What is that popping sound when I go to the Chiropractor

Are you new to visiting the Chiropractor? Have some questions about how it all works? Great…we have some answers! Here are some helpful frequently asked questions and answers:

Many people ask us what that “popping sound is” when we adjust someone, and is it safe? They wonder if we are actually “moving” their bones?

Small pockets of air or bubbles build up in the fluid that are in the joints along your spine. When we adjust someone, (which is a precise quick movement to that particular joint), that pocket of air is released and causes a “cavitation” or popping sound. That movement is a good thing! 🙂

Does the popping hurt?

Sometimes immediate relief is felt following the cavitation. Occasionally, it can feel a little sore. Normally the popping should not hurt. If you have not been adjusted in the past year, it is not uncommon to feel sore for a day or two after getting adjusted. Your muscles are just reacting to that unknown movement.

Why does it pop a ton sometimes, and other times not as much?

It really just depends on how locked up the joints are, and how much gas has built up in those joints since your last visit. Usually it pops the most on your very first visit. Your body will get accustomed to staying in alignment where it should be, and less gas should be building up over time.  

What areas can the Chiropractor actually adjust?

Any area with a joint can be adjusted! We not only adjust the back and neck, but also extremity joints like wrists, elbows, ankles, knees, shoulders, and hips. These all can “pop” as well. Lesser known areas like ribs, ears, fingers, toes, and the TMJ can also be adjusted.

Does there need to be the popping sound to signify movement?

No, sometimes the joints do in fact actually move without any cavitation or popping sound. It may not be as satisfactory to the patient when they do not hear the pop; but as long as the joints are unlocked and you have increased range of motion and a decrease in pain, then that is the end goal we are aiming for.  

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