Snap! Pop! What Are Those Noises During Your Chiropractic Visit?

  • Chiropractor - Physician Websites
  • back pain - chiropractor
  • November 10, 2021

The pop that happens during a chiropractic adjustment might be concerning for people. The sound is just gas bubbles releasing in the joints.

Don’t Be Alarmed By That Popping Sound

The first time someone visits a chiropractor, the popping and snapping sounds during adjustment might be concerning. However, these sounds are an indication that the chiropractic adjustment is working. Don’t be alarmed. Here’s what those noises during the chiropractic visit really mean.

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The body is releasing gas bubbles

When the spine is out of alignment, the joints fill with gas bubbles. The popping sound during a chiropractic adjustment is the release of those gas bubbles. The sound might feel a bit alarming. But the release of the gas bubbles is not dangerous. Most people notice a feeling of more flexibility and more effortless movement following a chiropractic visit.

Joints cracking in daily life

Snapping and popping of joints may occur outside of the chiropractor’s office as well. Many people notice knees cracking when getting up and down, knuckles popping, or a snap and pop in the back when twisting. Typically, these occurrences of snapping and popping increase with age. Cracking joints are also more common in people who are sedentary.

Usually, the sound means that the surrounding muscle is tight. After a chiropractic adjustment, most chiropractors will recommend continuing a regular gentle stretching regimen at home. These exercises will help keep the muscles loose and commonly decreases the occurrence of cracking sounds.

When to be concerned

The only time joint popping is a cause for concern is if the noise is also accompanied by pain and swelling. These symptoms could be a sign of injury or infection. If this is ever the case, let a healthcare provider know right away.

I thought popping sounds meant I’d get arthritis?

One old wives’ tale says that joints popping too much, particularly cracking the knuckles, will cause arthritis. This tale isn’t accurate. Cracking knuckles repeatedly may leave the hands a little sore. But the release of gas bubbles in the joints that causes the cracking sound doesn’t cause inflammation.

The chiropractic visit

Over time, many people experience a significant decrease in back pain with regular chiropractic visits. A chiropractor may also suggest other exercises in conjunction with chiropractic adjustments. These could include specific stretches to improve core strength, back strength, and posture. A chiropractor may also advise on the optimal ergonomic setup for people who sit most of the day. People suffering from any spine pain should consult a chiropractor for treatment options to find relief.

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