Recently a Homeopathic Dr questioned me about the cracking noise that occurs when we manipulate the spine. Where does this sound come from and what causes it?
You have probably experienced a chiropractic adjustment in your neck or you back and hear a "popping" or a cracking sound. Nothing to be alarmed about. Its not a dangerous thing. In chiropractic we call this a "cavitation". There is synovial fluid in a joint and when there is a change in pressure in the joint, this causes the popping sound or an audible release. When this synovial fluid changes from liquid to gas, you get the sound.
“Cracking” your own neck can be harmful… “Why”, you might ask:
Leave the adjusting (moving a vertebrae in a specific direction to relieve nerve pressure) to the pros. When you try to manipulate your neck you run the risk of putting something more out of place. This may mean more pressure and possible straining your neck with neck pain.
It's one thing to roll the neck around and get a "pop", but I've seen people grab their head with two hands and do it like an untrained doctor of chiropractic - Yikes...
The audible release associated with joint manipulation.J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1995 Mar-Apr;18(3):155-64.
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