Can cracking your back frequently lead to back pain?

Modern life can take a toll on your body. Many people have jobs that require them to sit behind a desk or stand on their feet all day. After a few hours of being in the same position, you may start to feel the tension in your back. This causes you to twist and turn and eventually crack your back. The tension melts away, and you feel better.
 
When you crack your back, you are releasing carbon dioxide that has a buildup in back joints. If you have the urge to crack your back, it is likely because you have some instability or weakness in your back. You feel pain or tension relief because the buildup of pressure caused by gases in your joints gets released.
 
However, cracking your back is not fixing the problem. The root of your problem is that there is a segment of your spine that’s not moving properly.

Can Cracking Your Back Frequently Lead to Back Pain?

Generally, it is safe to crack your back. However, there are several surrounding issues that can make back cracking harmful.

Back Cracking And Arthritis

A common warning people hear when they crack their back is that if they continue cracking their back, they will develop arthritis. Cracking your joints does not cause arthritis, nor does it cause joint enlargement.
 
When a person visits a chiropractor, the chiropractor will adjust their back, often cracking it to ease symptoms of arthritis. That being said, if a person tries to crack their own back or if they have an untrained person do it, they could aggravate their joints, which will lead to stiffness or swelling.

Should Pregnant Women Crack Their Back?

Pregnant women may feel discomfort in their back because of the weight or the position of their unborn child. If a pregnant woman has her back cracked with caution, it may be okay.
 
A chiropractor who has received training in prenatal care should do this. They understand the precautions that need to be taken and the circumstances when back cracking is not recommended for a pregnant woman.

Will Cracking Your Back Lead to a Herniated Disc?

If you have your back cracked or adjusted by a professional, it is a safe procedure. If you try to crack your back, it’s unlikely that it will lead to a herniated disc. However, if you already have an issue with a disc or vertebra, trying to crack your back yourself may exacerbate your symptoms.

Is It Dangerous to Crack Your Back Every Single Day?

Cracking your back in moderation allows you to relieve pressure and can be done with little to no negative effects. However, if you habitually crack your back on your own, you can put excessive wear on your joints that could lead to premature breakdown.
 
The problem is not that you cracked your back. Instead, it’s the pressure that you are putting on your soft tissues, tendons, and ligaments. With time, the structures wear out, producing pain and spinal issues.

The Benefits of Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments

When a chiropractor cracks your back, they are looking to move your spine beyond its normal range of motion. This creates more space and increased freedom of movement.
 
The techniques that a chiropractor may use will vary based on the reason you are experiencing discomfort. Some issues that spinal manipulation can treat include:

  • Fibrosis– This is where normal tissue is replaced by scar tissue. Scar tissue has a reduced range of motion and can be more sensitive than normal tissue.
  • Local Ischemia– This is muscle pain in the back that’s caused by a lack of blood flow.
  • Edema– This is a buildup of fluid that can leak into surrounding tissues.
  • Congestion– Joint dysfunction can affect different muscles. It can lead to sensitive trigger points and a buildup of toxins.

After an initial consultation, your chiropractor will determine the correct treatment. One of the most common questions patients asks their chiropractor is if getting an adjustment or cracking their back will hurt. The answer is no. As long as the treatment is carried out correctly, the patient should feel nothing but pain relief.
 
Back pain can negatively impact your quality of life. If you are ready to treat your back pain, call us today at 205-637-1363

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