Usually, during chiropractic adjustments, there will be a clicking/popping/cracking sound. This audible release is called a cavitation. It is a safe and normal sound that naturally occurs when there is a change of pressure in the fluid between the joints.

Sometimes, people fear the popping sound because they don’t understand what is happening. The sound is not bones cracking or bones being forced in or out of place. It is simply the result of pressure being released from a “stuck” joint that isn’t moving as well as it should be.

The joints in the spine that are most commonly being adjusted are called the facet joints – these are synovial joints that produce synovial fluid, which is important for lubrication and providing nourishment to the joint. When an adjustment occurs, little tiny gas bubbles (CO2, nitrogen and hydrogen) form in the fluid as the pressure is being released. It’s a similar idea to when you open a can of pop. Once this pressure has been released, the synovial fluids re-lubricate the joint and normal motion is restored. It also has many profoundly positive effects, including, but not limited to:

  • Restoration of range of motion
  • Restoration of normal nerve function (possibly the most important factor)
  • Relaxation of the muscles that correspond to the vertebrae being adjusted
  • Release of endorphins so that pain levels are reduced

All of these effects can reduce the symptoms that were present while correcting the problem that was causing the issue so that you can function at your very best.

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