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As chiropractors we’re here to help people but by the nature of what we do, people hate us for the pops and cracks we cause.

So what exactly are those noises you hear?

Well actually the crack is something that is quite incidental to the treatment and whether the joint does or does not crack is not important as to whether the spine is healing, in fact some people’s spines never crack in places.

So just what is that noise?

As we manipulate the spinal joints we are moving them apart from their compressed position to a more normal alignment. Because they are filled with fluid they act just like a bottle of champagne or a can of drink when you open them. The sudden drop in pressure causes bubbles of carbon dioxide and nitrogen to come out of solution and then ‘POP’ as it dissolves back into the fluid. After an adjustment the chemical nature of the fluid does change slightly to make it less viscous but apart from that the crack actually has little effect.

The important effects the manipulation have are on the nervous system and the nerve receptors coming from the joint travelling back up to the main spinal nerves and onwards up into the brain where the new information may be processed.

So there you have it- that horrible noise you hear in your neck is actually just little bubbles popping just as they do in your knuckles when you crack them.

All perfectly harmless and incidental!


To your health


Debbie Shaw

Author Debbie Shaw

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