adjusting my patients and you may wonder “what is actually making that pop sound?”

I’m not actually caring about the sound effects. That’s the least of my worries. It really comes down to the cause. What I’m actually doing is more movement, therefore allowing the body to function normally again, at its optimum, rather than being stuck, and over working in certain areas more than others.

So I’ll be really looking for those joints that are not functioning optimally, that have a bit more stiffness in them or a reduction in range of movement.

When I find those joints, by putting a specific movement through there, it may create a little popping sound often. The reason is because in those joints, if they haven’t been moving for a while, some gas builds up in the joints. Those tissues are still alive so they release gases in the body anyway. So when I put that movement through the joint, some of the gas can get released and it makes a popping sound.

Often that popping sound has been misunderstood, and instead described as a cracking. I get asked “Can you crack my bones?”

Hopefully not! Because if I do crack your bones, that’s technically a fracture.

So by moving those bones we are adjusting the joint thereby improving its range of movement and achieving optimal function.

Now you may often hear some different pops when you’re moving around some cracks and clicks. In those cases it may be due to some tight tendons flicking over a bone. That’s not quite the same as what we often create in our patients. The noise that you hear is often that the popping sound is created from the joints moving, and the gas releasing from between the joints.

But then also when I put a movement through a joint and I don’t hear a pop it doesn’t mean it didn’t work.

The sound is not the important part. What is important is the movement that we have now achieved in that joint, i.e. the function.

 I also have some people tell me that tell me they crack their joints themselves.

But you to avoid doing that yourself, because even for me, I can’t, and it’s impossible for me to align or adjust my own joints that need them the most.

It’s impossible for me to actually generate the force required on those stiff joints that needs that movement.

Instead I will often go to see my own colleagues to get adjusted, rather than attempt it myself.

I would encourage you to do the same. If you are trying to adjust yourself, it is not really an adjustment. That movement is likely to go through space or a joint has already got too much movement anyway. So all you are doing in the long term is exacerbating the problem.

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