Chiropractic Spinal Adjustment: What was that pop?

Has this ever happened to you? You're at the chiropractor getting treatment for your back pain, and during a spinal adjustment, you hear a large popping noise. It sounds a bit alarming, doesn't it? Rest assured, though: That pop during a chiropractic spinal adjustment is completely normal.

chiropractic spinal adjustmentDuring a chiropractic spinal adjustment or manipulation, should you be concerned if you hear a popping sound? Photo Source:

During a back adjustment, your back undergoes quick, gentle stretching of the spinal facet joint, so you may hear a cracking or popping noise. This is caused by small pockets of air or bubbles, which are in the fluid that surrounds your joints. When joint tissues are stretched during a chiropractic adjustment, the pockets of air "pop," which creates that cracking sound you hear. After this treatment, you may feel more movement in your back. However, the muscles may still be sore and tight.

Your chiropractor may also incorporate other chiropractic care treatments, such as muscle therapy. You should notice more back pain relief with each session.

Your chiropractor may also recommend preventive care, such as specific exercises, and he or she may give you ergonomic tips on how to correctly bend and lift, as well as how to take care of your back while at your desk (if you work in an office). Doing specific exercises and maintaining good posture can help keep healthy movement in your spine.

Is Chiropractic Care Right for You?

It's important to remember that chiropractic care is not a cure-all for all back or neck conditions. Some spine conditions that cause back pain may require other treatments, such as medications and surgery, or a combination of treatments.

But if you have a condition that causes back pain and you want to try a non-surgical treatment, chiropractic care may be a good treatment option for you. But remember, you shouldn't be alarmed by a popping noise during a spinal adjustment—it's normal in chiropractic care.

Updated on: 04/26/19
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