Why Do I Hear a Popping Sound When I Get Adjusted?

By Dr Ryan Lee

If you’ve ever gotten adjusted by a chiropractor before I am sure you have noticed the cracking and popping sounds your spine and extremities make during the adjustment. But have you ever been curious as to why your body makes those sounds during a chiropractic adjustment?

To answer that question let’s investigate why we need chiropractic care in the first place.

Chiropractic care addresses a specific issue in the body called a subluxation. Subluxations are obstructions in the nervous system’s path that prevent the brain and nervous system from functioning as they should.

Chiropractors (Doctors of Chiropractic), are trained to examine, locate, and treat harmful subluxations in the body using chiropractic adjustments. A chiropractic adjustment takes the stress off the dysfunctional spinal joint by using treatments to specifically remove the subluxation of the vertebra. When these subluxations are removed, your body can begin to function optimally once again.

So now that we know what a chiropractic adjustment is, let’s talk about what is making that snap, crackle, pop sound.

During a chiropractic adjustment, your spine undergoes a quick and easy stretch of your spinal facet joints. This stretch releases gasses in the fluid that surrounds your joints. This is comparable to when you pop the cork off a bottle of champagne. The release of those gasses is what makes the popping sound, is also known as cavitation.

The fluid that surrounds our joints is called synovial fluid, and its job is to lubricate and nourish the joint to keep it healthy and reduce the friction between the bones that make up the joint.

Not all adjustments will create a cavitation, but that is not the determining factor to a successful chiropractic adjustment.

In conclusion, the release of gases in the spinal facet joints is what creates the popping sound during a chiropractic adjustment. It is a completely normal part of the adjustment process and is very safe.

For more information on chiropractic care and adjustments, visit our health blog here.

Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here.

*This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is located in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area specifically in Collegedale, TN, a short distance from Ooltewah, Cleveland, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Ringgold, Apison, and Harrison.

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