Learn English – Perfect word for the clicking sound which happens when you stretch your bones?

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What is the perfect word for the clicking sound which happens when you stretch your bones?

When chiropractors try to do adjustments, we can hear a clicking sound on the bones.

What is that sound called?

Best Answer

This phenomenon is known either as "popping" or "cracking".

This Scientific American article describes the cause of the popping and cracking sounds when joints are moved quickly.

To understand what happens when you "crack" your knuckles, or any other joint, first you need a little background about the nature of the joints of the body. The type of joints that you can most easily "pop" or "crack" are the diarthrodial joints. These are your most typical joints. They consist of two bones that contact each other at their cartilage surfaces; the cartilage surfaces are surrounded by a joint capsule. Inside the joint capsule is a lubricant, known as synovial fluid, which also serves as a source of nutrients for the cells that maintain the joint cartilage. In addition, the synovial fluid contains dissolved gases, including oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

The cracking or popping sound is thought to be caused by the gases rapidly coming out of solution, allowing the capsule to stretch a little further. The stretching of the joint is soon thereafter limited by the length of the capsule.