A chiropractic adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement. Typically applied by hand, the goal is to loosen a restricted joint in order to restore its proper movement and optimal functioning. Commonly, an audible "popping or cracking” sound may be heard as a joint is adjusted. This is simply the release of pressure from within the joint, similar to when opening a pop can. Not all chiropractic treatments will result in any audible sound. The patient, the location of the treatment, and the technique used will all affect whether a "pop or crack" occurs. However, the chiropractic adjustment is still effective regardless or not a sound occurs.
Through extensive research, complications resulting from chiropractic adjustment techniques have been deemed to be rare, and side-effects such as temporary soreness are usually minor. Chiropractors are well-trained in determining if your problem will respond to a chiropractic adjustment, if your condition calls for a different treatment approach, or if referral to another health care provider is required.