Joints Cracking?…What is that noise?

Houston Chiropractor Comments: Ever since I became a chiropractor in the late 1980’s, one of the most common questions I hear about spinal adjustments is “What is that cracking noise?” Patients have the perception that the sound is coming from the bones, but it is in fact coming from the joints. The audible sound is due to release of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the synovial fluid which is a joint lubricant. The joint cavitations or pressure change occurs when the connective tissue is stretched. This increases the volume and subsequently decreases the joint pressure. The gases that were originally dissolved in the synovial fluid become less soluble and are allowed to form bubbles which can ultimately “pop”, thus making the noise you hear. The change is rapid and the pressure ultimately rises again as the gas is again dissolved in the synovial fluid.

After the adjustment there is typically an increase in joint mobility due to the stimulation of the Golgi tendon organs. The increase motion of the joint along with proper follow-up exercises and stretches help allow you to reach your body’s maximum potential. Another important thing to know is that the joint cavitations do NOT cause any arthritis or damage to the spine. That is just an old wives tale.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!