Main Line Chiropractor Answers: What is That Popping Sound When I Get Adjusted?

Photo: Michael Dorausch

Flickr Creative Commons

As a chiropractor on the Main Line, we've encountered many first-time patients who are anxious about chiropractic adjustments. This is understandable! It's unnerving to have a stranger's hands around your neck, even when that stranger is an experienced chiropractor.

One of the things that most unnerves new patients is that small popping sound that sometimes occurs during an adjustment. To soothe the nerves of new patients, and to satisfy anyone's curiosity, here's a simple explanation for this phenomenon.

First Things First: Subluxations

As a Main Line chiropractor, a large part of our job is to take care of "subluxations." To put it simply, these are misalignments of the spine. Over time, a misalignment can have a significant effect on wellness, leading to pain, inflammation, loss of function, and an "out of sync" feeling. The longer they are left untreated, the more discomfort and disfunction misalignments can cause.

The Solution: Chiropractic Adjustments

Luckily, there is a way to relieve misalignments, which is to perform a chiropractic adjustment. During a chiropractic adjustment, the doctor will apply a quick, painless thrust to a specific part of the spinal segment -- which is when that famous POP! occurs.

The pop is NOT the bone cracking. Here's what's actually happening: The joints of the spine are coated in fluid, called "synovial fluid," which lubricates and nourishes them. Synovial fluid naturally produces gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. When the joint is opened up during an adjustment, these gases are released -- which is the pop you hear. It is very similar to the pop that occurs when you open a can of soda or uncork champagne.

Once the gases are released, the synovial fluids re-lubricate the joint, restoring normal function. Most patients feel instantaneous relief.

Meet With A Main Line Chiropractor

That's your answer, courtesy of Main Line Chiropractic Dr. Theresa Johns of Johns Chiropractic & Rehabilitation. If you believe you could benefit from our chiropractic services, give us a call! Our offices can be reached at (610) 265-0220 or just by stopping by. We're located at 499 South Henderson Road in King of Prussia, PA 19046. We also offer ultra sounds, electric stimulation, nutritional counseling, and massage therapy.

Thank you for reading! If you're interested in learning more, feel free to explore our Tip of the Month!