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What's That Noise When I Get Adjusted?

Have you ever wondered what the popping sound is when you get adjusted? Does that noise scare you or make you nervous? It shouldn’t! It is NOT bones breaking, ligaments popping, or muscles tearing. It is just gas being released from a joint.

All movable joints in your body, including your spine, are called synovial joints. They have this name because they all contain synovial fluid within the joint capsule. That synovial fluid releases gasses such as hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. When the gasses build up within the joint, you tend to feel the pressure. Think of your joint like a soda can. Inside the soda can, the carbon dioxide gas from the carbonation process has built up and as soon as you pop the top, you hear the gas being released. When the gas builds up in your joint, eventually that gas is released and you hear the “POP;” which in medical terms is called a cavitation.

You might not always hear a cavitation when you receive an adjustment because there may not be enough gas built up in the joint. Keep this in mind…just because you hear the noise does NOT mean there was joint movement and just because you didn’t hear the noise does NOT mean there wasn’t movement in the joint. That is a big difference between trying to “adjust” yourself and an adjustment given by a chiropractic physician.

When you “adjust” yourself just to get the pressure relief, oftentimes you aren’t actually moving the joint properly and degeneration can start to occur. Not to mention that the relief you feel is temporary. So ¡leave the adjusting to the trained professionals!

Stark Chiropractic and Sports

If you or someone you know in North Houston is looking for a chiropractor, please call Dr. Shea Stark with Stark Chiropractic and Sports at 281-836-5908 to schedule an appointment, or use our simple online scheduling tool at

Dr. Stark is a board-certified chiropractor and the author of this blog post. To learn more about Dr. Stark and the many benefits of chiropractic care, please visit our website, and check us out on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp!

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