By: Dr. Evan Pulver
“The headaches were chronic until I cracked my own neck!”
“My sciatica forced me to miss work until I started cracking my own back!”
“Cracking my own back helped me get a PR on my 5K time last weekend!”
These are all great testimonials… that I have never heard. Yet as a chiropractor, I will occasionally meet someone who, after learning that I practice chiropractic, makes the comment of “Oh, that’s nice. I usually crack my own neck.” Which inspired me to write a blog focused on this question: Is cracking my own neck/back the same as getting Foundational Chiropractic Care?
The short answer: No.
For those interested in learning more, please read on!
I remember working at a youth camp one summer and seeing one of the youth pastors (the adult chaperone for this trip) of the group do something odd. He would wrap both hands around the chin of his high school students, rotate their head all the way to one side, and give a fast pull upward on the head and neck to make a loud cracking noise. It was disturbing. (Worse than the ol’ pick someone up to bear hug and crack their back move.) This is an extreme example of cracking your own neck. Yet this is something that you probably have witnessed.
A less extreme form of “cracking” your own spine may be pushing your chin forcibly into rotation or quickly twisting and pushing on your lower back. Sometimes a noise is made, which is the result of gases being released from the joint space. Many times this releases “feel good” chemicals. But is this good for the spine?
What is more than likely going on when someone manipulates their own spine is that they are moving regions of the spine that are hypermobile. In other words, they are moving joints that are already susceptible to over-use. Chronically performed, this type of manipulation could create further imbalances and loosening of joints. So that pain in the neck or back could turn into a real issue.
One case study published in April 2015 looked at a 17 year-old male who was chronically manipulating his own back to relieve the pain and discomfort. He received a chiropractic examination, stopped self-manipulating his spine, and received specific chiropractic care to areas that were shifted out of alignment. The areas that were NOT moving well but needed care. This direct care relieved the patient from his lower back pain, suggesting it pays to have a professional assess your spine and make corrections where needed.
With Foundational Corrective Chiropractic, our approach is to thoroughly assess the needs of the patient BEFORE we begin our care. Our goal is to address the foundational needs of each patient’s spine, which can in turn help resolve or decrease the various secondary conditions that person is experiencing. We focus solely on restoring the spine’s normal foundational alignment (as opposed to a temporary “loosening”).
Want to work with our office? Our consultation is always complimentary and is a conversation, not an exam or commitment to care. Call us at 832-458-3004 to schedule your consultation!
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Dr. Evan Pulver