What Snaps and Pops Tell You
People who have never been to a chiropractor before may panic when they hear snaps and pops. These are commonly heard during adjustments. It’s important to know what these sounds are saying.
Hearing these sounds is normal. Many people, even the healthiest of individuals, will experience snaps and pops from time to time when at the chiropractor. The majority of the snaps and pops are as a result of built up gas escaping at the joints.
A normal joint is going to move without sound. It will be able to extend through the full range of motion with no issue. However, when joints are stiff or restricted, they won’t be able to move as much. Some of this may have to do with a gas build-up. When the joint is adjusted and moved to the full range of motion, it is pushed to the limits, the gas escapes and the snap or pop is heard.
If you are uneasy about hearing these sounds, tell your chiropractor. This will allow him or her to guide you through the adjustment and tell you when you’re going to hear something. If your spine or neck is out of alignment, you may also hear some of the snaps and pops as a result of something being snapped back into place.
When you are in pain and you’re going to the chiropractor to feel better, these sounds are actually desirable. They mean the adjustment is working. The more you hear, the more relief you are likely going to feel later on.
Some people equate the snapping and popping with cracking their knuckles. It is similar in concept and there is no correlation between knuckle cracking and osteoarthritis.
The snapping and popping is quite natural. If you don’t like to hear the sounds, you can ask to wear headphones or you can ask to be told when you’re going to hear it as a way of preparing. These sounds simply mean that your body is being pushed back into proper alignment.
After an adjustment, you are likely going to have a wider range of motion and be able to get rid of some of the aches and pains that you have been experiencing. It’s not a sign of anything wrong with you, so the next time you go to the chiropractor, prepare for the sounds and lie there knowing that it’s all okay.