Many people are capable of making their joints pop when they move their bodies in certain ways. People make it a habit to do this repeatedly throughout the day because it temporarily relieves stiffness and makes the person feel good.
The popping that occurs is caused by the escape of gas from the enclosed synovial joint. A synovial joint is where 2 bones meet and it is enclosed by ligaments in an air-tight system. These joints are lined by a lubricant called synovial fluid. When a joint is pushed beyond its normal range of motion this can cause the joint surfaces to pull apart quickly, which forces gas to escape the synovial joint.
After a joint is "popped" it typically takes around 20 minutes before the joint can make the noise again, this is called the refractory period. People that repeatedly pop their joints throughout the day are stretching the ligaments and creating unstable joints. The unstable joints will pop more easily.
When treating a patient with work, sport, or motor vehicle accident injury, a chiropractor uses controlled forces to return the bones to a normal position and to promote normal range of motion. A chiropractor will also give you techniques to strengthen muscles in the area of unstable joints for restoring body’s natural healing.