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"Why 'Cracking' your Own Spine Rarely Gives any Lasting Relief..."


In my 24 years experience as a practicing chiropractor I have listened to countless people admit that they were habitual “self manipulators.” They would “crack” their own spine. They would report that they started doing it because they had a sore back or neck and it seemed to give them some relief. On further questioning however they would testify that multiple times a day they would crank their neck or grab the back of a chair and twist hearing “pop, pop, pop,” up their spine. While you are unlikely to cause much harm, this becomes a habit for many because it rarely corrects the problem.


Why Doesn’t “Self Manipulation” fix the problem?

When I check a spine I am looking for what is know as a Chiropractic Vertebral Subluxation. One of the hallmarks of a subluxation is the vertebra becomes stiff, stuck or locked. Injuries and stresses on the spine cause soft tissue damage and scaring. Over time this can lead to a loss of movement and degeneration. Think of a subluxation a lot like a rusty hinge. It just doesn’t move properly.


When subluxations develop other parts of the spine have to take up the slack because of the loss of movement. These areas will become too mobile compensating for the areas that are not moving enough. In my experience,  when someone tries to “crack” their own back and neck the compensating, hyper-mobile areas move and “pop” while the problem (the subluxation) remains uncorrected.


What I have seen in practice is that most of these people do much better under the care of a chiropractor. Chiropractors are trained to find the real problem and correct it doing spinal adjustments. Most people quickly stop “cracking” their own neck and back as they no longer feel the need.


The benefits of regular chiropractic care go beyond simple pain relief. To learn more read through our website and blogs. If you or a loved one wish to see how chiropractic may be able to benefit you, phone us for an initial consultation or request an appointment at the bottom of the page.

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