I get this question every day in my practice. The term cracking emphasizes the sound produced with an adjustment. Essentially its air released from the joint. This confirms the joint has been mobilized.
You can mobilize a joint by stretching as well but for quicker results, we include an adjustment which breaks up scar tissue around the joint for greater mobility.
This added mobility or movement primarily has 3 effects:
- Reduced inflammation: Greater movement helps dissipate inflammation around the joint.
- Pain relief: Nerve signals from movement going to the brain are like cold water to the brain; while pain signals are hot water. So the result is relief!
- Smart joint: the joint will respond to posture correcting exercises much faster. With improved posture, your spine will age gracefully!