Can Spinal Bones Be Moved Too Much?

When thinking about our bones, we generally assume that moving them out of place is bad or painful. This may be because you’ve experienced a dislocation or have had a broken bone reset in the past. It’s true that these experiences are not how bones are meant to work, and that can make some people wary of visiting a Charlotte chiropractor.

The good news is that what chiropractors do isn’t move your spine – we simply encourage it to move itself into the proper position. Understanding this may ease your mind about getting an adjustment.


A spinal adjustment from a chiropractor can feel scary, especially if you hear what sounds like your bones cracking. But the goal of these adjustments is simply to promote movement throughout the spine, not to move the bone with outside force.

During an adjustment, Dr. Grant Lisetor will first perform a full assessment of your spine to identify any imbalances, misalignments, or other concerns. Based on this, he will perform an adjustment for the individual spine. This involves a very controlled push to the joint that is low amplitude but high velocity. The joint moves in response to this pressure.

The chiropractor is simply facilitating the movement of your joint. In turn, this stimulates the nervous system to reduce pain signals and make movement easier, which helps the nerves return to their optimal function.


One reason that people may believe a chiropractor moves your bones is the way an adjustment sounds. It is best described as a crack or a pop, but it certainly sounds like what you would expect a bone to sound like if it was being forced into place. But in truth, this sound is something called cavitation, and it is more about air than bones.

You can think of cavitation like opening a soda can. When your joint moves in response to the adjustment, any gas trapped in that joint is released. The more misaligned your spine is, the more synovial fluid that can be trapped, making the sound louder. You also tend to hear the sound more loudly within your own body than an outsider would.


The good news is that a chiropractic adjustment performed by the skilled team at Greater Life Chiropractic is completely safe and effective. Each adjustment is done specifically to meet your needs, only placing pressure where it is necessary to align the spine. There will never be a time that a doctor tries to move your bones or otherwise cause more pain and damage during the process.

If you are nervous about getting started, your first appointment will be an evaluation. That means Dr. Grant Lisetor will spend time listening to your concerns and learning about your overall health, but you can also ask questions. This is also a great time to share any conditions you have that may change our approach. Just let our staff know how you are feeling and we will be happy to move at your pace! Be sure to get in touch today and schedule an appointment with your local Charlotte chiropractor to get on the road to better health.


Haymo, W.T., Bolton, J.E., Docherty, S., Portlock, J.C. “Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey.” Spine, 2007 Oct 1; 32(21): 2375-8.