When feeling weighed down by a tight, stiff neck, the temptation to give it a good crack can be overwhelming—but you might want to think twice. If you crack your neck, you could be putting yourself at risk for serious injury.
When it comes to your spine health, taking matters into your own hands is rarely a good idea, especially if you’re unsure of what’s causing your neck pain.
Why You Might Be Tempted to Crack Your Neck
What actually happens when you crack your neck? Most people feel the urge because of pent-up pressure in the area that leaves you itching for relief. This pressure actually stems from your joints. It turns out that fluid can accumulate in the capsules found around the joints in your neck. When you “crack your neck,” you’re simply releasing the gas from that fluid, which relieves pressure and brings about that familiar sound.
Other experts say that the cracking sound you hear has to do with your ligaments, which essentially help in holding our bones together. When you briskly move your neck to crack it, ligaments could snap over the joint or around it, producing a similar sound. Either way, while the act can bring about a short-term sense of relief, it isn’t without risk.
Why You Shouldn’t Crack Your Neck Yourself
It’s dangerous for a number of reasons. Even trained chiropractors don’t take the do-it-yourself route. For starters, persistent neck pain could be a symptom of an underlying condition hiding beneath the surface.
Even if you don’t have a preexisting neck injury, you can very well cause a new injury when you crack your neck. According to Healthline, it could lead to everything from a pinched nerve or muscle strain—both of which are quite painful—to a punctured blood vessel that may lend itself to dangerous blood clotting. You could also severely damage your joints and ligaments, increasing your risk of later developing osteoarthritis.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Put your neck in safe hands by visiting a trained, experienced chiropractor. Contrary to popular belief, instead of simply cracking your neck, they relieve pressure by safely readjusting the spine. What’s more, a good chiropractor will first create an overarching treatment plan that’s tailored to your individual needs. This is how you address neck pain and set yourself up for proper alignment that lasts.
If you routinely crack your neck, it’s time for a change. Set up a free consultation today with the pain management specialists at Pain Stop North Phoenix. Safe and effective chiropractic care is closer than you think.