As health practitioners, we often get asked whether cracking your back/neck is ok. While it can feel good and sometimes relieve pain, there are a few reasons why we tend to say NO.
1) You could be making the problem worse. If you have back/neck pain or discomfort, there is likely to be some hypomobile (stiff) and hypermobile (loose) segments in your spine. When you crack yourself, you tend to repeatedly over-mobilising the already hypermobile segment.
2) There are better, more specific stretches you can do instead. Depending on your posture, physical activity and habits, your spine will respond differently to various exercises. If you have pain, stiffness or discomfort, don’t fear! We teach our patients all kinds of self-management techniques to deal with their condition effectively, and more importantly, safely.
Disclaimer: There is no actual evidence on the effects of repeated self manipulation. Rather we have based our opinions on clinical reasoning and experience.
Our caring and friendly Chatswood or North Sydney Physio team would love to help you out, so reach out to us if you have any questions.