If your spine doesn’t pop did the adjustment work?

Disc Injuries

Do all Chiropractic adjustments involve cracking? Is there a way to adjust my spine without cracking? How does the chiropractor know if the adjustment worked without it being cracked?

Not all chiropractic adjustments involve cracking. At Sims & Finn Chiropractic we utilise a variety of non-cracking techniques. We are able to do this with specialised instruments that gently guide the vertebrae into optimal alignment. After each vertebral adjustment your chiropractor will feel the joint to feel for improved motion and less tension to analyse if the adjustment was successful.


Is the cracking noise when you go to a Chiropractor your bones being cracked/crunched? What is that noise?

The cracking/crunching sound that you hear has nothing to do with your bones cracking or rubbing against each other.  The sound comes from tiny gas bubbles within the fluid that lubricates your joints. When the joint opens up rapidly, it creates a cavity within the fluid, causing a pop sound.


Does the cracking cause arthritis?
Although there is no concrete evidence about this, studies have been performed in regards to knuckle cracking specifically. In conclusion it showed that it probably won’t raise your risk of arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 1990; 49: 308-309.

Cracking your own spine may carry some risk however. This is because of the delicate spinal structures, including facet joints, nerves, tissue and muscles. There are a lot of components to consider if you crack your own spine.

Popping, twisting or cracking your own spine affects your spine in various ways, cracking your spine by yourself is referred to as self-manipulation which is very different to experiencing a chiropractic adjustment from a chiropractor.

You must consider the following before you unnecessarily place yourself at risk from self-manipulating.

1.  Does your neck have disc bulges or protrusions? Are there plaques or anatomical malformations through your cervical spine?

Some of these risk factors make the spine vulnerable to rotation/twisting forces. Many of these problems can be identified and planned for with a proper examination, but without one you may be unaware of the quality of your spinal structures.

2.  How is the spine currently aligned? Do you know which direction puts you into a better position? Are you manipulating the correct vertebra? Are you pushing the vertebra into a worse position than it already is?

3.  Constant self-manipulation = Loose ligaments = Poor Stability

As you manipulate your spine you are causing ligaments in the spine to stretch. When you stretch a rubber band over and over, it eventually loses its shape and becomes less stable.

Your spinal ligaments work the same way. When people have ligament instability, it leads them down the road where they depend on manipulation to keep feeling good.
It is important to choose a Chiropractor who measures what they are doing to the spine.

At Sims & Finn Chiropractic we focus on neuro-structural correction to help guide the spine to a normal state. It is important to seek the opinion and assessment of a qualified practitioner.

It is imperative that the correct vertebra is the one that is adjusted.

During self- manipulation the correct vertebrae is not the one that makes the popping sound, as you are unable to pin point with accuracy which vertebrae needs to be adjusted. It is important that the correct location and angles are applied to the vertebra to make a positive correction.

While self-manipulation can cause a temporary feel-good sensation it can also create unnecessary hypermobility, which is too much joint movement, and long-term structural problems in the neck.

If you have any further questions regarding spinal self-manipulation or any other spinal health related questions, please make an appointment online at our website