What is that popping sound?

We often joke that as chiropractors we give you “the crack” that you need. We also have patients constantly asking us why they did not hear a popping/cracking sound and if they do, is it okay or healthy to have such sounds come from their joints.

Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers to hopefully answer your concerns:

Q: What are these popping/cracking sounds?

A: Sometimes, there are gas bubbles trapped between your joints and the release of these gas bubbles during Adjustments (or manipulations) can create a popping sound. The noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint.

Q: What if I hear a snapping sound?

A: If it is a snapping sound that has occurred after vigorous exercise, it could simply be a tight muscle and tendon rolling over the bone. It could also be caused by a ligament.

Q: What if I have these popping sounds naturally and what can I do about them?

A: If you are experiencing these noises outside of a chiropractic adjustment, they could mean that natural wear and tear is happening in your joints. This occurs most commonly in the shoulder and knees. The best thing to do is to keep moving during the day and strengthen the muscles around the joints so that the rough surfaces do not keep grinding and causing noises.

Q: Does it mean that the more popping/cracking I hear, the better?

A: No, it does not mean that the more sounds you hear during a treatment, the better or more effective it would be. Usually, sounds are just a placebo effect. Some joints produce louder sounds while some move without noise. Both are common and normal.

A great way to regain mobility in stiff joints and to keep your joints lubricated is to keep the motion in your spine and joints moving. If you have more questions, here at Healthworks we are always more than willing to answer your questions.