Is it safe to crack your neck?
Do you feel the need to crack your neck all the time? If so, you probably suffer from some mechanical joint dysfunction. Your spine is full of synovial joints. These are the same type of joints in your fingers, knees, shoulder, etc. A synovial joint will often “pop” or “crack”, called a cavitation, when the joint is moved into the paraphysiologic space. Gas is released which causes the familiar “pop” sound.
Stress, work, driving, and daily activities can cause stiffness in the joints of your neck or back. Your body feels this stiffness and before you know it you are twisting your head and… POP! If you crack your neck all the time you might be doing more harm than good.
That being said, I cannot say cracking your own back or neck is unsafe or safe. But, when you “crack” your neck or back you most likely are not adjusting anything. When a joint is restricted in motion (or feels stiff), the joints above and below move more to make up the difference. When you repeatedly pop your neck, you are just temporarily loosening the segments that are already loose, not the ones that are really restricted/stuck. In addition, those joints may become hypermobile (excessively loose) and that can lead to more problems.
A chiropractor spends 4 years worth of school learning about the spine after a bachelors degree. This includes intense study of anatomy, biomechanics, and adjusting skills practice. A chiropractor can deliver a safe, fast, and comfortable adjustment.
Time for some real relief:
You need a specific chiropractic adjustment followed by a postural assessment and correction for both short term comfort and long term health.
Dr. Chris Cooper, DC is a Portland chiropractor who specializes in treating the neck and back. You can request an appointment or call (503) 257-1324. Dr. Cooper would love to answer any questions or hear any feedback you might have.
Image credit: http://www.wikihow.com/Crack-Your-Neck