Why Should I Not Crack My Own Neck?

Neck Cracking

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: This is a fairly frequent question that I get from patients. I will also have parents ask me to tell their kids the danger of “cracking” their own neck, especially after the parents have witnessing them doing it. 

While chiropractic adjusting is a safe procedure when performed by a trained professional, it can have risks when performed by the untrained. Before a chiropractor adjusts a neck, they take a history and perform an examination. During the examination they palpate the spine to see where the joint is subluxated, or partially out of alignment. This tells them what direction the joint needs to be adjusted, or “cracked”. This is different than when you grab your own head and twist it hoping to hear the “cracking” noise. You don’t know which way to properly adjust it and that is why 20 – 30 minutes later you feel the urge to do it again. Usually you are actually manipulating the joint above or below the one that is actually causing the problem. 

Sometimes there can be a vascular problem and the “cracking” can cause some tingling or numbness. The chiropractor can check to see if any underlying vascular issues are present before causing a problem.

The tightness or discomfort might also be due to tight muscles and not a joint problem. In this case, there is no need to adjust your own spine. The problem can be resolved by doing the correct stretches and exercises. 

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!