Popping Sound When You Crack Your Joints Explained

Some people seem to absolutely love cracking their nuckles, their neck, or any other part of their body. I am not one of them.

Personally, I cringe a little bit whenever I hear the cracking and popping sounds that occur whenever this happens, but enough people do it I never considered it to be something particularly terrible for your health.

However, I have heard rumors stating the ill health effects that come along with cracking your joints, or having a chiropractor crack them for you. These really are just rumors and nothing more, which is easy to see once you understand what’s going on when the joints crack in the body.

Gas Bubbles

When people crack their own joints, or a chiropractor manipulates the joints for better wellness, many times a popping sound will occur. X-rays have shown that as this sound occurs, bright flashes of light expand in the joint. What exactly are these bright flashes of light, and how do they connect to the sometimes very loud sounds you may hear in a chiropractic session? Scientists have concluded that this all has to do with changes in pressure occuring within the joints, and in turn, the pressure is caused by gas bubbles in the joints. When gas bubbles develop, it may cause a feeling of tightness or discomfort, which is what prompts many people to crack their joints. The cracking noise simply indicates a release of those gas bubbles. 

The good news is this action is not considered harmful to the body. Scientists and researchers have found no correlation between cracking and popping joints, and increased amounts of inflammation, pain, or stiffness or other discomfort. You should feel free to ask your chiropractor for any more information on this issue should you still feel unsure about it.

Still, you can rest assured knowing that if a loud cracking noise emanates from your body during your next adjustment session, chances are it’s nothing more than gas bubbles and pressure being relieved from that particular area of your body. 

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Judith Doyle

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.