What Is That Popping Sound?

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What is that popping sound?

If you have been adjusted before by a chiropractor, you may have noticed a popping sound that may seem a little strange. What is that popping sound? What happens if I crack my knuckles? Studies have also looked at people who have routinely cracked their knuckles for years and years and compared them to non-knuckle crackers to see if there’s any difference in x-ray images of their hands.1 These studies all came back with the same conclusion. Habitual knuckle cracking over the course of several decades is not associated with clinical or radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis. 1 The popping sound you hear when a chiropractor adjusts you is simply a change in state between liquid and gas within a joint.

Whether or not you hear the popping sound makes absolutely no difference to how good the adjustment was.

What does research show?

There have been all sorts of theories about what the popping sound really is. Some have thought the sound was caused by tendons snapping over a joint, or a bone being put back into place, or the snapping of adhesions or scar tissue.5 Recently there was a really interesting study done that actually looked at what was happening in a joint when there were popping sounds.6 The researchers in this study used video magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study what happened in a person’s finger joint when they pulled his finger until his knuckle made the popping sound. So, they used a cable attached to his finger and slowly pulled his finger until it cracked while recording this with video MRI. They then measured the space between the joint surfaces, before and after the crack, using automatic computer software. What they found was that the joints remained very close together during the early stages of the finger being pulled, and then when the force of the pull was strong enough, the joint would very separate and a bubble would form, and this was when the popping sound was heard. This means that the popping sound you hear when a chiropractor adjusts you is simply a change in state between liquid and gas within a joint. It’s called tribonucleation. It’s actually very similar to what happens when you open a champagne bottle, but it’s all happening in an enclosed joint space. Early on, it was thought that the popping sound was associated with unhealthy joints, but as far back as the 1930’s scientists were showing that this also occurs in perfectly healthy joints. So, keep in mind next time you get adjusted by your chiropractor, that the popping sound doesn’t have anything to do with bones grinding or rubbing, but instead is simply gas bubbles forming within a joint as your adjustment separates two joint surfaces that are close together.

Disclaimer and References

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Ltd encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. chiroshub.com © Haavik Research 2021 1. Powers et al. The Journal of family practice 2016;65(10):725-26. 2. Cleland et al. J Man Manip Ther 2007;15(3):143-54. 3. Cramer et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2011;34(9):572-83. 4. Williams & Cuesta-Vargas. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014;37(4):230-5. 5. Protopapas & Cymet. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2002;102(5):283-7. 6. Kawchuk et al. PLoS One 2015;10(4):e0119470.

• Dr. Heidi Haavik BSc(Physiol) BSc(Chiro) PhD • Dr. Kelly Holt BSc, BSc(Chiro), PGDipHSc, PhD • Dr. Jenna Duehr BChiro, BHSc(Nursing), MHSc What does the research show? Whether or not you hear the popping sound makes absolutely no difference to how good the adjustment was. Disclaimer and References This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Ltd encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. chiroshub.com

How Long Should I Go?

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Have you ever realized that in order for you to obtain what you want, time may be available yet the choices become the biggest obstacle? Think hard, we all may have the same amount of time. We just make different choices. If you capitalize on your choices then time is on your side.

We all have that friend who is waiting for something new, thinking that the grass is always greener on the on the other side. They are always on the latest diet, the newest wonder food that shrinks fat away instantly, or the newest book on how to manage stress. While this might sound appealing, it often leads to life on a roller coaster.

How long should I go for Chiropractic care? We get asked this quite often. And the answer really comes down to what you want out of it. If you are looking for a holistic approach to health care that does not require you to take lotions, potions, and pills, then sticking it out for the long haul might be your call. If you want the “one and done,” sure we can help, yet think about what is actually happening. A good chunk of people only eat good food only when they are sick.

If you can conceptualize that daily your body is under constant repair to maintain a functioning system, and this processing of information is coordinated via your central nerve system; you might think about sticking it out. Understand that your body is intelligent and thrives on function over feeling. When the spinal column is aligned you are designed to “form”. Form determines your function, and with a spine in proper alignment you move better, last longer, and transmit better nerve flow than with a spine that is subluxated.

We ask that you make the choices to give us the time. Without the time, much can be lost. Your body is the biggest investment that you will ever make in your life, don’t abuse it.

Kids Chiropractic Office

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Why kids Chiropractic office? The more important question is- why would we not have an office with a focus on Kids and family? Our approach is not new and it is backed by science, more importantly though its backed by common sense. Becoming aware of making healthy choices for your kids is a process that leads to a fulfilling life for them.

Unfortunately, we have this misconception of something “new”. A newborn child is something “new”. A new vehicle that you buy and drive off the lot is new, looks new, drives new, and yet still along the way will need maintenance to ensure optimal function of those smooth, “new” mechanics. If you do not take care of the necessary precautions or maintenance of a machine it will in turn break down faster.

We have been indoctrinated that kids are “new” and nothing bad can happen to anything “new”. On the contrary. The human body is, and will always be, the first “machine” ever created. Think of it, in with good air and out with bad air. In with good food and out with bad food…etc, etc. Systems (ex. respiratory) of the body are set in place for a purpose to maintain and create health in its existence starting from the minute of birth.

The first system of the body that is created to MAKE all other systems and then regulate, control, and coordinate their actions is the central nerve system (CNS). With such an important infrastructure that the CNS has to maintain on a daily basis, wouldn’t it make sense to get “it” checked to ensure optimal function for a young developing kid?

A subluxation is a misalignment that occurs within the spinal column that disrupts the communication LINK between the brain and the body. And YES, it even happens in kids. It can even happen during the birthing process or during the first time you are breast feeding your child. We are not one to speculate on how the subluxation occurred, we are here to show awareness of what needs to happen. Chiropractic check-ups to ensure optimal development from within the body. A healthy spine is foundational key for a healthy CNS which equals a healthy child.