Many people “crack” their own necks; sometimes for relaxation, sometimes just because they can.  This is called “self manipulation,” the “self adjustment,” the “self mobilization or the “do-it-yourself chiropractor.”  But what is the difference between “cracking” yourself and a Chiropractor’s spinal adjustment?

The need to “crack” or “pop” your own neck or back is most likely a sign of an underlying problem.  It often stems from poor posture and/or a misaligned vertebra putting excess stress on the joints in the cervical (neck) spine.  Due to the stresses on the spine, the joints become restricted and uncomfortable.  If self-spinal manipulation becomes an on-going habit, it can become a trapped nerve!  When you crack your own neck (self-spinal manipulation) you are popping either the joint above or below the restricted one that needs to move properly.  Chiropractors train over 4-5 years in Chiropractic College after undergraduate training to adjust the right joint in the right way, which instead relieves the restricted joint and frees up any “trapped” or “pinched” nerves.

Is it Ok to Crack My Own Neck?

The danger of “cracking: your own neck or back is that you are moving the wrong joints!  When you self-manipulate your spine it may make the same ‘popping’ noise (air being released from the joint) as a Chiropractic adjustment. Any mild relief from self-spinal manipulation is due to the natural release of a pain relieving chemical called endorphins, but moving the wrong joint repeatedly and without chiropractic training can cause damage to your joints, which can led to worse problems down the road.

Cracking your joints does not necessarily signal a spinal adjustment. A lot of people will mistake the cracking sound for an actual adjustment. This is not necessarily the case (often, it’s not the case). In order to get a spinal adjustment, visit a licensed chiropractor.

If you are having frequent feelings that something is not right in your neck or back then you need to get a complete chiropractic evaluation.  It is important to have a complete spinal evaluation to rule out underlying health issues before any treatment is given.

Call Us at Chiropractic Family Wellness Center in Scarborough, Maine

We are here for you! Let us help you get to the root of what is going on. Call us at our Southern Maine clinic at (207)883-5549.