Do you enjoy cracking your back???
By Dr. Afshin Kaivan-Mehr
If you’re experiencing back pain, how can you resist cracking your back? A little twist here, a little tilt there, or even a little request to a friend to walk on your back? And what about that snap, crackle, and pop, like you’re watching a Rice Krispies commercial? Combine that cracking sound with the momentary relief…and you’ve scored! Or have you???
What happens when you’re cracking your back?
While you may feel some immediate relief from cracking your back, the truth is, the issue itself may remain under the surface and result in more tension and/or problems. That snap, crackle, and pop, aren’t the Rice Krispies characters coming out to say hello, nor is it actually you adjusting your back. In fact, that sound is gas. You see, gas builds up in your joints and becomes locked up. When you “crack” your back, it’s just the built up gas rushing out of your joint and making a popping sound similar to pulling a suction cup off a window or a wall. There are actually chiropractic techniques to adjust one’s back effectively without any cracking and popping.
And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but as mentioned above, when you’re cracking your own back, you’re not actually adjusting your back. Not only are you simply just releasing the gas between your joints, but you’re stretching your ligaments to the point of becoming unstable. While there may be some short-lived relief, the joints that are cracking are not those that are locked tight and causing you pain. They usually are the joint s already stretched too thin and unfortunately cracking impairs the ligaments’ ability to stabilize your joints, causes chronic stiffness, irritation, pain, pinched nerves, and can cause improper spinal alignment.
Should I crack my own back?
No! As you can see, when you crack your own back you’re not really fixing the problem and instead creating long term issues. That said, if you are constantly finding the urge to crack your back then this must be addressed. Obviously you are suffering with symptoms of back pain and your efforts have not corrected the matter, hence you continue to crack your own back.
The pain can be due to a number of reasons and it must be addressed as soon as possible because not only can the problem worsen as we get older, but it can get amplify to the point of requiring risky back surgery.
You should look at your back like treads on tires. With use, similar to tires wearing unevenly when one end is out of alignment, your spinal discs will also wear unevenly when your spine is out of alignment. The spine is comprised of discs and as they lose their normal height and water content, the spinal bones move in closer together. This can cause nerve irritation, disc bulging, disc herniations, pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), and of course pain and disability.
Cracking your own back doesn’t solve these problems but it masks them temporarily and delays correction. Next time you find the urge to crack your own back, stop first to make a consultation appointment. Let’s find out what the underlying cause is and correct it with chiropractic techniques, physical therapy, or if possible and needed, nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy.
If you’re not familiar with spinal decompression therapy, hop on over to my blog for all the details.
What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?
In short, however, spinal decompression therapy is a non-surgical, non-invasive, and cost-effective treatment to relieve pain. The goal of spinal decompression therapy is to enlarge the disc space once again, re-hydrate and re-position your discs, stretch the spinal muscles and ligaments, as well as move any herniated disc matter away from nerves and the spinal cord. Unlike cracking your own back, spinal decompression therapy is a technique that can actually address the underlying causes of back pain and result in a permanent solution. Learn more about spinal decompression therapy and whether you are a candidate by completing this following questionnaire.
So leave the snap, crackle, and pop for your cereal and contact us today to address your back pain! 909-596-1038