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  • Writer's pictureAndray Voronov

Is it Safe to Crack Your Own Neck and Joints?


osteopath neck pain narre warren

Popping your joints or cracking your neck can be a satisfying experience for some people, providing relief from tension or discomfort. However, many people wonder if this is a dangerous habit and if it can cause long-term harm to their joints and neck. In this article, we'll take a closer look at this common practice and provide you with comprehensive information to help you understand the risks and benefits of popping your joints or cracking your neck.


What Causes Joints to Crack?


Joints can crack for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is the release of gas from the joint's synovial fluid. This can occur when the joint is moved in a way that increases pressure in the synovial fluid, causing it to bubble. The sound of the bubble popping is thought to be what causes the crack.


Is it Safe to Crack Your Own Neck?


There is no clear consensus among medical professionals on the safety of cracking your own neck. Some doctors and chiropractors believe that neck cracking is generally considered safe for most people. They argue that cracking the neck can help to improve the range of motion and relieve tension in the neck and shoulder muscles.

However, in some rare cases and in people with preexisting conditions such as vertebrobasilar insufficiency (VBI) or a cervical artery dissection (CAD) cracking your own neck may be dangerous and carry serious consequences. Cracking your own neck should be avoided if you've recently suffered any head trauma, or are experiencing any of the symptoms we call the 5 D's and 3 N's

  • Diplopia (double vision)

  • Dizziness

  • Drop attacks (sudden fall without loss of consciousness)

  • Dysarthria (trouble speaking)

  • Dysphagia (trouble swallowing)

  • Ataxia (trouble walking)

  • Nausea

  • Numbness (fascial)

  • Nystagmus (rapid involuntary movements of the eye(s))


Is it Safe to Crack Your Own Joints?


The safety of cracking your own joints is a topic of much debate among medical professionals.

It is generally considered safe, however, doing so with excessive force may result in joint and/or ligament sprains.


Potential Risks of Cracking Your Own Joints


Some of the potential risks associated with cracking your own joints include:

  • Joint instability: Cracking your own joints can also lead to joint instability, as it can weaken the ligaments and muscles in the joint. This can increase the risk of injury and make it more difficult to perform everyday activities.

  • Joint pain: Cracking your own joints can also lead to joint pain, as it can cause inflammation and swelling in the joint. This can make it difficult to perform everyday activities and can also lead to long-term joint damage.

Potential Benefits of Cracking Your Own Joints


Despite the potential risks, there are also some potential benefits to cracking your own joints. These benefits include:

  • Improved range of motion: Cracking your own joints can help to improve range of motion, as it can relieve tension in the muscles and joints. This can make it easier to perform everyday activities and can also improve athletic performance.

  • Reduced tension: Cracking your own joints can also help to reduce tension in the muscles and joints. This can relieve pain and discomfort, and can also help to improve overall well-being.

  • Improved circulation: Cracking your own joints can also improve circulation, as it can help to increase blood flow to the joints. This can help to reduce joint pain and improve joint health.

Conclusion

In conclusion, whether cracking your own neck and joints is safe is a topic of much debate among medical professionals. While some experts believe that it can be safe, as long as it is done correctly, others argue that it can lead to joint damage and other problems.


It is important to consider both the potential risks and benefits of cracking your own joints before engaging in this habit. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is always best to consult a medical professional.


If you are experiencing neck pain and discomfort feel free to get in touch with your local narre warren osteopath at Gravity Osteopathy. You can contact us via this link, email us at andray@gravityosteo.com.au or call us on 0493 031 231


FAQs

Is cracking your own neck dangerous?

Some medical professionals believe that cracking your own neck can be dangerous, as the force applied to the neck during neck cracking can cause damage to the spinal cord. However, others believe that neck cracking can be safe, as long as it is done correctly.


Can cracking your own joints cause arthritis?

Cracking your own joints can increase the risk of developing arthritis if excessive force is used and the cartilage and ligaments in the joint before damaged.


Can cracking your own joints relieve tension?

Cracking your own joints can help to relieve tension in the muscles and joints, and can also help to reduce pain and discomfort.


Is it okay to crack your own joints every day?

There is no clear consensus on the frequency with which joints should be cracked. Some medical professionals believe that cracking your own joints every day can be safe, while others believe that it should be limited.


Can cracking your own joints improve circulation?

Cracking your own joints may improve circulation, as it can help to increase blood flow to the joints. This can help to reduce joint pain and improve joint health.


References:

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2020, June 10). Joint Popping and Cracking: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.aaos.org/news/aaosnow/jun20/managing5.asp


  • Arthritis Foundation. (2021, August 10). Cracking Your Knuckles: Is It Bad for Your Joints? Retrieved from https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/managing-pain/cracking-knuckles


  • Mayo Clinic. (2021, June 11). Joint cracking: Harmless habit or cause for concern? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/joint-cracking/faq-20057779


  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. (2021, July 12). Joint Crackling: Causes and Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/joint-crackling


  • WebMD. (2021, May 15). Cracking Your Knuckles: Is It Bad for Your Joints? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knuckle-cracking#1

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