Is Cracking Your Neck Bad For You?

Is cracking your neck bad for you

Is Cracking Your Neck Bad For You?

Is your neck painful, stiff, or feeling clunky? You are no doubt looking for a way to find relief and you may feel like cracking your neck is the way to get it. But is it okay to crack your neck?

Your neck plays a vital role in countless movements every day, so when you are experiencing discomfort in the area, it can significantly affect your functionality and well-being. However, if there is already an underlying problem, the last thing you want to do it cause another by seeking relief in the wrong way!

Many people crack their necks to find relief and ease discomfort, but what is actually going on during that action? Find out if cracking your neck is bad for you and how the Muscle Joint Bone clinic may be able to help.

What is Happening When Your Neck Cracks?

When referring to cracking your neck, we are talking about undertaking a forced and often sudden movement that causes a crack rather than cracking that may occur when you just move your head about.

There are a couple of reasons why your neck makes a cracking noise. These can include:

  • Tendons and/or ligaments are rubbing or snapping over each other, bones, or muscles.
  • Cavitation, which is when the fluid and gases within your joints shift and release.

Does Cracking Your Neck Help?

Whether it is the tendons or ligaments in your neck or cavitation causing the cracking sound, the noise typically does not indicate a readjustment or alignment in the region that is helpful.

One theory as to why it may feel good is that there may be endorphins released during the movement. These could improve the pain for a brief time but don’t aid in healing the causative factor of your discomfort. It can also become a habitual or addictive behaviour, which is not a good thing to develop.

Another idea as to why cracking your neck might seem helpful is that it provides a placebo effect due to the noise that may imply that something that was out of alignment is now in its right position.

Can Cracking Your Neck Cause Damage?

Yes, forcibly making your neck crack may be problematic and create or compound issues in the region. It could overextend the tendons, muscles, or ligaments, or cause problems like tears or weaknesses that impact your neck’s ability to move and support your head.

Not only might it cause joint or soft tissue damage in your neck, but neck cracking can affect the many blood vessels in the area. The action, particularly if it is performed frequently, has the potential to damage these important elements. Because these take blood to and away from your brain, injury could affect this crucial function, which may lead to dangerous results such as a stroke.

If you crack your neck and it causes pain, swelling, or stiffness, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

Can a Professional Crack My Neck?

Forcibly cracking your neck has the potential to cause short and long-term damage. Your therapist should therefore not carry out actions that put your neck, and the rest of your body, at risk.

Joint and spinal mobilisation may be performed safely by trained and experienced professionals, and this differs from the forceful cracking you may be doing yourself. Our qualified team will only undertake safe and evidence-based techniques that support recovery and healing and work towards improvement and relief.

Some other techniques our team may employ to help improve your neck pain or stiffness include:

Get The Right Support For Your Neck

If your neck is stiff or painful, visiting a healthcare professional may make a significant difference. Trying to deal with it yourself may not help you gain relief, and it could make the issue worse.

Our osteopaths, physiotherapists, and chiropractors are qualified and experienced in helping with neck pain and stiffness. We can thoroughly assess your neck and symptoms and provide the right care for you. Please contact our friendly team to organise your first consultation.


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