The “activator” tool for chiropractic is a benign device that imparts a very small force impact to the targeted area. It generally cannot cause injury and is benign.
The “noises” in your neck are most likely from arthritic facets. Normally, facet surfaces are perfectly smooth and glide on each other without any resistance. When these surfaces develop pits and ridges, the noise generated is right next to your ear and bone transmission is very good. These noises sound like gunshots on occasion. If these noises are not painful, in general there is noting to worry about.
Pain associated with these noises is a different story. The facets are made of bone at their base and bone pain can be uncomfortable to quite substantial. The surrounding tissue (called a capsule) can also generate pain.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.