Is it ok to crack my own neck?
Short answer to that question, no. Here's why.
If you are a fan of Chiropractic you must have stumbled across videos on YouTube or social media where they teach people how to "self-manipulate" or crack your own neck.
Why do I always feel like cracking my neck?
First of all. the need to crack your own neck can either come from addiction- addicted to hearing the crack sound, or there is something wrong with the neck, whether it is painful, stiff or both, that makes you want to crack your neck to get relief.
What's the difference between cracking my neck and letting a Chiropractor crack it?
Chiropractic adjustments of the neck releases trapped gas in restricted joints hence the crack sound. Chiropractors' careful hand placement is not only to ensure precise adjustment but also to stabilize the head and other side of the neck so that muscles and ligaments are not over stretched and does not go under too much pressure.
Once you understand that there is a difference between chiropractic adjustments and cracking your own neck, it is not difficult to see the danger behind this bad habit of cracking your own neck either by twisting your neck quickly or using your hand to push the neck pass where it is supposed to go.
When you crack your own neck, you are essentially forcing joints to move without stabilizing other parts of the body, inducing a sprain type of injury to the joint. The danger in cracking your own joints is over-stretching the ligaments causing it to lose its shape and strength. Over time they might not be able to provide the stability your joints need to maintain proper alignment leading to problems such as pain, stiffness and even pinched nerves and misaligned vertebra.
Please seek professional advice if you have the following symptoms:
Neck cracks repetitively every time or almost always when you move a certain way
Neck cracks that follows with pain (headache or neck and shoulder pain ) or swelling
Neck cracks frequently following an accident or surgery that affects the neck
"Neck cracking, especially when it’s done right and not too often, can make you feel good by releasing pressure in your joints. But if you’re doing it a lot and feeling constant pressure or pain, see your chiropractor. They can help diagnose and fix any underlying issues that may be contributing to your discomfort."