Is Cracking Your Own Back Safe?
By Amy Silva
To some, cracking their back feels good and it may become second nature to do it daily. Though it's referred to as "cracking," that's not what is actually happening. Feeling a release and hearing a pop may give the impression it's helping you feel better. If your back feels as though it needs to be cracked often, there may be a reason for that, and you should seek chiropractic care rather than doing it yourself.
Possible Reasons the Spine May Feel Tight
In some cases, it may not be safe to crack your back due to having an underlying medical issue. Being assessed by a professional if you always feel stiff is a good idea prior to making cracking your back on your own a daily occurrence. It could worsen some conditions, such as a slipped disc, but you could also have medical issues you're unaware of, such as various types of arthritis. Other times a stiff back may be due to not having proper posture throughout the day, not being active, injuring yourself at work or even sleeping in an uncomfortable position where your back was twisted.
Why Seeking Chiropractic Care is a Better Option
Seeking help from a chiropractor can prevent you causing injury to your back by cracking it yourself or asking a friend or family member to do it for you. They know how to do it safely because they're trained professionals. Chiropractors know how much pressure to apply, where to apply it, and won't force it to crack where it may not be necessary. You may notice you feel more relaxed and loosened up after you see a chiropractor in a safe and professional setting than when you do it at home and apply too much pressure or forced positions.
Things You Can Do to Relieve a Stiff Spine at Home
Aside from cracking your back there are other ways you may be able to get relief from the feeling of stiffness, depending on if there's an underlying cause or not. Some things to try include:
- Moving more often - Sometimes stiffness can come from being sedentary and not being active enough
- Relax - Consider trying yoga, stretching or meditating
- Apply heat or ice - Try each at separate times by alternating between them to see if one or both can help
- Maintain proper posture - Be sure to sit up straight and lift with your legs instead of your back if you have a physical job
See the chiropractors at The Joint for an assessment to see if they can help the stiff feeling. They're open evenings and weekends and no appointment is necessary.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Charlotte, N.C.