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Have you ever cracked your knuckles? There is a cracking sound that is very familiar to the Chiropractor and their patients. This cracking sound is generated by a cavitation mechanism. What is a cavitation mechanism, you ask. When a joint is opened up, fluid rapidly fills the void with a popping sound. In scientific terms they say that the audible release is caused by cavitation process whereby a sudden decrease in intracapsular pressure causes dissolved gases in the synovial fluid to be released into the joint cavity. Once this occurs the joint space is increased by the volume of fluid introduced into the area. More space, more freedom of movement.

Good news, for those who like cracking your knuckles, this will not cause arthritis. They did a simple research project in which they went to a nursing home and asked the residents two questions.

1.) Who cracks their knuckles?
2.) Who has arthritis in the hands?

It was found that those who crack their knuckles has significant decrease in knuckle joint arthritis than those who did not. The reasons were determined to be that the new fluid introduced into the joints brought nutrients and increase of joint space.  Both of these were beneficial to the health of the joint. That is why it is said that regular Chiropractic treatments keep, improve, and restore the joint health.

One of the latest studies came up with another reason for the sound. The elastic recoil of the synovial capsule is what generated the sound.  But because the sudden joint distraction during an adjustment occurs quickly it is more likely that the stretch reflexes in the per articular muscles twang like a guitar string.

So whatever the reason is for the sound, it is all good for the joint. Now before you go expecting the sound on ever adjustment, let me tell you that not every joint mobilized will produce the  sound. That doesn’t mean the adjustment didn’t have its desired effect. It is like cracking your knuckles, Not every time and every joints makes an audible pop when you crack it. So it is the same with professional adjusting to the joints in the rest of your body.