Waterloo Chiropractic – Cavitation, Facts and Science

In recent times, the interest in the Click, Crunch, Crack has been highlighted in videos like these on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram etc. Other than quantifying that manipulation has occurred (once the audible click is heard), science is still identifying what all the noises are and the extent of its therapeutic response.


At Waterloo Chiropractic, we are evidence-based, patient-centred chiropractors and whilst we observe the results in clinic of spinal manipulation, we are open to understanding the science and guidelines as they evolve over time. We are also cognisant of the merit of a well constructed treatment plans that includes other treatment options (traction, mobilisation, massage, rehabilitation exercises, dry needling to name a few). Sometimes our treatment plans do not include manipulation.

Read on for more information on the cavitation:



  • The cavitation phenomenon (gas bubble), has been traditionally accepted as the mechanism for creating the joint cracking sound.
  • A recent study by Kawchuk et al challenged the cavitation hypothesis, and proposed that joint cracking is associated with cavity formation within synovial fluid rather than cavity collapse.
  • It still remains to be elucidated whether the popping sounds during HVLA thrust manipulation originate from intra-articular gas bubble collapse, cavity inception within synovial fluid, or extra-articular events.
  • It appears that cavitation may be measured during SMT using accelerometry and that a practitioner’s perception of the occurrence of cavitation during SMT is very accurate.

Waterloo Chiropractic – Premier Chiropractors for Waterloo, Zetland and Alexandria

Shop 265 n 8 Lachlan Street Waterloo P| 02 96900911

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