Many of you may have wondered why our bodies make that pop or crack sound when we are adjusted by our Chiropractor or Osteopath. Sounds almost like a crunch doesn’t it? But fear not, it is not our bones rubbing against one another or our bones breaking that creates that cracking sound, but simply a gas bubble releasing within our joints, sort of like bubble wrap!

Our body is made up of joints, which allows us to move in all sorts of directions, such as when we bend over to tie our shoe laces, or turn our head to check over our shoulder when driving. Those joints are filled with a very viscous fluid which helps lubricate the area so we can move freely and smoothly. Think of it like a freshly lubricated bike chain that glides smoothly as you peddle.


When we create tension in joints, such as stretching our knuckles out to their furthest, this creates a low pressure zone in the joint space which enables gas bubbles to form. Once pulled just slightly further past the threshold, those formed gas bubbles will release to create that infamous POP sound that can be oh-so satisfying to some, but a great shock to others. Good to note that adjustments normally seem more vocal in the neck, only because anatomically it is much closer to our ears than our backs, and therefore is much more audible to us.

So why do our Chiropractors and Osteopaths sometimes adjust?

Along with other techniques, adjusting is an effective tool to help restore range of motion and reduce pressure and tension in our bodies. We move your body in certain positions and spring through your joints (which we call “palpation”) to identify any restricted areas and adjust them to release any pressure on muscles and nerves, which can be the source of tenderness and discomfort.

So to sum things up, the sound is merely a gas bubble popping, not anything more sinister!





Although adjusting can be oh-so-satisfying, it isn’t for everyone, but that’s ok! Always advise your practitioner if you feel uncomfortable as there are many other techniques we can use to help achieve a similar outcome.