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Sciatica Back Cracking Chiropractic treatment/adjustments



Introduction to slipped disc diagnosis and care

Back cracking chiropractic therapy or adjustments are a popular technique used by chiropractors to help alleviate pain and discomfort in patients. The audible cracking or popping-type sound that is often heard during these adjustments can be a cause for concern for some people, but it is simply the release of gases from the joints, and not a cause for worry.

During a back crack, the chiropractor will use their hands to apply a controlled and sudden force to a joint in the spine. This force can help realign the joint, reduce inflammation and pain in the area. While back cracking adjustments are mostly used for neck and back pain, they can also be used to treat headaches, joint pain, and other issues.

It is important to note that while back cracking adjustments can provide temporary relief, they should be used as part of a larger treatment plan that may include stretches, exercises, and other therapies.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort and are considering chiropractic therapy, speak with a licensed chiropractor to determine if back cracking adjustments are a viable treatment option for you. They can help create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and concerns, helping you find long-lasting relief from your symptoms.

Popping, Cracking and Cavitations Explained

Back Cracking Treatment:

When you visit a chiropractor, you may experience a popping or cracking type sound during your treatment. This sound is known as a cavitation and occurs when gas bubbles are released within your joints. The popping or cracking noise is usually accompanied by a sense of relief and increased mobility in the affected joint.

Cavitations happen when the joint is subjected to a sudden change in pressure. This change causes a release of gas that is dissolved in the synovial fluid which lubricates the joint. As the gas is released, it forms bubbles that create the popping type sound relieving pressure. Cavitations can occur during spinal manipulation or other chiropractic treatments, such as the adjustment of the shoulder, knee, or ankle joints.

While the popping or cracking type sound may sound alarming, it is actually a sign that your joint is being properly mobilized. The sound is caused by the release of pressure that has built up within the joint, often due to joint dysfunction or misalignment. The benefits of cavitation are improved range of motion, decreased pain and stiffness, and increased joint mobility.

It is important to note that not all chiropractic manipulations involve cavitation. In fact, there are various chiropractic techniques that do not use joint manipulation at all. Your chiropractor will evaluate your condition and determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs-Back cracking treatment.

In conclusion, the popping, cracking, or cavitation sound that occurs during chiropractic manipulations is a natural and normal part of the process. It is a sign that the joint is being mobilized and pressure is being released. This can result in improved joint mobility, decreased pain and stiffness, and increased range of motion. If you have any concerns about the sounds or sensations you experience during chiropractic treatment, be sure to discuss them with your chiropractor-Back cracking treatment.

Must each Chiropractic Adjustment Produce a Crack or a Popping sound?

Many people associate chiropractic with the cracking or popping type sound, but it’s not always the case. The sound is caused by the release of gas bubbles from the joint during the adjustment, a process known as cavitation. The popping-like sound is not an indication of a successful adjustment, but rather a byproduct of the process.

The ideal speed of adjustment at which a joint is cracked varies based on the individual and the specific joint being adjusted. The speed, direction, and precision of the adjustment are key factors in determining whether a joint will crack. When the adjustment is delivered at the right speed and direction, the joint will often crack or pop. However, if the adjustment is not delivered with enough force or precision, the joint may not crack.

Research suggests that the popping or cracking is not necessary for the success of the adjustment. A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that patients who received a successful adjustment reported improvements in range of motion and pain relief, regardless of whether their joints made a cracking type sound.

In conclusion, the cracking or popping-like sound is not a necessary component of a successful chiropractic spinal adjustment. While the sound may provide additional relief, it is not an indication of the effectiveness of the treatment. The key to a successful adjustment is delivering the right force, direction, and precision to the joint to restore it back to a healthy range of movement and position.

The Chiropractic Factors that Ensure a Back Cracking Adjustment is Safe and Effective

Adjustments performed by a Chiropractor, also known as spinal manipulations, can be incredibly effective for treating musculoskeletal conditions and pain. However, it’s important to ensure that adjustments are performed safely and effectively to avoid any potential risks or complications. Here are some key factors that chiropractors consider to ensure a back cracking adjustment is safe and effective.


Before performing any adjustments, chiropractors will first conduct a thorough examination and assessment to diagnose the patient’s condition. This may include reviewing medical history, performing physical exams, and ordering diagnostic tests such as X-rays or EMG muscle scans and nerve function scans. If the client has a CT scan or MRI, this can be brought into the clinic to help the diagnosis process. The diagnosis helps chiropractors determine the best course of treatment and the specific areas of the spine that require adjustments.


Precision is key when it comes to chiropractic. Chiropractors use their hands or specialized tools to apply precise force to specific areas of the spine. The aim is to restore normal joint movement and alleviate pain and discomfort. The precise force also helps avoid any potential damage to surrounding tissues or nerves.


The speed of the adjustment is also an important factor. Chiropractors use a quick and controlled thrust to manipulate the spine, which helps to create the cracking like sound. However, the speed should not be so fast as to cause discomfort or injury to the patient.


Timing is another crucial factor when it comes to chiropractic manipulations. Chiropractors must apply the right amount of force at the right time to ensure that the adjustment is safe and effective. Timing also ensures that the patient’s muscles and joints are relaxed and receptive to the adjustment.


The amount of force applied during a chiropractic alignment is carefully controlled to avoid any potential risks or complications. Chiropractors use the minimum force necessary to achieve the desired results. The force applied varies depending on the specific condition and the patient’s age, size, and overall health.

Adjustment Selection

Chiropractors select the appropriate adjustment technique based on the patient’s condition and needs. Different techniques may be used for different conditions or areas of the spine. The direction, force and speed vary depending on the type of adjustment that is being used.

Hand Placement

Proper hand placement is essential when performing chiropractic alignments. Chiropractors must have a deep understanding of the anatomy of the spine and the musculoskeletal system to ensure that they are applying the right amount of pressure to the right areas. The hands must also be placed in the right position to avoid any potential risks or complications.

Tool Selection

Some chiropractors use specialized tools to perform adjustments. These tools can be particularly effective for patients who are uncomfortable with manual adjustments or for areas of the spine that are difficult to reach. However, proper training and expertise are required to use these tools safely and effectively.

Overall, a safe and effective chiropractic adjustment is one that is performed by a qualified and experienced chiropractor using the right amount of force, speed, timing, and precision. The cracking sound is not necessary for the adjustment to be effective, but it can provide additional relief. By taking all of these factors into consideration, chiropractors can ensure that their patients receive the best possible care.

Is Cracking your Own Back or Neck Dangerous?

Cracking your own back or neck may feel satisfying and provide temporary relief, but is it safe to do on your own? While cracking your own joints may seem harmless, it can be risky and even cause injury or damage. We’ll explore the potential dangers of cracking your own back or neck and provide some tips on safe alternatives.

What Happens When You Crack Your Own Back or Neck?

When you crack your own back or neck, you’re manipulating the joint to create a popping-like sound. This sound occurs when the joint’s pressure changes, which causes gases to be released. While cracking your own joints may seem harmless, it may cause some issues, such as:

Overstretching the Ligaments:

When you forcefully move a joint beyond its normal range of motion, without understanding what you’re doing, you risk overstretching the surrounding ligaments, which can lead to instability and pain.

Joint Dysfunction:

Regularly cracking your own joints can cause joint dysfunction, which is when the joint loses its normal range of motion, may develop a faulty movement pattern, and may lead to chronic pain.


Regularly cracking your neck or back may cause the joint to move excessively and become unstable, leading to hypermobility and instability. This can cause further injuries.

Safe Alternatives to Cracking Your Own Back or Neck

If you’re looking for relief from back or neck pain, there are several safe alternatives to cracking your own joints, including:


Gentle stretching can help alleviate tension and pain in the muscles surrounding the joint.


Massaging the area can help reduce tension and improve circulation.

Chiropractic Care:

A licensed chiropractor can provide safe and effective adjustments to the spine or neck, which can help alleviate pain and improve range of motion.

Back Cracking & Chiropractic FAQ

Cracking after chiropractic adjustment

It’s normal to experience some popping or cracking type sounds after a chiropractic adjustment. What happens is that the body makes micro adjustments on its own afterwards to integrate the changes which may include a bit of cracking when engaging in certain movements. The cracking itself is just a release of gasses from synovial fluid inside the synovial capsule of the joints.

Chiropractor cracking back benefits

The cracking is a side-effect of Chiropractic adjustments that include cracking or popping an can have several benefits, such as releasing pressure, reducing pain and stiffness, improving range of motion, and promoting overall wellness. Many patients report feeling more relaxed and comfortable after a chiropractic adjustment that includes cracking. Research suggests that the cracking is not necessary to experience these benefits if the adjustment is done correctly.

Chiropractor back crack at home

While it may be tempting to try to crack your own back at home, it’s important to be cautious. Chiropractors have specialized training and knowledge to perform adjustments safely and effectively. Attempting to crack your own back could result in injury or worsen an existing condition.

What happens when a chiropractor cracks your back

When a chiropractor performs a spinal adjustment, they apply a controlled force to specific joints in the spine. This may result in a popping or cracking type sound as gas is released from the joint. The adjustment can help relieve tension, reduce pain, and improve overall mobility. The key outcome of the adjustment is to correct the misalignment not to produce a cracking noise. That’s just a byproduct of the chiropractic joint mobilisation, not a clinical outcome.

How do chiropractors know where to crack with precision?

Chiropractors use a variety of techniques and assessments to determine where adjustments are needed. This may include a physical exam, x-rays (if clinically required), or other diagnostic tests such as nerve function scans and EMG muscle function scans. Once they’ve identified areas of dysfunction, they can apply targeted adjustments to specific joints.

My Chiropractor can’t crack my back

If you’re not experiencing cracking or popping during a chiropractic adjustment, that doesn’t necessarily mean the treatment isn’t effective. Chiropractors can use a variety of techniques, including those that don’t involve cracking or popping, to help improve spinal alignment and overall health. The benefit of the adjustment is still being derived even if you don’t hear a pop or a crack during the adjustments.

If you’re concerned that something is wrong this may not be down to your Chiropractor, it’s most probably because your joints are not yet moving enough to be able to produce a fuller release or they are moving too much, in which case they will need to stabilise first.

Why does my back crack so much when I twist?

The cracking or popping type sound you hear when you twist your back may be due to a build-up of pressure inside the joint causing gas to be released from the joints. When your back cracks on its own whilst doing a twist, it may be time to visit your Chiropractor. Note that this is absolutely a normal process and is not typically a cause for concern. However, if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort alongside, it’s important to consult with a chiropractor or other healthcare provider.

What is a Deep back cracking?

Deep cracking of the back is a technique used by some chiropractors to adjust the spine. A deep adjustment will naturally be applied after the patient progresses one adjustment at the time, each time going a little bit deeper as the joints get used to and conditioned to receive deeper adjustments and manipulations.

In Conclusion

Cracking your own back or neck may feel satisfying in the moment, but may cause issues to your joints, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels. Instead, opt for safe alternatives like stretching, massage, or chiropractic care to alleviate your pain and discomfort. Remember, always consult with a licensed healthcare provider before attempting any self-treatment or care.

Crack on with your Healing Journey by Visiting our Richmond Clinic

Do you or a loved one want to experience the benefits of having a good back and neck crack? Our Healing Hands Chiropractors can help! Book an initial chiropractic assessment to measure and diagnose your imbalances so that our experienced Chiropractors can provide safe and effective care to you that delivers measurable results-Back cracking treatment.