Most people who are skeptical about undergoing chiropractic care attribute their worries on the popping sound created during manipulations. It is not a surprise that people become afraid to have their spines adjusted because of the cracking sound, even though it’s under the guidance of a professional Tampa chiropractor. This is because a popping sound on the spine is not a usual experience and a popping sound may be attributed to some spinal fracture or dislocation. However, the popping or cracking sound in chiropractic care is not your spine being dislocated, but a series of events that allow the movement of gas (in this case, nitrogen) when the joints are separated during manual manipulation.
The noise created in chiropractic care is similar to the mechanism of a cork being held out of a champagne bottle. The cracking sound heard, does not in any way, lead to damages or even dislocations in the spine, but it is an indication that the manipulations are effective in maintaining proper alignment of the vertebrae. However, not all chiropractic manipulations lead to the creation of a popping sound because some may only use little force; hence, no sound is created.
If you understand the mechanism of the cracking sound, then getting a chiropractic care becomes a pleasant experience instead of being a frightening visit.
The Mechanism of the Cracking Sound
During chiropractic manipulations, the vertebrae are adjusted to relieve spinal subluxations or misalignment of the bones leading to impingement of the underlying nerves and subsequently pain and limited range of motion. When there are spinal subluxations, the spinal joints become stuck contributing to difficulty of movements. Those who have spinal subluxations most often feel pain, being locked up and tension on the neck, shoulders and back.
Chiropractic adjustments come into place by employing various techniques to release the stuck spinal joint. Chiropractors usually employ quick thrusts on the spine resulting to a loud pop. The loud pop is created by creating an opening between the joints to allow the stuck joint to be released. As a gap is created on the joint, nitrogen gas rushes out creating a loud pop.
But where does the gas originate? The cracking or popping sound is known as cavitation. In between the joints is synovial fluid that allows the joint to glide normally and smoothly. The synovial fluid is produced within the synovial cavity and byproducts consist of gases such as nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. When the joints are opened up, these gases are released, especially nitrogen, contributing to a popping or cracking sound.
What Happens after the Cracking Sound?
When you already hear the sound, it only means that the manipulation was effective. When the stuck joints are released, the synovial fluid lubricates the spinal joints and the normal joint functioning is; thereby, restored.
In this line, chiropractic manipulation should never be dreaded just because of the cracking sound. The next time you visit a chiropractor, talk about your fears on having spinal dislocations so your chiropractor can discuss the events with you to make your chiropractic visit a pleasant one.