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What is that POP?


What happens when the spine is adjusted and what is that pop?

Rapid stretching at the spinal joint results in significant therapeutic intervention. The exact nature of the intervention is what chiropractic researchers are just beginning to understand. On one level, muscle and ligaments stretch, blood circulation increases, and nerve fibers fire rapidly at the moment of the chiropractic adjustment. But the picture is more complicated. To understand this complexity, we need to return to the spinal joint and its neuroanatomy; the anatomy of the nerves and the nervous system. This includes the stimulation of mechanoreceptors (responds to mechanical pressure) and the stretching of muscle receptors called muscle spindles, all of which are stimulated by the chiropractic adjustment.

During the adjustment, the low back has undergone quick and gentle stretching of the spinal joint. The patient may hear a cracking or popping noise as the joint is opened. Research has proved that small pockets of air or bubbles are found in the tissue fluid surrounding a joint capsule. When the joint tissues are stretched during a chiropractic adjustment, the pockets of air 'pop' creating a cracking sound.

When the patient gets up from the table, she feels more movement in her lower back. The muscles may still be sore and tight, but spinal motion is improved. She will return to Dr. Cady for additional sessions that include muscle therapies and adjusting. Each session will provide more relief. Dr. Cady may suggest preventive care such as specific exercises and ergonomic tips on how to correctly bend and lift. Preventive care of this type helps to maintain spinal motion. A follow-up visit may be suggested depending on your specific problem.