Patients always ask me if it's OK to "crack" themselves.
If you feel you always have to be cracking your neck or cracking your back, it is probably an indication that something in your spine is not functioning as it should. When you "crack" your back, it is most likely an attempt to fix a problem. But self chiropractic attempts of this nature can be rather dangerous and can cause greater injury and pain. Because corrections are not actually made, even if relief is attained, it is usually at best only temporary lasting 10 to 30 minutes.
Chiropractic is about correcting the "Vertebral Subluxation Complex" aka "subluxation". Subluxations involve spinal joints that have either misaligned or become restricted to the normal ranges of motion. This can cause pain, numbness, radicular pain, visceral problems, and a host of other symptoms. It might lead to arthritis and degeneration in the affected part of the spine if not corrected. But there are ways to keep your spine healthy and minimize the presence of subluxations.
If you have ever been treated at Agape Chiropractic, you may have noticed that we always recommend daily at home range of motion exercises. We do this because using your spinal range of motion properly and sufficiently is one way to keep your spine healthier and prevent subluxations. Sometimes when doing the exercises, you might hear some "cracks". Please don't confuse this with chiropractic. That is, you can not "adjust" yourself. The audible releases you hear might be beneficial in maintaining joint mobility. But you should not intentionally strive for audibles when doing your stretching exercises. If they happen, they happen. The exercises are simply intended to increase blood flow and keep the joints and muscles flexible. And quite frankly, if everyone did the proper spinal exercises every day, there would be a lot of chiropractors out of business because there would be less subluxations to correct.
But once the subluxation is present, just doing the exercises is usually not enough to correct the problem. That is why so many people have the same pains return in the same place as always. Have you ever known someone who chronically "throws their back out" or has chronic headaches? The pains seem to come and go and don't leave for good until the correction is made and then maintained with the proper exercises. Correcting the subluxation requires a chiropractic correction followed by supportive exercises to maintain the normal spinal function.
If you have been given exercises to do by your chiropractor, let this serve as a reminder of their benefits and an encouragement to press on. If you have not had your spine checked for subluxations and don't know what exercises to do, contact your local chiropractor today to schedule an appointment.
Yours for Better Health,
Dr. Michael Haley
Pompano Beach Chiropractor
Agape Chiropractic, 500 S. Cypress Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060, USA