Cracking your neck. We must all admit that we have done this once or twice in our lifetime. It always seems to feel so much better afterwards, yet after a time passes that same sensation of wanting to crack our neck comes back. Have you ever stopped to wonder why do I keep getting this same feeling and is it something that could potentially be fixed?

What happens when you pop/crack something?

The truth about what is really happening when someone pops/cracks their neck, back or any other joint is still not completely clear. There are mainly two explanations that both have to do with the gases in the joint. Between joints is synovial fluid — think of it as the “oil” to keep your joints moving freely without pain — which contains nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. One explanation is that these gases are being released from the joint space when the joint is pulled apart or opened up. The other explanation is that these gases actually form a bubble or cavity in the joint space when pulled apart.

I crack my neck all the time. Is it dangerous?

While not necessarily “dangerous,” the joint is still being opened up and stretched. This can cause the ligaments and muscles around that joint to become stretched or lax. Because of this laxity around the joint, the muscles and tendons above and below the stretched joint must tighten to help keep the strength of the area. This could cause the sensation of wanting to “pop/crack” the same area again a few minutes to hours after you have already done it.

What else can I do to relieve neck discomfort?

People tend to pop/crack their neck due to pain, tightness, or discomfort. Nobody ever tends to ask the question: Why do I keep cracking my neck and feeling the same time after time? This could be caused by imbalances from muscle tightness, weakness, posture, or structural. The doctors at Norwood Chiropractic can examine and figure out the underlying cause to your discomfort and help to give you the best recommended treatment.