Why You Shouldn’t Purposely Crack You Back (by Dr Angus Southwell- Chiropractor)
We get it. We’ve all been there. I am even feeling the urges of doing just that while sitting here writing this post. Throughout the day we would usually feel stiff and if you are someone who would purposely crack your own back in order to get some relief then I am here to tell you why that may not be a great idea.
What is the cracking and popping sound?
Throughout the day, our bodies naturally accumulate nitrogen gas in our joints. When a joint is placed under different loads of pressure, the nitrogen gas is expelled from the joints which at the same time produces the popping sound or cavitation that we are all familiar with.
Is it a bad things to crack my own neck/back?
Yes, it is. When forcibly done, you are adjusting joints in the body that may needed to be done, but at the same time adjusting many regions that doesn’t need to be done which results in putting the right things out of place. This also creates the phenomenon called ligamentous creep (Hyperlink to ligamentous creep blog post) which causes a plethora of issues.
Why does my joints click and pop by themselves?
This varies from person to person. If your occupation requires you to be sitting in front of a screen for an extended period of time, you may hear the cavitations when straitening your posture. These cavitations are okay as they are not forced. As explained earlier, our bodies will naturally accumulate the nitrogen gas in our joints however, the more mobile the joint, the less chance the gas will remain in the joint. Hence when you are more sedentary, more gas is able to be accumulated with a joint which will allow less force needed to cavitate the joint.
What can I do instead of cracking my own joints?
Well first things first, you can go see a Chiropractor! Chiropractors are trained for many years in the arts of human biomechanics and many types of adjustments in order to provide the best care for you. Chiropractic adjustments are tailored to the target the specific regions in the body which are restricted and will then correctly and effectively.
Other ways in which you can help prevent cracking your own joints are to implement microbreaks in you work schedule (Hyperlink to Microbreak Blog post).
- Snap, Crackle, Pop: What You Need to Know About Joint Noises. (2021). Retrieved 6 July 2021, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/snap-crackle-pop-need-know-joint-noises/
- R, B. (2021). The audible release associated with joint manipulation. Retrieved 6 July 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7790795/
- James Dunning, J. (2021). CAVITATION SOUNDS DURING CERVICOTHORACIC SPINAL MANIPULATION. Retrieved 6 July 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5534155/