We hear it often, and when we do, we are cringing internally. “My friend cracked my back” or “I let my wife walk on my back.” It may feel good, but more than likely, it was uncomfortable or even hurt. You may even hear a popping or cracking sound, which may make you think it was effective.
What’s happening when you hear those pops is that gases between the joints are being released. With that release, you may feel a sense of relief, but you may also be doing more harm than good.
So, does that mean we should be cracking our backs at home?
The simple answer: No.
If you’re gently stretching your back and it pops naturally, it’s likely not something that’s bad for you or going to cause long-term damage But if your friend grabs you from behind and starts crushing your spine, you could damage surrounding nerves, muscles, and tissues. That’s because the joints in your spine need to move in a specific way. If you move them incorrectly or with too much force, you could strain the ligaments in your back or hurt a rib – leading to bigger problems.
Is cracking your neck safe?
Cracking your neck yourself isn’t a great habit either, since doing so regularly can cause inflammation around important nerves. There are also the risks of adjusting your neck incorrectly, much like the aforementioned ones from improperly cracking your back.
Cracking your own neck can also cause postural strain. It could lead to spinal misalignment, which could introduce added pressure or tension to your neck. That can cause headaches, migraines, vision issues, radiating pain to the elbow, hands, fingers, and more.
But I’m in pain…
If you’re regularly trying to crack your back or neck because it feels tight or is hurting, it’s time to see a doctor. Chiropractors are specifically trained in how to safely and effectively adjust the spine.
Dr. Grabouski specializes in a gentle technique with no hard twisting that promotes alignment to provide long-lasting results to reduce your pain. He will also provide at-home stretches to help loosen your joints, improve mobility, and decrease pain.
So, if you want to start feeling better schedule an appointment now with an expert in chiropractic care.
Dr. Justin Grabouski proudly serves the Overland Park, Olathe, and Leawood communities with the latest in modern chiropractic techniques. Same-day appointments are available for all patients.