What Happens When I Crack My Back?

Everyone should be familiar with the feeling of the cracking sensation in your back when you stretch after waking up in the morning. In fact, you might feel this sensation in your neck as well. After all, they are all connected. It can be generally assumed that people enjoy this feeling. However, if you are worried that this might be harmful, perhaps this article will give you some new insights about what happens when you crack your back. When this kind of back cracking is done intentionally, it is known as spinal manipulation that is common practice for chiropractors and pain management professionals

The Science Behind it 

There are several theories behind what goes on when you crack your back. The most famous theory is that the cracking sound and sensation is caused by the releasing of gas. It is proposed that when you crack your back, you actually stretch out your facet joints. When these joints are stretched, it causes the synovial fluid inside to move more freely, which releases the pressure in your back muscles and joints. As the pressure gets released, this fluid then becomes gaseous and the transition to different states creates the cracking sounds which we all love. The other, less popular theory contends that gas can build up in your joints with time due to things like a sedentary lifestyle or from bad posture. As such, when the joints become stretched, the gases are released as well.

Why Do We Love it? 

You must be wondering, “Why do I feel happy when I crack my back?”. Research has shown that these good feelings come from the releasing of pressure in your back. When your back is adjusted by a trained professional, you can enjoy the effects of the endorphins that are produced when your joints are cracked. Studies have also shown that humans might link the cracking sounds with feelings of relief and joy.

Potential Risks 

While it might feel good to get your back cracked, it should only be done by someone who is trained and armed with medical knowledge. This is because there are risks involved with cracking your back in an improper way. Evidence shows that when you crack your back too forcefully in the wrong way or too quickly, you can risk pinching nerves in your spine. cracking your back is supposed to feel good but a pinched nerve can cause a great deal of pain instead. Furthermore, you might increase the risk of tearing the muscles near your spine. If you have ever torn or strained a muscle, you would know that it hinders your movements and even temporarily disables you. 

In the most serious cases, cracking your back with too much force can result in your blood vessels getting injured. Since many of these blood vessels are connected to your brain, you might increase the risk of getting a stroke from blood clots. Your best bet would be to visit a professional who can actually help to relieve some of your pain, without the risk of injury and even death.