Self-Cracking: Can I Adjust My Own Spine?

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: The short answer is yes you physically can, but you should not do it. Below I will explain why you should not adjust your own spine and I will give you a way to still feel relief on your own.

A couple times a year I will have a patient come in that has injured themselves while trying to adjust their own spine. It can be as simple as pulling a muscle or mildly getting a joint out of alignment to as severe as herniating a disc, breaking a rib, or dislocating their jaw.

The problem arises when the patient tries to force the joint so that they can hear the “crack.” To do this, they press on their jaw to get leverage on their neck or they lean against a chair or object to rotate their low back enough. Some people even try to just turn their body quickly in hopes that they will get the joint to release and make the “cracking” noise.

The irony is that they usually are not even adjusting the joint that is giving them discomfort. Usually that joint is stuck or fixated. They are manipulating the joint either directly above or below the problem area. 

It is better to have the joint properly adjusted by a trained doctor of chiropractic. The chiropractor is the best equipped doctor to determine where the problem is and how to properly align the joint so that it does not cause a problem in the future.

If in the future, while doing your home stretches and exercises that your chiropractor has given you, you may hear and feel the joint adjust or “crack.” This is ok. Once the joint is properly aligned, then sometimes regular stretches or using a foam roller will allow the vertebrae or rib to properly position themselves without risk of injury.

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