Neck cracking is one of the most common issues being discussed by people regarding chiropractors. There are several myths and confusion surrounding neck cracking, and hopefully, this article can shed a little knowledge on these problems. A lot of people wonder how safe the neck cracking process is for chiropractic patients. Do some even ask why it is done? The usual reason why people go to chiropractic doctors is their acute neck pains, back pain, and even pain in the shoulders.
So, what happens when chiropractic doctors ‘cracks’ their patient’s neck? The term or word ‘neck cracking’ means the manipulation is applied to the cervical joints, which resulted in a person hearing the ‘crack’ or popping sound. It exists because a swift motion is applied to the cervical part that loosens the joints and neck’s ligaments. The cracking sound is not exclusive to the patient’s neck. As a matter of fact, any joint of a patient can be ‘cracked.’ One joint cracking is normal, that it has become a universal sign of a person who’s about to beat up somebody. The cracking is specific to the lower back, the toes, ankles, hips, and especially the knuckles or fingers.
There are three main reasons why there is a cracking or popping sound when chiropractic doctors or a person cracks their joints in any area of their body, especially on the neck.
- Arthritis. It happens when the cartilage loses its smoothness when one joint of a person is being affected by an illness called arthritis. When you have arthritis, your joints’ surface becomes rougher, resulting in a person hearing a noise when they move.
- Person’s movement. When a person is moving, the possible thing that can happen is their joints move with them as well. The movement affects the tendons and ligaments. These two are the fibers in a person’s body that connect the muscles and joints. If the tendons move even a slight reaction or become out of place, it will cause a snapping noise when treatment is done to return it to its original position. To add to that, the ligaments can tighten when the joints move, causing a cracking sound. The cracking sound mainly occurs in the knees or ankles.
- Gas escaping a patient’s joints. The joints of a person contain fluids that act as lubricants between bones and the tissue. The contents of the fluid include carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen. These fluids are available in a person’s facet joints or the paired joints in the neck that can run upward or downward on each side. Air collects between joints in the form of bubbles. The cracking sound is caused by the bubbles popping when doing a specific movement.
Although joint cracking is normal, everybody is advised not to crack their neck all by themselves, especially if they are experiencing discomfort or pain. The neck contains nerves and blood vessels that can be damaged if you will do the cracking without the help of a professional. It is where chiropractors can be of great help because they can do an examination first of the discomfort and neck pain issues. Chiropractic doctors help examine the source of the issue and help relieve it through gentle manipulation and movement.
A patient must know first and foremost, though, that neck cracking is one of the adjustment techniques and cervical manipulations that a chiropractor can suggest because it might be the right treatment for a person having this condition. But, chiropractors are not always done, especially if they identified that there’s actually no tension in the neck area that needs cracking.
What are the benefits of neck cracking?
There are several benefits of cracking a person’s neck. It is impossible that a person has not felt the benefits of it before. Some of the benefits of cracking a neck include relief from pain or soreness, realignment of misaligned joints, the release of endorphins, and the feeling of lightness because of the release of neck pressure. Others said that hearing the cavitation of joints can bring them instant relief, though it can be like a placebo effect.
It might sound amazing and satisfying, but when you are constantly experiencing it, it is always advisable to seek professional help because too much neck cracking can be harmful and bad for your overall health and well-being.
What are the risks of neck cracking?
Neck cracking might provide a person a sense of relief for a short period, but it’s not suggested to be performed by themselves. You can’t be lucky at all times to crack the right joints. Improper cracking of your neck might lead to a more serious problem. Remember, the human’s cervical spine is one of the most important parts of the body, serving as the support of the whole body. The task of the cervical spine is to hold the entire weight of the head, which is an estimated 13 pounds. The cervical spine also balances the head above the person’s shoulders, and this act needs more stability provided by joints, discs, and ligaments located on the neck. If a person is doing too much neck cracking, often when done unsupervised, it will slowly loosen the support from the ligaments. It can be a harmful act and can lead to instability in the neck portion and might cause danger in the long run.
Some of the harmful effects of neck cracking also include forced pinching in the nerves. It will make it impossible and painful to move since too hard neck cracking can strain the joints and muscles.
Hypermobility in the crevicular part can cause the need for neck cracking. When a person’s joints have a more comprehensive motion range than the usual, the ligaments found on the neck loosen up, and the person feels the need to stretch more because of numbness and soreness. It is the looseness of the ligaments that sometimes leads to a condition called osteoarthritis.
You must remember that the main connection points of blood vessels are in the neck area, and when you do the ‘cracking’ too hard, it may result in stroke and blood clotting since it blocks the blood flow to the human brain.
How do seeking help from chiropractors reduce the risk of neck cracking?
Chiropractic doctors are licensed and reliable professionals that need extensive knowledge of the human body. To become a chiropractor, you must be a graduate or doctorate in the practice as well.
So, how do chiropractic doctors help in relieving the pain in the neck? One of the many functions of chiropractors is to ensure that their patient’s body joints are aligned. They are making sure of it by manually manipulating the joints.
They are not medically dependent and use natural approaches or non-surgical methods to relieve pain. The non-invasive ailments that chiropractic doctors use are a big help in eliminating ‘neck cracking’ practices a person does.
Chiropractors also give recommendations on how to change your lifestyle to avoid the misalignment issue on the joints and spine. Having a poor posture may damage your overall health, later on, so you need proper advice on how to prevent it. They can suggest which diet programs and exercises available for you that can help you lose weight and be more active.
So that’s it, the benefits and risks of chiropractic treatment in neck pain. Remember, neck treatment is only safe as long as it is exercised by licensed professionals with extensive knowledge of the human body.
So that’s it for the risks and benefits of chiropractic treatment in neck pain. Always remember that neck treatment is only safe if you will do it with the right professional who has extensive knowledge about your condition and how the human body works.