When a chiropractor does a neck adjustment, the joint separates just enough to release pressure. The joint separation is within the normal range of motion so nothing is damaged. The pressure release is from different gases such as hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.
Some chiropractic patients tell us they like hearing the cracking sound and some patients say they do not. We have several adjusting techniques that we can use on our patients. The manual, or hand adjustments, can be done with most patients who do not have a preference. Some patients do not like the sound and instead we use an adjustment instrument called the activator or integrator.
Instrument adjusting is very popular with patients who do not want to hear the cracking sound. Sometimes we call the activator “the clicker.” The activator works great for kids, the elderly and anyone else who doesn’t want to hear the cracking sound during the adjustment.