Neck cracking is one of the most controversial issues being talked about by people regarding chiropractors. There are many confusion and myths surrounding neck cracking, and let us hope that we can shed a little light on these issues. Many people wonder how safe neck cracking is done to chiropractic patients - or even why is it done? The most usual reason people go to chiropractors is their chronic or acute neck pains, back pain, or even pain in the shoulders.
So what happens when a chiropractor "cracks" a patient's neck? The word or term "neck cracking" refers to the manipulation applied to the cervical joints, and a person hears a 'crack' or a popping sound. This occurs because a quick motion is applied to the cervical area to
loosen the neck's ligaments and joints. This cracking is not exclusive to the person's neck. In fact, any joint of a person can be 'cracked.' One joint cracking is so typical that it has become a universal symbol of a person about to beat somebody up. This cracking is specific to the lower back, the hips, the toes and ankles, and most especially their knuckles or fingers.
The three main reasons why there is a popping sound when a Chiropractor or a person cracks their joints, especially their necks:
Arthritis - the cartilage loses its smoothness when a person's joints are affected by an illness called arthritis. When a person has arthritis, their joints' surface becomes rougher, which results in the affected person hearing a noise when they move.
Movement of the person - when a person is moving, their joints move with them. This movement affects the ligaments and tendons. The ligaments and tendons are the fibers in a person's body that connect the joints with the muscles. If a person's tendons move even slightly irregularly or out of place, this will cause snapping noises when it will be returned to their original positions. Additionally, a person's ligaments can tighten when the person's joint moves, causing cracking sounds. This cracking sound most often occurs in a person's knee or ankle.
Gas escaping a person's joints - The person's joints contain some fluids that serve as lubricants between the tissue and bones. The contents of the fluid include oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. These fluids are present in a person's facet joints - or the paired joints in a person's neck that run downward and upward each side. Air collects between the joints in the form of bubbles. The popping sound is caused by the air bubbles popping with some specific movement.
Although joint cracking is typical, everyone is advised not to crack the necks themselves, especially if experiencing pain or discomfort. It contains blood vessels and nerves that can be damaged. This is where chiropractors come in and help in the examination of the neck pain or discomfort. Chiropractors help identify the source of the problem and help relieve it through the body's movement and gentle manipulation.
A person must remember first and foremost, though, that neck cracking is just one of the cervical manipulations or adjustment techniques that a chiropractor can recommend because it might be the right treatment for a patient. However, chiropractors are not always done, especially if there is no tension in the cracking neck area.
What are the benefits of cracking a person's neck?
There are a lot of benefits of cracking a person's neck. It is nearly impossible that a person hasn't felt the benefits of neck-breaking before since all suffer from neck pain at one point or the other in their lives. Some of the benefits of neck cracking include relief from soreness or pain, realignment of misaligned joints, feeling of lightness due to the release of pressure in the neck area, and release of endorphins. Others claim that hearing the joint's cavitation can bring instant relief, although this might be more of a placebo effect.
This all sounds pretty amazing, but repeatedly, a person is always reminded to seek professional help when cracking their necks because too much neck cracking can be bad for their health.
What are the risks of cracking a person's neck?
Cracking the neck might give a person a sense of relief for a while, but it is still not recommended to be done by themselves. A person has to remember that they are not always lucky to get the right joints to crack, and in the long run, improper cracking of the neck might lead to further damage. Remember, a person's cervical spine is an essential part of the body's spine, serving as the whole body's support. This cervical spine is a task to hold the entire head's weight, which is approximately up to 13 pounds, and to balance it above the person's shoulders. The act of balancing the head needs the stability that is provided by the joints, ligaments, and the discs in a person's neck. If a person practices too much neck cracking, mostly when done unsupervised, it slowly loosens the ligaments' support. This is dangerous as it can lead to instability in the neck area and might cause more damage in the long run.
Some of the risks of neck cracking include forced pinching in the nerves, which makes it impossible and painful to move because cracking a person's neck too hard can strain the joints' muscles.
Hypermobility in the crevicular area can cause the need for neck cracking. When the joints have a wider than usual motion range, the ligaments on the neck are loose, and the person feels the need to stretch due to soreness or numbness. It is the looseness of the ligaments that may lead to osteoarthritis.
A person has to remember that the main connection points of a person's blood vessels are in the neck, and when it is crack too hard, this may result in blood clotting and stroke since it blocks the flow of the blood to the person's brain.
How does seeking help from chiropractors reduce the risk of neck cracking?
Chiropractors are licensed professionals that require extensive knowledge of the human body. To become a chiropractor means a person must have an undergraduate and doctorate in the practice.
So, how do chiropractors help in relieving neck pains? One of the chiropractor's job functions is to make sure that your body's joints are aligned. They are ensuring it by manually manipulating a person's joints.
Their not medically dependent, and non-surgical methods are more natural. The non-invasive treatment that chiropractors use is a huge help in preventing making the person crack the pain and pressure in their neck.
Chiropractors also provide advice on how to change lifestyles to prevent the misalignment of the spine and joints. These postural problems may damage later on, and even the diet plan to help the person lose weight or the exercises to make sure that a person is healthy while also not straining their muscles so much.
At-home exercises that a chiropractor can provide are a qualified treatment plan for the pain the person is experiencing. Some of the do-it-yourself treatment plans include hot and cold compresses for the reduction of neck swelling. A good chiropractor will thoroughly diagnose and check a person first before giving you the treatment plan that is adequate and right for them. It includes screening a person's medical history, past laboratory examination, and other relevant information that may affect a patient's health.
Remember, it is essential to have a trained professional do the neck adjustment and neck realignment to alleviate the pain and soreness in the neck that a person is feeling. Chiropractic manipulation is safe when performed by medical professionals and specialists. However, if a person is in doubt or has questions, it is important to throw them out before starting the treatment to have a high confidence level between the chiropractor and the patient. In this case, specialists are sure that the treatment will not have any adverse effects on a person's health.
So that's it, the benefits and risks of chiropractic treatment in neck pain. Remember, neck treatment is only safe as long as it is exercised by licensed professionals with extensive knowledge of the human body.