Neck Cracking: Risks and Benefits

Neck cracking

Neck cracking is a very common habit, especially among hard working Americans. After (or during) a long day, cracking your neck can feel great and relieve some of the pressure that’s built up in your upper body as a result of the day’s stresses. The experts at Team Chiro want you to know, however, that there are some things you should be aware of if you make cracking your neck a frequent habit. Read on to learn more!

Why Does My Neck Make a Popping Sound When I Crack It?

The short answer to “why necks make a popping sound when they’re cracked” is simply this: it’s the release of pressure in your neck. Fully understanding where the noise is coming from requires a brief anatomy lesson.

Your neck is filled with “facet joints,” which stretch when your neck is cracked. When the facet joints stretch, fluid spreads out in your joint capsules and turns into gas. The quick process of the fluid in your neck turning into gas is what causes the pop that you hear, and it’s also what causes the feeling of relief from pressure. This process is known as “cavitation,” and in and of itself, is not harmful.

Is Cracking Your Own Neck Bad?

There are certainly benefits to cracking your neck, including the relief of pressure and the release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemical signals that block the feeling of pain and release feelings of wellbeing inside your brain. This “chemical reaction” describes why those who crack their neck feel so great when they do.

There are, however, a few downsides to the practice of cracking your own neck.

  • If you crack your neck with too much force, you can pinch your nerves. This can cause extreme pain and can even temporarily paralyze your neck.
  • Cracking your own neck can cause you to strain your neck joints and the muscles surrounding them. This can also cause pain and reduced mobility.
  • Those who frequently crack their own neck can cause the ligaments in their joints to stretch permanently. This may increase the odds of developing osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that ranks among the leading causes of disability in the world.
  • Cracking your own neck improperly, too frequently, or with too much force can lead to the puncture of blood vessels. This can, in turn, lead to blood clotting. In severe cases, blood clots can block flow to your brain.

Why Do Chiropractors Crack Your Neck?

Experienced chiropractors are familiar with the correct way to crack a patient’s neck. At Team Chiro, our doctors and staff have been trained in methods that both provide relief and steer clear of all of the risks and downsides associated with cracking a neck in improper form.

We evaluate each patient who experiences neck pain for their specific root sources of pain, and will work with the patient to provide a unique and tailored treatment plan.

Team Chiro: The Neck Pain Experts in the Triangle:

Is your neck causing you pain throughout the day? Meet Team Chiropractic, the neck pain experts in the triangle. At Team Chiro, we want to set up our patients to win. That’s why new patients at Team Chiro receive a consultation, examination, any necessary spinal x-rays, their first adjustment, and a Doctor’s Report (valued at $525) for just $47.

Team Chiropractic & Sports Medicine, P.A. can help isolate and treat the core issues that are to blame for your discomfort. We’re the home of evidence-based spinal reengineering and chiropractic sports medicine. With over 50 years of combined experience, we’re proud to serve Chapel Hill, Research Triangle Park, Durham, Raleigh, Clayton, and surrounding areas in North Carolina.If you’re looking for chiropractic treatment in the greater Triangle area, we are here to help! Contact us online today or give us a call at 919-788-8881 to schedule your initial appointment and x-ray at either of our Triangle locations. We look forward to helping restore your health!


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