Spinal adjustments with your chiropractor in Fort Worth, TX, can deliver many health benefits, including improved immune and musculoskeletal function. However, some people worry about hearing popping or cracking sounds during hands-on spinal manipulation, mistakenly believing the sounds mean the treatment is causing harm.
Let’s look at the reasons for popping sounds during chiropractic adjustments and why you shouldn’t be concerned.
Spinal manipulation is hands-on therapy delivered by chiropractors in Fort Worth and across the country. To receive the treatment, the patient lies face down on a padded table. The chiropractor places their hands alongside the spinal column and delivers fast, sudden thrusts of pressure to specific areas. The pressure re-aligns vertebrae, the bones that comprise the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. Adjustments can also be made in other parts of the body.
In the United States, many people suffer from lower back pain. Overuse, heavy lifting, pregnancy, arthritis, and many other conditions often lead to back pain. Spinal adjustments are excellent for back pain. Chiropractors also use spinal adjustments as a front-line treatment for headaches, GERD, neck pain, breathing problems, and much more.
Popping Sounds During Chiropractic Adjustments
Many chiropractic patients hear popping or cracking sounds as their chiropractors adjust their spines. Research shows that the more quickly and forcefully a doctor does targeted manipulations, the more likely it is that these sounds will occur and the louder they will be.
Some patients find the popping a bit disturbing. However, research shows that popping is simply the release of gas bubbles from the spine itself. The medical term is tribonucleation. It happens as space opens between the bony vertebrae in the back. Such sounds are completely harmless. There is absolutely no pain, injury, or long-term harm associated with them.
As a chiropractor manipulates the spine, bubbles in the joint fluid expand and pop, causing the audible popping. These bubbles occur in other joints, too. A common example is the joints at the base of the fingers, which noisily pop when you crack your knuckles.
Do Popping Sounds Indicate Successful Treatment?
While some patients worry about popping sounds, others feel they indicate if their spinal adjustments are done correctly. In actuality, popping is irrelevant to short- or long-term therapeutic outcomes. In other words, the presence of popping sounds, as well as the lack of them, are not indicative of whether your adjustments are effective. This can only be determined by the specific adjustment techniques used by your chiropractor. Sometimes, proper techniques will generate popping, and sometimes they won’t.
So, should you worry about popping sounds during spinal adjustments? The answer is no. Instead, focus on finding an experienced chiropractor with the skills to treat your specific health problem.
Exceptional Chiropractic Care in Fort Worth, TX
At Texas Medical Institute, our family practice physician is Dr. Greg Gardner. He is joined by two doctors of chiropractic: Dr. Bobbie Thompson Williams and Dr. Amy Mohr. Together, this professional team provides outstanding primary care and family medicine, along with state-of-the-art chiropractic care for patients of all ages.