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The Consequences of Chiropractic Neck Cracking

Nov 20

One of the most contentious topics individuals bring up when discussing local chiropractors is neck cracking. So let's hope we can dispel some misconceptions and misunderstandings about neck cracking.


Many individuals are curious as to whether or not neck cracking is safe to do on chiropractic patients. This is because people most frequently visit chiropractors for back pain, shoulder pain, or even acute or chronic neck pain.


How does a patient's neck "crack" after a chiropractor manipulates it? When the cervical joints are manipulated, it is referred to as "neck cracking," and a "crack" or "popping" sound is produced.


This happens because the ligaments and joints in the neck are quickly loosened by applying pressure to the cervical region. As a result, the person's neck is not the only crackling area. One joint breaking is so commonplace that it has become a worldwide metaphor for someone going to beat someone up. In actuality, every joint of a person can be "cracked."


The lower back, hips, toes, ankles, and most importantly, the knuckles or fingers are the only places where this cracking occurs.


Is Chiropractic Cracking Good?


Arthritis: When a person has arthritis, it affects their joints and causes the cartilage to lose its smoothness. As someone has arthritis, the surface of their joints becomes rougher, which causes them to hear a noise when they move.


Individual movement: When a person moves, their joints also move. This movement impacts the ligaments and tendons. The fibers in a person's body that connect the joints with the muscles are known as ligaments and tendons.


Bones: The sound of cracking also occurs when the bones move. When a person bends their finger backward and hears a pop, that is their tendon snapping over their bone.


Muscles: This action also affects muscles and can produce a cracking noise. When someone cracks their knuckles, they are stretching the muscles around their joints.


What Are The Risks?


Some risks are associated with neck cracking, but they are very rare. For example, a study in 2009 concluded that chiropractic neck manipulation had no long-term adverse effects. In addition, most people feel relief after having their necks cracked by a chiropractor.


However, there have been some reported cases of stroke or vertebral artery dissection (VAD) after neck manipulation. These cases are sporadic, and it is unclear if neck manipulation was the cause.


A person's tendons will make snapping noises as they return to their original locations if they move slightly erratically or out of place. In addition, as a person's joint moves, its ligaments may constrict, producing cracking noises. This cracking sound typically originates in the knee or ankle of the person.


A person's joints have some fluids that act as lubricants between the tissue and bones, preventing gas from escaping. Nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen are all present in the fluid.


Facet joints, or the paired joints in a person's neck that go downward and upward on either side, contain these fluids. As a result, bubbles of air accumulate in between the joints. The air bubbles pop when they travel in a precise way, which produces the popping sound.


Even though neck cracking is common, it is not recommended for anyone to do so, especially if they are in pain or uncomfortable. It is made up of vulnerable nerves and blood vessels.


Chiropractors can assist in examining neck stiffness or discomfort at this point. Then, through the body's mobility and gentle manipulation, chiropractors assist in locating the problem's cause and aid in its relief.


The Bottom Line


Neck cracking is a common practice among chiropractors and is generally safe. The risks are rare, and most people feel relief after having their necks manipulated. However, if you are concerned about the risks, talk to your chiropractor at Peak Potential Family Chiropractic - Houston Heights. They will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have.