What Is The ‘POP’ I Hear When I Get Adjusted?

What Chiropractic Adjustments Can Do For You?

What Is The ‘POP’ I Hear When I Get Adjusted?

Whenever I have a chiropractic ‘newbie’ come into the office, without fail, almost all of them ask; ‘what is that popping sound when I get adjusted?’  Usually the follow up questions are:


  • Is that sound normal?
  • Does it mean it was a ‘good’ adjustment?
  • Is it safe?


First to answer the main question…What is it?


The ‘popping’ sound and feeling you experience when you get adjusted is actually gas that is stored in the joint that is released at the time of the adjustment.  When a skilled physician manipulates the spine they take the spinal joints to what is called the ‘end range of motion’.  Then they do a really quick controlled movement putting the joint into the ‘paraphysiological space’.   When the joint is moved in this manner then gasses stored in the joint are released creating the ‘popping’ sound and feeling.  The best example of something similar is when you open a bottle of soda.  As soon as you open the soda, the carbonation which is under pressure releases creating the sound when you open the bottle.   It is a similar effect when the adjustment occurs.


Is the sound normal?


Yes it is completely normal.  This happens many times throughout the day and throughout our lives.  When we use our hands the joint’s ‘pop’ or sometimes when we stretch out our spine can ‘pop’.


Is it safe?


Yes it is.  Chiropractic adjustments are very safe!!! In fact you’re more likely to have an adverse reaction to taking ibuprofen or tylenol then having an injury due to a chiropractic adjustment.
Does it mean it was a good adjustment?


No!  There are many ways to manipulate the spine.  Some use manual force and create the ‘popping’ sound while others use instruments or drop pieces on the table to get movement in the spine, which usually does not involve the ‘popping’ sound.


The main purpose of the chiropractic adjustment is to create motion into ‘stuck’ joints.  All of these methods can improve that motion thereby helping to give pain relief to those areas.


The most important thing is to go to a chiropractor that does not try to adjust each patient the same way.  It is good to go to a chiropractor that is trained and willing to use whatever adjustment style is best for them!  At Spinal Rehab of North County all of our physicians are skilled in multiple adjusting techniques.  From manual manipulation to instrument assisted.  We can adjust people from birth to death with these adjustment techniques.   If you want to know more about what we can do for you please call us for a FREE consultation 801-492-9300.
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