Chiropractic adjustments often accompany a popping or cracking sound. This natural and harmless cause and effect creates occasional moments of anxiety for people unaccustomed to experiencing the benefits of an adjustment. People sometimes think the sound originates from bones popping or cracking or rubbing together. The actual source of the sounds associated with healthy adjustments comes from pressure being released from a joint. These joints accumulate pressure where two parts of the human skeleton fit together. Most joints exist to move by their natural design. Chiropractors assess and adjust misaligned and locked up spinal vertebrae to help the spine move freely and promote improved nervous system function.

Research from 2015 helped explain the mechanism for how a chiropractic adjustment reduces stress through a quick gentle force. The adjustment slightly separates the joint by overcoming the protective muscle reflexes and reducing adhesive scar tissue formation while improving motion. This process occurs without injury to any of the tissues involved. The popping or cracking noise simply comes from gas being released from the joint when the gapping occurs. Some adjustments take place without any noise heard or felt by the patient while other adjustments release enough pressure on a joint to produce an audible sound.

The spine consists of over 24 moveable bones called vertebrae. Chiropractors assess the alignment and movement of the vertebrae to locate any joints that become immobile or misaligned. These partially dislocated joints, called subluxations, represent a vitally influential aspect of human health due to the spine’s intimate connection with the nervous system. The spine houses and protects the spinal cord and nerves, providing openings to the spinal nerve roots that exit through each vertebra. Experts refer to the spine as a “neuro-spinal organ” because of the large amounts of tiny neurons located in and around the bones and joints of each vertebra. The health of the spine allows tiny neurons to give uninterrupted feedback to the brain so that appropriate messages can be delivered to and from all organs on a regular basis. The relationship between the spine and all organs of the body proves vital to overall health and function and details why a properly aligned spine represents an essential and proactive part of every family’s health plan.


PLoS One 2015
Real-Time Visualization of Joint Cavitation.”
Gregory N. Kawchuk, Jerome Fryer, Jacob L. Jaremko, Hongbo Zeng, Lindsay Rowe, and Richard Thompson

The human spine consists of 24 moveable vertebrae with padded-like discs positioned in between. The vertebrae attach to each other with ligaments but allow for movements in all direction. Each vertebra comprises part of a kinetic chain with three primary purposes. The first purpose holds a person up straight and forms the foundation for good posture. The second purpose allows for movement and the absorption of compressive forces. The third purpose protects and directs nerve function.

The spinal cord and nerves run through the spinal canal and have tentacle-like extensions in between each vertebra. Proper alignment of the spine allows each spinal nerve to exit the spinal canal with no tension or pressure. Tiny muscles and ligaments loaded with neurons surround the spinal vertebrae and rely on movement to send proper signals to the brain for proper function and control. When a spinal vertebra becomes even slightly misaligned or immobile, the nerve feedback to and from the brain becomes altered. This leads to a host of problems, minimizing the ability for a person to reach maximum health potential and movement. Chiropractors assess and test the spine for any such misalignment or movement deficits and apply specific adjustment techniques to correct them. Improved function and mobility occur as a result.

People coping with stress, misalignment, or lack of mobility in the spine will benefit from better function through chiropractic adjustments. Athletes represent a unique population that benefits from the unique advantages offered by chiropractic care. Simple research of the world’s elite athletes reflects a training staff consisting of a variety of specialists, including a chiropractor. Word continues to spread as testimony of this cutting-edge approach to better performance.

One of many specific examples comes from research completed in 2015 that showed athletes adjusted by Chiropractors experiencing an increase in their vertical jump height. Athletes exhibited an average increase in vertical jump height of 3.6 centimeters for following a series of alignment adjustments to the pelvis.

Chiropractic adjustments provide a unique edge and advantage both elite athletes and regular folks competing at life each and every day. Chiropractors assess and correct stress and misalignments in the spine through specific and gentle adjustments. Chiropractic certainly provides relief from pain and discomfort, yet the best approach to health care begins with being proactive. Allow chiropractic to help prevent injuries and maximize performance before the onset of pain or physical symptoms that call attention to damage within the body. The chiropractic advantage offers optimal performance and potential by ensuring each person experiences maximized function from the inside out.

The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy April 2014 Changes in biochemical markers of pain perception and stress response after spinal manipulation.”
Gustavo Plaza-Manzano, Francisco Molina-Ortega, Rafael Lomas-Vega, Antonio Martínez-Amat, Alexander Achalandabaso, Fidel Hita-Contreras

A kinetic chain entails a process in which each joint or segment in the chain effects every other segment during movement. Energy and movement in one segment creates a chain of events which affects neighboring joints and segments. A tangible example involves using playing cards or dominos to create a chain reaction beginning with movement in a single part which impacts the whole.

The spine makes up a kinetic chain. Chiropractors understand that a holistic approach provides the best method of ensuring total body care when assessing and addressing symptoms of disease. The existence of a problem in one area of the spine radiates effects onto other parts of the spine and body. Pain tends to be the last sign that a problem exists. A proactive approach ensures the body be kept in the best position possible to prevent pain and disease from occurring. Chiropractors and other spinal health professionals understand and approach the spine as a powerful kinetic chain which influences the health of the entire body.

A leading spine expert Dr. John Bland accurately stated:

“We tend to divide the examination of the spine into regions: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine clinical studies. This is a mistake. The three units are closely interrelated structurally and functionally. A whole person with a whole spine. The cervical spine (neck) may be symptomatic (painful) because of a thoracic (mid-back) or lumbar (low back) spine abnormality, and vice versa. Sometimes treating the lumbar spine will relieve a cervical spine syndrome, or proper management of the cervical spine will relieve a low back ache.”

– Disorders of the Cervical Spine

The spine consists of twenty-four moveable bones stacked on top of each other with a shock absorber in between each segment. The shock absorber is called an intervertebral disc. Chiropractors focus on the health and functionality of the entire spine to ensure proper alignment and movement within each vertebra and disc.

The spine also intimately connects with the brain and central nervous system. Movement makes up a key ingredient in proper brain and nervous system function. Proper movement means the brain and body communicate to the fullest potential. Every adjustment helps unlock any stiffness or lack of mobility to ensure the process of maximum health and healing. As the spine gets healthier and more well-adjusted, the body gets healthier through better nervous system function. Proactively detecting and addressing all areas of the spine within the kinetic chain remains the ultimate goal. Chiropractors take pride in helping their practice members achieve healthier, more active without drugs or surgery. Stay connected to better help with Chiropractic.

University of Vermont College of medicine 1994
“Disorders of the Cervical Spine.” John Bland, MD. Professor of medicine