When walking in the city I often see people swinging their necks from side to side to side trying to make a sound because it feels stiff or sore. Why does this make you feel better? Is it good for you?
What makes the sound?
The sound is called a cavitation and is due to gas escaping from the joint, and is the same as when you pop your knuckles.
“This is the same chemistry as opening a bottle of champagne or a can of Coke. When opened they make a popping sound because the gas escapes”
Why does it make you feel good?
When we pop our own neck or backs it increases our movement and releases a chemical in the body called endorphins, this is the same chemical your body releases when you get a runners high. This acts as a natural pain killer, but much like other painkillers, this covers up the problem but doesn’t actually address the cause of the pain. Pain killers like Panadol numb the body from the pain, but this is the body trying to tell us something isn’t working. Continued use of pain killers numbs us to the damage happening in the body and can make things worse over time, and the same happens when we crack our own necks.
Is it harmful?
When our neck or spine are sore it is due to joints not moving properly, putting pressure on our nerves.
“The nerves in our neck supply information to our head, neck, shoulders, arms and hands; so the neck is a very important area in the body!”
When we adjust our own neck it ISN’T SPECIFIC to the joint that is stuck and causing pain, and we move the one above it or the one below it because they are easier to move. This leads to joints that move too much and can start to wear down, and the joint in the middle gets more and more stuck. This also makes it harder for a Chiropractor to adjust as the joints around it are more mobile.
How can Chiropractic help?
Chiropractors undergo years of training and study so that we can assess which specific joints need to be adjusted. We would always advise you to be wary of practitioners who seek to treat only the symptoms and not the cause; Chiropractic is about finding the cause to the interference in your nervous system. By getting the pressure off the nerves, the body and brain can communicate better and improve your health. Clients who get regular adjustments are more comfortable and don’t feel the need to whip their necks anymore, many finding that as their spines are more stable they cant do it anymore!
Stop popping your neck and call me today to see how we can help you kick this habit for good.