I recently discovered a WikiHow article entitled “How to Crack Your Neck.” Let me ask you this… Have you ever felt compelled to skip the dentist’s office, reach for your rechargeable Dewalt drill, and attempt to fix your own toothache?
Pretty silly, right? Well wrenching your neck from side to side hoping to elicit pain relief isn’t much smarter.
I’ve lost count how many times someone has asked me if it’s okay to “crack” their own neck. In case you’re wondering too… the answer is a resounding NO. It’s never okay to manipulate your own neck, no matter how good you think it feels.
The cervical spine is one of the most delicate and complex parts of your body. It consists of joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels, as well as your lower brainstem and spinal cord. Arteries along the sides of your neck are responsible for sending blood directly to your brain. Meddling with it for momentary relief is ill-advised.
The more you give in to “cracking” your neck, the worse the underlying problem gets. And you might be thinking…”But if I don’t do it, my neck begins to hurt even more!” – I know, it’s a vicious cycle, and a real Catch-22. All the more reason to address the cause of the problem at a chiropractor’s office.
Here’s the bottom line… Your spine likes to be stable. It’s not happy when it’s unbalanced. If your neck is tight, painful, or stiff, there’s a good chance you’ve got a developing structural problem. Spinal degeneration is not okay, and I can promise you that bending, twisting, and contorting your neck to induce popping sounds is not the solution!