Despite the fact that cracking your knuckle, neck, or back might not have any benefits to you, it is likely to harm your joints. People do it to get some form of relief in their knuckles, back, or neck, while others simply like the sound of it.
Since knuckle, neck, and back cracking happens quite often, it is good for people to understand whether this activity has any health effects on an individual. This article answers the question whether DIY knuckle, neck, and back cracking hurts your joints.
Knuckles make a popping sound when cracked. Researchers have many theories to support this. The common theory is that the resulting sound is due to the creation of a negative space in the synovial fluid.
Although a sound is created, medical experts show that knuckle cracking is probably harmless. It does not cause osteoarthritis, a condition caused by joint wear and tear. Knuckle crackers thus do not show higher levels of arthritis than non-crackers.
Despite this, knuckle cracking may cause reduced grip and hand swelling, but the evidence behind these claims is not strong. At most times, knuckle cracking does not cause any harm to the joints.
Neck and Back Cracking
Thanks to our sedentary lifestyles, more people often feel stiff in their neck or back regions. This might make some sense to crack the joints around these areas, looking to find relief. Much like the harmless act of knuckle cracking, easing joint and muscle tension around your neck or back using DIY tactics might seem as a good way to gain some relief. However, this is something that you need to do with utmost care.
The brain stem runs through the neck and back and not your hands. Therefore, cracking your fingers might seem harmless, but doing this to your neck or back may affect the joints along your spine, and even the brain. Although such occasions are rare, neck and back cracking could potentially harm not only the joints but also the tendons and arteries.
It is safe to crack your neck or back but you should not make it your daily practice. If your neck or back are naturally cracking, there is no problem with that. However, if you are constantly cracking these areas just because you need relief, then you could be putting yourself at risk of things like misalignment in your neck or back muscles, and over-stretched ligaments.
At this point, you will have cases that restrict mobility and lead to more pain. Furthermore, you will be providing your body with temporary relief from what seems to be a major issue that needs professional attention.
Why You Should Visit a Chiropractor
Knuckle, neck, and back cracking only offers you temporary relief from the real cause of pain. Visiting a chiropractor is crucial because he/she can assist to identify what is happening in your body. For instance, if you experience neck or back pain, you might be having a weak core or misalignment ligaments and tendons. An experience chiropractor can thus assist to strengthen and stabilize the hurting joints.
What Does Your Chiropractor Do?
Your chiropractor applies pressure on your joints to help improve movement and flexibility. The aim of the chiropractic procedure is to realign spinal joints to their normal position. If your case is not that serious, you only need one session to achieve relief. However, if you are dealing with a more serious case, visiting the chiropractor frequently can help you achieve maximum results. Certified chiropractors have the needed experience to offer better results than when you are doing it on your own.
Many people do self-chiropractic care without even knowing it. If you use your laptop or phone for long hours, there is a very good chance that you have tried doing it too. At times, joint manipulation is something that many people barely think about. When your fingers, neck, or back get stiff, all you want is relief. So, you go ahead and apply some pressure on these regions to achieve that popping sound.
Although you do achieve some form of relief from the practice, cracking your knuckle, neck, or back might be doing you more harm than good. The urge to crack the joints comes from an underlying issue that you should consider solving by receiving chiropractic care. The relief you get from this will be permanent, as long as you also change your lifestyle. This is because your chiropractor will help get your joints back in line, eliminating that unhealthy muscle tension.