Many people who suffer from neck pain develop a habit of cracking, or вЂњpopping,вЂќ their necks. But whatвЂ™s the point of cracking your neck? Is neck cracking a safe practice and does it really relieve pain and increase flexibility? What causes that popping sound?
WeвЂ™ll answer these questions and more in this article, as we cover the reasons for why to crack your neck, how to crack your neck safely, and the risks of neck cracking.
Table of contents
Why would I crack my neck?
Cracking your neck can provide short-term pain relief if you have a stiff neck. You may also find that cracking your neck alleviates back pain and headaches. The benefits are limited, however, and studies show that neck cracking has only mildly positive effects and that the number of audible joint pops from spinal manipulation does not have a strong association with improvement in neck pain (1, 2).
If you feel that your neck pain warrants a major manual adjustment, speak to a healthcare provider about a referral to a chiropractor who can safely pop your neck joints. Some people who find relief from neck cracking or chiropractic adjustment may also benefit from physical therapy.
Cracking your neck could provide temporary relief from a stiff neck, neck pain, or back pain. But neck cracking is a short-term solution and ongoing neck pain may require a visit to a healthcare provider for treatment.
What happens when I crack my neck?
That popping sound you hear when you crack your neck is the result of вЂњcavitationвЂќ, the bursting of gas bubbles, occurring in your joints (3). The вЂњpopвЂќ noise can also result from the movement of your tendons and ligaments when you crack your neck (4). Some studies show that the sound of joints popping may have slight physiological benefits for certain patients, though the evidence isnвЂ™t particularly strong (5).
While cracking sounds can come from normal, safe moments within the body, they can also result from osteoarthritis or an injury. If you notice that your joints are becoming painful or swollen upon cracking them, talk to a doctor (6, 7).
The popping sound when you crack your neck may result from the bursting of gas bubbles or the movement of tendons and ligaments. Popping sounds can also result from osteoarthritis, so if your joints ache or swell after cracking them, you may have an underlying problem and should talk to a healthcare provider.
How do I safely crack my neck?
If you decide to crack your neck, start with stretching your neck by looking down and then up slowly several times. To crack your neck, you can then lie prone on the ground and move your body up and down with a foam roller beneath your neck. Alternatively, you can grasp your jaw with one hand, the back of your head with the other hand, and twist your head. If you choose the second method, then twist counterclockwise if your left hand is on your jaw and clockwise if your right hand is on your jaw.
For a more comprehensive spinal manipulation therapy program, consider seeking physical therapy or chiropractic care (8). A physical therapist or chiropractor can develop a treatment plan that will best address your pain or discomfort.
If you have a condition such as scoliosis, arthritis, or spinal stenosis, talk to a doctor about the potential risks and benefits of cracking your neck. You may need to refrain from cracking your neck yourself and instead request referral to physical therapy or chiropractic care to find relief safely.
Always slowly, gently stretch before cracking your neck. You can crack your neck by lying on the floor with a foam roller beneath your neck, by twisting your head, or by manual adjustment from a chiropractor.
What are the risks of cracking my neck?
In general, occasional joint cracking, when performed properly, will not cause long-term damage. However, neck cracking carries a risk of weakening or tearing your neck ligaments by stretching them out too much (9). If you donвЂ™t crack your neck correctly, you could cause acute pain in your spine or neck. And if you suffer from scoliosis, you can exacerbate your pain and the condition itself if you donвЂ™t crack your neck properly (10). Neck cracking also has the potential to cause wear and tear on the vertebrae in your spine.
Neck cracking is not especially dangerous, but the therapeutic effects are limited, and so cracking should not be overdone. Improperly cracking your neck could increase your pain, over-stretch your ligaments, or damage the vertebrae in your spine.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Neck cracking has limited side effects and may provide short-term pain relief or temporarily restore your range of motion if your neck muscles are tight. However, cracking your neck is not a long-term solution. The risks of cracking your neck are quite low, but you should take care not to twist too far. Cracking your neck too often, or improperly, could weaken your neck ligaments or cause injury, resulting in greater pain and discomfort.
Neck cracking should not cause pain, swelling or inflammation. If you notice any negative effects from neck cracking, talk to a healthcare provider.
If you find that cracking your neck provides you with significant relief, consider seeing a physical therapist or chiropractor. A comprehensive spinal manipulation therapy program that includes neck adjustment may provide more sustained pain relief and will limit the possibility of injuries.
Tripboba.com – As we age, we may feel our body gets stiff so easily. That makes us feel uncomfortable in doing our daily activity. Generally, to unstiffen our body, we usually stretch, exercise, and also cracking our own neck.
Many people who have neck pain usually have a habit of cracking their necks. But, is neck cracking a healthy practice? Is it actually pain-relieving and strength increasing? So, how to crack your neck in a proper way?
Here, Tripboba will answer all the questions especially on how to crack your neck. Check out the helpful tips we made for you about how to crack your neck!
How to Crack Your Own Neck
Neck sore – Photo by Aidan Jones on Flickr
1. Exercising Patience
Tips 1: The main thing you can note is to exercise patience on how to crack your neck. Just shred the neck for a brief relief from mild discomfort or stress. Many people want to crack their necks because it can ease pain, soreness, and discomfort feelings.
Tips 2: When you feel intense pain, stop cracking your neck immediately. If it is properly done, cracking your neck will relieve you from mild discomfort and not inflict harm. When you crack your neck and feel intense pain running up either side of your neck or along your back, stop doing what you are doing right away.
Tips 3: When you feel pain when you crack your back, see the doctor. Although cracking your neck frequently relieves minor discomfort, repetitive wear and tear will lead to health issues and bone deterioration on your vertebrae.
How to Crack Your Own Neck Safely
Chiropractor – Photo by Back To Life Chiropractic Centre
Tips 4: Contact a professional doctor for secure neck care and counseling. Those include chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists/physiotherapists, or physicians of specialized spinal manipulation experience.
Chiropractors are a common alternative and have a lot of practice in managing strained and sore necks and shoulders, but their technique doesn’t suit everyone and many others can help too.
Tips 5: Never allow someone other than a trained doctor (i.e., chiropractor, osteopath, or physiotherapist/physiotherapist) to crack your neck. You will feel how much pressure is enough when you crack your own neck or with the help of a trained person. You can also say whether he/she uses too much pressure or start causing discomfort.
When anyone else cracks your neck, they won’t know whether they apply too much energy. Never try to crack someone else’s neck for this reason, too.
How to Properly Crack Your Neck Using the Cup and Reach Method
Stretching – Photo by Pixabay
Tips 1: There’s another trick on how to crack your neck. Loosen up your neck muscles before you start. Before you continue to stretch and relax the neck, it’s a smart idea to get a neck rub, massage, or just a few nice neck stretches.
Tips 2: Lean your nose down towards your sternum and keep it in place for 20 seconds, then draw up your head and aim for another 20 seconds up at the ceiling. Use so 3–4 times to relax muscles in your neck.
Tips 3: In your left-hand palm cup your cheek. Bend your fingers to make a “cup” for your palm, and place your thumb in the hollow of your neck so that your face is in it. Your fingertips will go up to your left ear, nearly reaching your cheekbone.
Tips 4: Raise your right hand over the back of your head. Bend your right arm, so you can hold your right hand comfortably on the back of your head. Grab a good grip and hold the head behind the left ear.
Tips 5: Push your chin to the left for the counterclockwise turning of your head. Rotate your head between your legs, softly but strongly. As well as pushing your chin with your palm to the left, pull your head around to the left with your hand on the back of your head.
Continue to stretch the neck muscles slightly until they are at full stretch but not exaggerated. A sequence of cracking sounds is frequently heard and felt as the neck muscles draw closely. To ensure you get all the air out of your neck joints, just apply a little extra pressure to cause the complete series of cracks.
Tips 6: Crack the right side of the neck with your hand positions switched in. Cup your chin with your right arm, and place it with your left hand on the back of your ear. Move forward with your right hand on your chin and step back with your left hand to tilt your head to the right.
How to Safely Crack Your Neck
Neck pain – Photo by Karolina Grabowska
As mentioned before, cracking your own neck should be done by professionals, but if your neck problems are not that serious, you still can practice some steps to relieve the pain by yourself.
Here is the guide on how to safely crack your neck that you can follow at home. You can follow these simple neck stretches step-by-step at home.
Step 1. Bring your chin down to your chest slowly. Hold the position for around 5 to 10 seconds. Then, back to the starting position.
Step 2. Next, you need to tilt your head to the back and lookup. Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds and return to the starting position.
Step 3. Bring your ear close to the shoulder but make sure it does not make any contact and then tilt your head slightly until you feel your neck stretched. Hold the position for 5 to 10 seconds and return to the starting position.
Step 4. Repeat the steps to the other side of your body.
Step 5. Do the stretches repeatedly three to five times.
How to Crack Your Neck to Relieve Headache
Headache – Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels
Headache, vertigo, or dizziness might be some of the factors that make your neck in pain. However, the discomfort feeling of your neck could also trigger a headache. Here are the tips to release headaches that you should know.
Tips 1. Adjust your posture
If you are experiencing a headache, changing and adjusting the position of your neck might relieve the pain a little by reducing the pressure on the neck. Always sist straight and allow your back to keep the normal curve to balance the spine. Avoid sitting with poor posture as it might causing pain on the discs and joints.
Tips 2. Do some exercise
A light exercise might help you to fight away the headache.
Tips 3. Try to get some medications
If the headache is getting worse, it is always wise to see professional help. But, you can try to get medication such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and many more to relieve the headache.
Tips 4. Consult your doctor and get surgery
If needed, another thing that you can do to treat neck pain related to headaches is getting surgery. If you got severe pain and it is not going away for some time, then this is the signal for you to make an appointment with your doctor to find out the real causes of your headache.
An additional note about how to crack your neck: Consider getting support from a competent health care provider before attempting to crack a stiff or sore neck. When you have some problems following the measures on how to crack your neck, it is time to obtain medical assistance.
Many of us have the habit of cracking the neck, fingers, back and they crack it until they hear the cracking sound out of it, most of the individuals do as they like the cracking sound coming out and thus they do this several times a day. Sometimes it happens that performing such type of activities put other types of injuries with severe pain out of it.
Cracking your neck may be good or bad for you, but doing it forcefully is a very incorrect way and may put you in trouble.
Here are methods that must be practiced during cracking your neck.
Crack your neck with exercise
Cup & reach method
Cracking your neck with the help of a former roller
How is the cracking sound produced by your neck?
You might have heard the cracking and popping sound from joints and neck which is produced when you provide a certain amount of pressure over that joint. In the joints and neck, we have capsules containing a certain amount of fluid, as we apply pressure on that certain area the capsules breaks and the fluid into that get converted into gas form and thus produces a sound out of it. This process of conversion and breaking of capsules is known as cavitation and is said to be harmful in many cases.
In the neck we have joints that are been named as a facet joint, these facet joints are located at each side of the neck to uphold the weight of the head. When you try to crack your neck the capsules in these joints get broken and thus fluid into it radially get converted into gas and thus produce a sound out of it.
How risky is cracking your neck by yourself?
The neck is said to be a very delicate area which is to handle properly so that it upholds the heads very easily. Cracking your neck forcefully you can put you in danger and thus produces severe injury. Sometimes you might have a minor pain onto your neck, first try to do with certain exercise very gently if things don’t work then definitely approach a person who is professional in doing and handling certain jobs and keep this in mind that the person had to handle various cases of such type otherwise this may lead into a major injury for your neck.
If you do not know such a person than visit a doctor and tell them every problem you suffered off. Do not try to delay this sort of minor injuries as they may lead you to trouble in future as the neck is home of many blood vessels and trying this sort of activity may puncture a blood vessel which will give a severe pain or may also lead to clotting of blood in your neck.
The blood vessels in the neck are directly connected to our neck so keeping this point in mind we must not take any decision by ourselves and must concern someone or approach a Doctor so that the problem can be solved in its first stage itself and thus helping you from the future consequences.
No doubt neck cracking sounds weird, but people familiar with it know the real benefit hidden behind this activity. If you still feel clues and imagining some kind of aggressive actions on your neck with this phrase of ‘cracking your neck’ hold for a second. Here we come up with a clear idea about what is this all about and how to perform this activity at home like a pro. Let’s check them out below-
- What is neck cracking?
- Is it bad to crack your neck?
- How to crack your neck like a pro?
Also Read:- Aerobic Exercise : 5 Health Benefits That Will Surprise You
What Is Neck Cracking?
Neck cracking is an activity that actually involves giving you relief from any type of neck pain or neck stiffness. The cracking sound you can hear by moving your neck in a particular way is called neck cracking. When someone moves their neck in a certain motion, an air bubble forms and quickly collapses on itself on your neck side, which provides the sound of cracking clearly. This time the joints of neck and ligaments on the neck start to loosen and give you relief from the current stiffness as well as any type of pain from your neck.
Is It Bad To Crack Your Neck?
Neck cracking is not a bad thing at all, especially when you have neck pain or neck pain for any unknown reason. It is common for this computerized era to have neck issues when you have to spend lots of working hours in front of computers. But this temporary relief method may act harmfully when you are cracking your neck the wrong way.
One who is expert in cracking their neck can get several benefits from this method. However, cracking the neck forcefully or in the wrong move can trigger the pain more dangerously. It could even pinch the nerves in your neck and stretch the ligaments in the form of perpetual instability over time. So, generally, it is up to you that cracking your neck would be good or bad for you, based on the intensity as well as expertness you apply to your process. Try to get help from a chiropractor to get a professional touch in your neck cracking procedure.
How To Crack Your Neck Like A Pro?
To practice neck cracking at home flawlessly, you must follow a few essential steps and they are as follows-
- Contact a chiropractor before performing neck cracking for the first time and you can get a recommendation from a doctor in this matter to the best pick.
- Talk about the problem and exact panning spot of your neck to a professional chiropractor, before he begins cracking your neck.
- After getting benefits from professionals repeatedly for a couple of time, you can finally, dare to practice this process at home.
- First, start loosens your neck muscles by some freehand neck exercises like neck rub, stretch, massage, etc. 20 seconds before practicing the main course.
- Now, place the hand under your chin by keeping the fingers left side of your face reaching the cheekbone.
- Cup the chin like this in the palm by your left hand and keep the right hand on the back of your head.
- Then, push your chin to the left with your left hand and start rotating the head counterclockwise.
- This time you may hear a feel of cracking along with a mild sound on your neck muscles slightly.
- Once you finish the movement properly, switch your hand and repeat the process similarly to get the cracking feel on the other side of your neck.
- Try to remember this time that the cracking sound will be lauder gradually after your every attempt, so try not to be extra hard on your neck just to hear deeper cracking sound during the initial stage of this process.
- You can get help from a foam roller to practice this action more professionally.
- Try to keep a foam roller at the curve of your neck and lie on your back with it by keeping your hands quietly beside your body.
- Now slowly lift up your body from the ground with the base of your feet as well as hands, and keep the bodyweight entirely.
- Then, roll your neck over the roller by holding that posture appropriately, and keep repeating this process until you get a relief sensation around your neck area.
- Try to remember that one should stop practicing any type of neck cracking activity once he or she starts feeling any acute pain around their neck at the time of practicing these methods.
Also, try to understand that the neck cracking process is only beneficial for mild neck problems and can give you temporary relief from the pain. So, if you have serious neck problems then consult a doctor or physician immediately instead of practicing neck cracking at home.
Crack Your Neck- Many people do cracking joints very often just because of a lot of pressure on them. You feel tired, your limbs or body dilapidated, so you couldn’t move your parts of the body that cracking becomes a usual habit. You can crack neck, joints, toes, back or fingers also.
Are there any harms or benefits of cracking your neck? You probably don’t know how to crack your neck to bring benefits instead of injury to your health? To go more detail, let’s stay in turn with us to figure out the answer.
What Is The Truth About Cracking?
Cracking joints means you put pressure on the capsules which are around joints. This tension makes these capsules stretching, which admits the fluid inside force tension on the joint. Then, the fluids pass into gas making a cracking sound. Cracking is not harmful at all, and it just does the regular joint’s function.
However, some theories show that the fluids surrounding neck joints will lubricate the joint’s movements and then the liquids form bubbles. The neck joints were moved enhancing the pressure in the bubbles and cause a popping sound.
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Senior man suffering from neck pain, isolated on white background
Crack Your Neck- Does Cracking Your Neck Have Any Benefits?
Cracking the neck will bring benefits to you depending on how to crack your neck. You can do with a right position and technique when asking for the doctor and chiropractor advice. They should give you how to do it safely and efficiently.
According to a qualitative study posted on January 2011 in ScienceDirect website, the research indicates that the chiropractic’s therapeutic is valuable for having cracking noise and releasing the ability to be heard this sound as well.
Nevertheless, some persons do cracking their neck as a habit, and they love cracking the neck even though there was not any pressure to release. Why do they enjoy doing that? Let’s figure out the answer.
When cracking your neck, the pituitary gland will produce a substance called endorphin which affects relief the pain. That’s why after doing once you want to do more as your satisfied feeling of cracking your neck.
What’s About Side Effects of Cracking Your Neck?
If you practice and don’t know how to crack your neck correctly, you probably suffer from some unexpected effects:
- Neck pain: cracking the neck too hard can reduce the level of neck’s mobility. Cracking your neck means frazzling the cartilages which surround the vertebrae. That fosters some signs and symptoms of arthritis coming soon including inflammation and pain due to pinching the nerves.
- Osteoarthritis: when you crack your neck like a habit, you will put more stretching on joints that force the ligaments to move more than usual. Day by day, you continue cracking, and more and more pressures are placed on the neck joint. However, bone bridges intermediate to the vertebrae are influenced as well. Many things happening later will tell you a risk of osteoarthritis.
- Stroke: some recent studies show the link between neck cracking, and stroke is not small. People under 60 have a danger of stroke if they do habitual neck cracking. Doing cracking more and forcefully can damage blood vessels, which can cause bleeding or take the form of blood clots in your brain. Blood clots may cause stuck blood circulation and prevent air exchange to the brain. After all, a stroke happens leading death maybe.
When Will You See The Chiropractor?
If you don’t experience any abnormal signs of pain or discomfort when cracking your neck more often, you don’t need to see doctor or chiropractor at all.
However, seeing medical help if you have any of these signs or symptoms:
- Swelling of the neck manifests fluid can be built up, damages or infection
- Neck pain for a long time and you don’t know about the causes
- Level of joints’ movements is decreased probably tell you about osteoarthritis.
The chiropractor helps your control wanting to do cracking the neck and show how to crack your neck correctly. He schedules how to changes your habits, for example, exercises, which can reduce more pressure or pain in your neck. If you have problems such as osteoarthritis, stroke or any side effects of neck cracking, remember to keep your neck stable and don’t move your neck until seeing medical care.
Can You Help Yourself at Home?
Having a healthy lifestyle is very important to avoid much pressure and relax your neck. If the feeling wants to do cracking neck is average, or you can control the habitual cracking the neck, you can try to do some simple ways every day:
- After a long time working, your neck is held in a position which prevents the movement of the muscles and the neck. You can exercise by lowering your head slowly until your chin touches your chest. Keep this state as long as you can and then release. Avoid moving your neck suddenly.
- When the joint and muscle injury are causing neck pain; You can gently massage your neck to reduce pressure, improve your blood circulation and be an active ‘painkiller’ also.
- Don’t keep the same position for a long time, make a movement or a weal exercise every 30 minutes.
- Utilize a cold pack with the shelter of cloth and put into your neck can affect. If you can’t go to see a doctor immediately, you can apply this way several times a day to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Don’t try to use a warm therapy instead of a cold one if you have swelling or redness.
You can try some of this ways at home to manage your condition, but if it is unhelpful and you have more trouble with the practice that, go to the doctor as soon as you can.
In conclusion, cracking the neck has both effects and side effects if you don’t know how to crack your neck efficiently. Therefore, try to have a healthy lifestyle not being so lazy to exercise. Try to find down your problem soon and see your doctor before doing something as you can.