What causes the cracking sound of an adjustment?

What causes the cracking sound of an adjustment?

joint cracking

Have you ever had a chiropractic adjustment and heard a loud cracking sound? What is that sound? Is it my bones?

No the sound of the adjustment is not your bones cracking.

The cracking sound is called a cavitation. The cavitation heard from the adjustment is not the bones cracking. In this post, I will explain a theory of how some adjustments can cause cavitations, but let’s start with learning about the anatomy of a joint first.


What is a joint?

Joints are made up of two bones that move in a specific way. Each joint has what is called a joint capsule surrounding them which has fluid and gases within them. Over time gas pressure builds within the joint, which is released when an adjustment is performed on a patient. The sound you hear is the gas being released from the joint. The joint then returns back to normal function.

Over time gas pressure builds in the joint which is released when an adjustment is performed on a patient.


Why do cavitations sound loud at times but soft other times I get adjusted?

The sound of joint cavitation is the same concept as the sound of opening up a carbonated beverage. When you open a carbonated beverage quickly, all of the built up pressure rushes out loudly. However, when you open a beverage slowly, the sound of the pressure releasing tends to be softer. The joint has a certain amount of gas pressure built up within itself. The more gas built up in the joint and the faster the adjustment will determine the volume of sound that is released from the joint.


Are adjustments more painful if they make sound?

While the joints and muscles can be sore after the adjustment due to inflammation in the area of discomfort. The sound, or lack of sound, of the adjustment does not cause pain.


What if I want to get adjusted, but I don’t like the cracking and popping sound?

Believe it or not there are Chiropractic adjustments that don’t cause joint cracking (cavitation)!

Next week we will be discussing the chiropractic adjustments that don’t cause the joint cracking (cavitation).


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