After spending the last hour in your favorite chair, you decide to get up and have a snack. And suddenly you hear a popping sound or crack from your neck and or spine. For some, cracking your back is satisfying and is often sought out. It might feel good, but that snap, crackle, or pop could be a sign you need to see a doctor. And that crack might be your back or neck making a popping sound.
When you put pressure on your spine and then release it, it can cause it to “pop.” It’s not really pop – but more of a release of air from the spinal joint itself. Besides aging, anything that changes the shape of the spine can cause these popping sounds. This includes obesity, pregnancy, and wearing high heels. Anything that puts pressure on the spinal cord or restricts blood flow can also lead to popping sounds.
But not yet. Instead, take a look at our guide to find out more about what that sudden sound means. This is what happens when your back cracks.
Let’s first discuss what happens if you crack your back. The spine can be broken down into three main components. The first is the spinal cord, which is the long bundle of nerves that connect your brain to the rest of your body. They also contain fluid called cerebrospinal fluid.
The second part is called meninges, these are membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Your spine is protected by the meninges. They also contain fluid called cerebrospinal liquid.
Lastly, the third is called the spinal column, also known as the vertebral column. The spine column is composed of stackable pieces of bone called vertebrae. Your spine is made up of stacked pieces of bone called vertebrae. They work independently and allow your back to bend or provide flexibility.
There are many theories among doctors about what exactly happens to your back when you crack it. Some people believe that adjusting your joint releases some synovial fluid. The popping or snapping sound is caused by the fluid becoming gaseous. This pressure is released, making the synovial fluid gaseous by a process called cavitation. The sound of cracking your back will then be heard. The gases are released when you stretch and move. This is what causes the back crackling sound.
Your joints are the capsules located at the outer edges of your vertebrae. Adjusting your back can help stretch them. The synovial fluid can move more freely when these capsules are stretched. This relieves pressure from your back joints, muscles, and muscles. Others believe that gases like nitrogen, oxygen, or carbon dioxide build up over time between the joints. Sitting for long periods of time can cause swelling because the joints don’t align properly.
Cracking your back does feel good! You’re reducing pressure on your spine. Endorphins are the feel-good hormone and cracking your back can release them. Endorphins are created by the pituitary gland to control pain throughout the body. You’ll feel satisfied when you open your back and let these endorphins out. Many patients associate the sound of the back popping with relief. This sound can cause us to feel amazing, even more than the adjustment.
Sometimes it is safer to go to a professional than trying to fix your back by yourself. A professional can move your back joints beyond the normal range of motion during your appointment. The popping sound you hear when your back joints are moved can be recreated by manipulating them. Their lower back adjustment techniques can relieve pressure on your back.
If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort, then it’s time to go see a chiropractor. They will be able to diagnose the issue and provide you with the necessary treatment. Chiropractors can also help teach you how to adjust your back correctly at home.
You should feel some relief after cracking your back.
A chiropractor may recommend surgery or anti-inflammatory medication if your pain continues. You might also hear back crackling sounds from your doctor. If medication fails to work, your doctor may determine that a musculoskeletal or injury is the primary cause.
Any chronic back pain that you are experiencing can be treated by a licensed chiropractor or a physical therapist.
Stretching your back muscles is a good option if you are unable to see a chiropractor immediately. You can reduce back pain and increase your range of motion by doing a few exercises at home.
Begin by lying on your back, bringing your knees up to your chest. Do these two to three times a day, once each time.
A lower back rotation is also possible
Place your hands on your stomach and bend your knees. Your shoulders should remain stationary while you rotate your hips towards one side until your knees touch the ground. This position should be held for 10 seconds.
Next, repeat the process on the opposite side.
It is important to not try to fix individual discs or back joints. This could cause injury or damage. Instead, consult a chiropractor to learn what happens if you break your back.
Cracking your back isn’t dangerous if done correctly with the guidance of a chiropractor. If anything abnormal occurs, seek medical attention immediately. It’s important that you don’t let someone walk on your back or twist your arm. This could lead to bigger problems down the road.
If you crack your back or feel like something is wrong, visit a chiropractor right away. It’s important to go and see your doctor if there is still pain after cracking your back. The pain might not be coming from the joints in the vertebrae.
There are no major problems associated with cracking your back as long as it doesn’t cause you any pain. Joints are meant to be moved, but it is important not to go too far. A trained professional can adjust your back freely or help you stretch it with exercises at home.