The audible sound that happens during a chiropractic adjustment is one of the most misunderstood component of chiropractic. To explain what the “pop” or “crack” noise is, it must be understood that this audible is not the objective of chiropractic. So often I will hear a patient or someone I meet say, “Doc can you “crack” me?” I know their intention is sincere, but to doctors of chiropractors and patients who understand chiropractic, this is absurd. The real objective of a chiropractic adjustment is to restore nervous system function and proper structure of the spine. The causes of these misalignments or subluxations (shifting of the spine) are from accidents, slips & falls, poor posture, birth trauma, heredity factors i.e. scoliosis, etc. etc. Nerves stress and poor mechanics lead to devastating consequences to the function of our body over time. So what is the noise?
The sound during the adjustments happens in response to the sudden change in pressure in the spinal joint, along with nitrogen air molecules coalescing together. It’s similar to opening a Champaign bottle - the sudden pressure change along with the air bubbles coming together makes the sound. When people share their experiences of chiropractic with others by saying their chiropractor “cracked” or “popped” their neck or back and now feel better. That’s a misleading description of what’s going on and I can see why some people have a skewed sense of what chiropractic is. A better description of what’s occurring during the chiropractic adjustments is it’s removing nerve stress and/or nerve pressure and normalizing the spinal structure leading to better function and a healthier person.
The sound during the chiropractic adjustment is NOT bone rubbing on bone. Bone rubbing on bone would be called arthritis. If it was deteriorated or degenerated to that level, it would be called severe arthritis and would be exceptionally painful. Again, the noise during a chiropractic adjustment is simply air pressure in the spinal joints. There are some techniques or ways to adjust the spine that don’t elicit the sound so often associated with chiropractic.
About the author:
Dr. Gordon Fimreite, is clinical director at Chiropractic In Chicago Loop. He's been practicing chiropractic for over 15 years and has a passion for chiropractic and health. He is state and board certified in chiropractic and graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic, the founding college of the chiropractic profession and the first such college in the world. Dr. Fimreite can be reached through his website at http://www.ChiropracticInChicagoLoop.com or his clinic at (312) 888-1707.
To prolong the lifetime of your car, you perform regular maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotation, new brakes, etc. Same concept with regular visits to your dentist. Most people go to their dentist to maintain the health of their teeth for a lifetime. By regular visits to your dentist, you can avoid cavities, root canals or even distractions. Your spine is no different. It also need maintenance. It needs regular chiropractic adjustments to restore proper motion and function to the structure and to the nervous system to avoid chronic problems and degeneration.
Why maintain on-going chiropractic adjustments?
“People with five years of Chiropractic care had immune systems that were 400% stronger than cancer patients and 200% stronger than those without cancer.” R. Pero, Ph.D. - New York University
Coulter, Ph.D. Study of those under chiropractic care to those who aren’t:
With Chiropractic No Chiropractic
Good/Excellent Health 87% 68%
Avoid Nursing Homes 96% 52%
Avoid Hospitals 74% 52%
Since there's so many different types of chiropractors to choose from, a referral may be your best way to find a good chiropractor. Google and Yelp reviews are also a very good resources to view a chiropractors reputation. Below are my top recommendations for finding a good chiropractor based on my experience of referring patients to other chiropractors around the country.
1. Find a happy customer who can refer you to their chiropractor.
2. Find a chiropractor with at least 3 years of experience.
Chiropractors with over 3 years experience have adjusted enough people to develop the skills, experience and practice intuition to deliver higher quality service.
3. Find a chiropractor who has access to x-rays.
Not all chiropractors will have x-ray equipment in their office, but with image companies popping up everywhere x-rays can be taken inexpensively. Your chiropractor will be able to access your need for x-rays and if needed are helpful in evaluating your biomechanics. X-rays will reveal the location and extent of the subluxation (misalignment of the spine). If you have x-rays from a previous chiropractor ask if they'd be helpful.
4. Find and alumni of Palmer College of Chiropractic or Life University. These are the largest, most reputable and prestigious chiropractic colleges in the world. You can call these colleges for a list of alumni who are practicing in your area. You can also use the links below:
Palmer College of Chiropractic - Find a Chiropractor
Life College of Chiropractic - Find a Chiropractor
5. Call the chiropractors you're interested in seeing and ask the questions above. You can even ask for an evaluation. If your intuition tells you it's a good fit, then more times than not you're intuition is usually on. If not, keep interviewing for a chiropractor who you think will serve your needs.
Good luck! To a healthier, happier life through chiropractic!
About the author:
Dr. Gordon Fimreite, is clinical director at Chiropractic In Chicago Loop. He is state and board certified in chiropractic and graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic, the founding college of the chiropractic profession and the first such college in the world. Dr. Fimreite is author of 15 Steps to Healthy Living, which is currently available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Dr. Fimreite and Chiropractic in Chicago Loop was honored with, Best Chiropractor in Chicago 2021 and is also featured in Voyage Chicago | Chicago City Guide.
Phone: (312) 888-1707.