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What’s that loud pop we hear during some chiropractic adjustments?

Knowing what to expect when you visit a chiropractor helps to dissipate any apprehension or even fear you may have beforehand. Being prepared for that rather unnerving 'pop' as your joint or back undergoes an adjustment is half the battle to relaxing and getting better!

So what causes the loud popping sound you hear as you're being adjusted?

It's all a matter of gases – more accurately the sudden release of gases around the joint being adjusted - as simple as that. As to what causes the gases to make this sound is also simple: each joint, especially in the spinal joints, is lubricated by a fluid not unlike egg white. This fluid ensures smoothness of movement and cushioning of the joint from shock and stresses. It essentially permits a silky action for the joint, reducing friction on the bone through all its planes of movement.

As with most fluids there are air bubbles (carbon dioxide and nitrogen) contained within its flowing substance. As your chiropractor carries out the adjustment the joint opens and releases the gases with a 'pop'.

The fluid then returns to its proper location around the joint and continues to carry out its function of lubrication and carrying waste products away from the area.


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