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Should You Crack Your Own Joints?

By Randi Morse

The other day I walked into my living room to a scene that definitely won't be happening again. My 15-year-old daughter was laying on the ground asking her friend to walk on her back in order to "crack it." I immediately stopped this from happening and then proceeded to explain to them why it's important to leave the back cracking to the professionals. 

Snap, Crackle, Pop

It's important to first understand why joints crack and pop. Joints are surrounded by things like ligaments and tendons, but they also have synovial fluid. This fluid helps lubricate the joints, allowing them to move without much friction. As with most fluids, it can build up gasses. Think of these buildups like a bubble. When you manipulate the joint, like when you pull on your fingers, you move the fluid around which releases those gasses, which creates the popping feel and sound. 

It's not uncommon to have that popping happen organically. There are times when I walk down my stairs I'll feel my knee pop, but it isn't accompanied by any pain and it doesn't happen every time I go down stairs. If you are feeling pain when popping happens, it's important to have the situation checked out by a trained chiropractor, as there could be a joint restriction problem occurring and causing the pain.

To Crack or Not to Crack?

If your joints crack organically, shouldn't it be okay for you to crack them when you want to? Actually, chiropractors recommend against cracking your joints yourself, for a few different reasons. First, if you crack an area over and over again you're increasing the wear and tear that occurs on the joint. This increases the possibility of a future problem developing, such as arthritis. By cracking the joint yourself you're at risk of damaging the nerves and soft tissue around the joint. Your spine, especially, is interconnected with your nerves, and cracking it incorrectly can cause a great deal of damage with the nerves, which can trigger an avalanche of problems for the rest of your body. 

Chiropractors spend years of training in order to learn how to properly adjust your joints and your spine. Chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic want to ensure that you have a healthy year and encourage you to avoid cracking your back, or any other joint, yourself. If you're dealing with pain or joint problems, the low prices and easily accessible walk-in appointments at The Joint Chiropractic make it easy to allow an expert to do your cracking for you.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Seminole, Fla.

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