It’s a frequent habit to crack your joints. It is something that many of us do. We make cracking noises with our knuckles, fingers, toes, backs, and even our necks. However, not everyone does so for the same reasons. Some of us use it to relieve tension in our shoulders or necks or as a reaction to stress. It’s sometimes just a matter of habit.
But is there any advantage to cracking your neck? Yes and no, respectively. Cracking your neck softly or sometimes will not injure you, but doing it wrong, frequently, or aggressively can produce greater pain or discomfort than before you cracked your neck.
Continue reading to understand more about the hazards, what happens when you try to crack your neck, and when you should get help.
What causes the cracking or popping noise?
The capsules around your joints are stretched when you crack your neck or any other joint in your body. These capsules contain fluid, and extending them relieves strain on the joint.
The fluids in the joint change to gas when the pressure lowers. When the fluid becomes gas, it generates a popping noise. This is known as boiling or cavitation, and it is usually not hazardous.
In the case of your neck, there are many sets of joints known as facet joints. These joints can be found on either side of your neck. The facet joints expand when you crack your neck, allowing fluid to circulate in the joint capsule. When the fluid turns to gas, your neck joints pop. This is what causes neck cracking to seem like it relieves pressure in your neck area.
Another idea proposes that the cracking sound is caused by the formation of a bubble in the joint.
Is it beneficial to crack your neck?
Although cracking your neck can help you in various ways, you should always consult with your doctor or chiropractor first. They can tell you if it’s safe for you and provide other relief solutions.
According to one study, having your neck cracked by a chiropractor can have a favourable emotional impact. Many individuals associate cracking sounds with pressure relief and good joint realignment.
Even if no pressure was released and the joint was not completely or adequately corrected, hearing the cracking sound can improve some people. This is referred to as the “placebo effect.”
Endorphins are released in the area of your neck joints when you crack your neck. Endorphins are pain-relieving hormones produced by the pituitary gland and released by the body. Endorphins are released in the area when you crack your neck. This provides you with a sense of fulfillment and joy.
How dangerous is it to crack your neck?
Cracking your neck can be hazardous if done incorrectly or too frequently.
If you crack your neck too hard, the nerves in your neck will be pinched. Pinching a nerve can be excruciatingly painful and make moving your neck difficult or impossible. Excessive neck cracking can also strain the muscles surrounding your joints and the joints themselves. Moving your neck can be difficult when your muscles or joints are stressed.
Hypermobility may cause you to feel the desire to snap your neck frequently. This occurs when your joint has a more excellent range of motion than usual.
When you repeatedly crack your neck, the ligaments in your joints might become permanently stretched. This is referred to as continuous instability. When this occurs, your neck joints are more likely to develop osteoarthritis.
Many vital blood arteries can be found in your neck. In some circumstances, cracking your neck too violently or too frequently can cause a blood vessel to be punctured. It can also cause blood clotting, which is harmful since it restricts blood supply to the brain.
Should I go to a chiropractor?
If you crack your neck frequently but don’t experience any chronic pain or discomfort, you probably don’t need chiropractic or medical care.
However, if you constantly crack your neck and never seem to be satisfied, you may need to have your joints adjusted. This can make you less inclined to crack your neck all the time.
You should also consult your doctor or chiropractor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- If you detect any unusual swelling in your neck, this could indicate fluid buildup, an injury, or an infection.
- You begin to experience discomfort in your neck joint, particularly chronic ache with no discernible explanation
- Because of ageing or a condition such as osteoarthritis, your joints are becoming less mobile.
- A chiropractor can manipulate your joints to ensure that they are aligned, preventing the pressure or pain that makes you want to snap your neck.
They can also advise you on modifying your lifestyle, such as exercising or losing weight, to reduce neck pressure or pain. They may also advise you on caring for your neck at home. This can include learning how to apply heat or cold to your neck to relieve pain or swelling.
To locate a chiropractor, contact your primary care physician to recommend you to a specialist in your network. Your healthcare provider may also offer an online specialist directory where you can look for your chiropractor.
Your health insurance may cover a chiropractor, but you should check to see what the cost of a specialist is. Seeking a chiropractor might cost anything from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on how much your insurance will cover.
Neck Injury and Neck Cracking
It would help if you never experienced pain or discomfort due to cracking or snapping your neck. If you feel worse after cracking your neck, this is a clue that the behavior is harmful to you. Avoid cracking your neck on your own and instead leave that type of treatment to the pros.
If you have a whiplash injury, your car accident chiropractor may want to help you with various therapy options and strategies, which may involve chiropractic adjustments. Whiplash can harm the spine and the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your neck.
A whiplash injury to the neck can result in discomfort, stiffness, and soreness that necessitates medical attention. When you try to crack your neck on your own after being injured, you risk injuring blood vessels or overextending ligaments and tendons.
Chiropractic Care and Home Remedies
When you visit a car accident chiropractor for a stiff or aching neck, they will examine the area to identify the best whiplash treatment. Here are some at-home cures and chiropractic treatments that can help with a neck injury.
Allow for Rest Periods
A car collision is a stressful experience that can have major physical consequences. As the damage progresses, you will most likely notice stiffness and tightness in your neck and trouble tilting your head side to side. Avoid overexerting or overextending your neck. Instead, prioritize rest and moderate movements until you can see a doctor.
Compresses for ice and heat
After a car accident, your chiropractor may advise you to apply cold, and heat compresses to a sore and stiff neck. Using ice to the affected area helps to reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief. Heat applied to your neck will aid in relaxing the stiff, aching muscles.
Exercises for Rehabilitation
Therapeutic exercises and stretches to increase neck strength and mobility may be part of your whiplash treatment. Your car accident chiropractor may advise you on specific activities to help you restore your range of motion and offer correct neck support.
After a car accident, chiropractic care can help with several problems, including whiplash. A chiropractor for a vehicle accident will be highly trained and knowledgeable in offering therapeutic chiropractic adjustments. You may not need to crack or pop your neck to get relief from whiplash.
If you were involved in a car accident and suffer neck pain or stiffness, go to a car accident chiropractor in Conyers for professional, specialized whiplash therapy.
Neck cracking, done correctly and seldom, can make you feel better by relieving pressure in your joints. However, consult your doctor or a chiropractor if you’re doing it frequently and experiencing continual pressure or pain. They can help you evaluate and treat any underlying disorders that are causing your discomfort.
Inquiring with your doctor or chiropractor about cracking your neck effectively helps ensure that you do it correctly and avoid long-term harm to your neck joints and surrounding tissues, muscles, and nerves.