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Can You Give Yourself A Chiropractic Adjustment
Dr. Darris GentryApr 1, 2020 3:26:58 PM5 min read

Can You Give Yourself A Chiropractic Adjustment?

You might be practicing self chiropractic without even realizing it. Sometimes manipulating your joints is something you don't even think about. 

You lean your neck to the left, pull your shoulder down to the right, hoping to achieve the familiar popping sound and get some relief.  

However, since a chiropractic manipulation is a specific force applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is impossible to effectively adjust one's own spine.

Yes, twisting the neck or back in certain ways can create “popping” sounds like that made with a chiropractic adjustment.

You may have been tempting to give yourself an adjustment during the quarantining days of Covid-19 to avoid going out. 

But, you can't really "adjust" yourself, and if you try, it can sometimes cause more harm than good.

It's better to seek treatment from an experienced Chiropractor.



In the article below, we will talk about why you shouldn't try to adjust yourself, and instead seek treatment from a chiropractor.



Table of Contents

What Is A Chiropractic Adjustment?

A chiropractic adjustment is an integral part of the treatment of joint problems for the spinal joints as well as the other joints.  

An adjustment is the use of a specific force in a precise direction applied to a fixated or misaligned joint.  

Chiropractic adjustments are infamous for fixing lower back pain and neck pain.

An adjustment will gradually return the bones to a more appropriately aligned position with improved motion. This removes interference to nerves and helps surrounding tissues relax.  

This also contributes to pain relief, and the improvement in joint motion decreases the chances of ongoing joint degeneration.


What makes the popping sound during an adjustment?

What's That Pop?

Whether you're popping your knuckles or your spine, it's the "pop" that you're after.  

The proper name for the pop is "cavitation."  

During realignment, the pressure inside the joint suddenly decreases, releasing gasses in the synovial fluid into the joint space.  

That's what causes the popping sound. 

Although you think of the pop as your goal, it's not what relieves your pain. 

The relief comes from an improvement in the movement of your joints. 

When a chiropractor creates cavitations, they improve joint function, relax the muscles, and relieve nerve irritation. 

When you try to do it yourself, your movements are more likely to elicit the pop from the joint that is already moving freely instead of the one causing your pain.  

That's why you can't get the same long-lasting relief that you get from a real chiropractor. 



What's Self-Cracking?

Self-cracking is the most common form of "DIY Chiropractic."  

We usually do this instinctively to crack our bodies to relieve stiffness or discomfort.  

This can provide temporary relief, but that's it.  

When you use DIY chiropractic and try to reposition your body by cracking it, you can cause an imbalance in your spine. 

That often leads to more pain and stiffness. 

We typically have pain or stiffness in our back because of poor posture sitting or standing, and injuries.  

This causes pressure to build up against different portions of the spine.  

When you self-crack, you are forcing an increase in mobility that could lead you to overexert the spine.  

Another problem with self-cracking is that you are potentially loosening already loose joints that are attempting to compensate for the stiff ones.  

This can cause the health of the stuck segments of your spine to continue declining and cause injury as well as degenerative arthritis. 



Chiropractic With Friends and Family

Sometimes your friends or family members may suggest stepping on your back or squeezing your body together to force it to crack.  

However, that's not a suitable replacement for chiropractic care.

This may provide temporary relief as well, but you're not helping the problem the same way you would with a chiropractic adjustment. 

Having your friends attempt to perform DIY chiropractic moves is usually more dangerous for your spine than cracking it yourself. 

Unless your friends or family are professional chiropractors, they should not attempt a chiropractic adjustment.  

Without the proper training, your friend or family member could easily injure you by dislocating a disk, or they could even break your spine and potentially paralyze you.  

In the worst-case scenario, they could break your neck and kill you. 

Chiropractic care should be left to the professionals.



What Chiropractors Know That You Don't

Most of us aren't familiar with the anatomy of the spine. Chiropractors, though, are specialists trained in all areas of the body's structure and function.  

Chiropractors know the normal positioning and function of every area of your spine from the neck down to the tailbone.  

Trying to fix your back, neck, or spine without the knowledge of how it's supposed to work will never get the same results as professional care.

There's also the concern that something unexpected is causing your neck pain.  

Some of the most common types of injuries and types of neck pain include:

  • Muscle Strains
  • Neck Sprains 
  • Whiplash
  • Herniated Discs
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations 


If you are experiencing a problem in your spine, attempting to relieve your symptoms through self chiropractic typically results in the underlying condition for your symptoms failing to get treated.

Or it's worsened.  

This can cause your pain and symptoms the opportunity to expand into severe health conditions and can lead to chronic pain. 

The most important thing you can do to protect your spine is to take a preventive approach and visit a chiropractor. 



Can you do chiropractic exercises at home?

Visit A Chiropractor Today

If you have symptoms of neck or back pain, contact the Arrowhead Clinic before you try to perform any chiropractic maneuvers yourself.  

You should never leave anything as important as your spine health to chance.  

No matter what kind of pain you are experiencing, it is better left to the professionals.

If you broke a bone, you wouldn't use a home-made cast, would you?

Your spine is perhaps the most important part of your musculoskeletal system. You do not want the health of your spine put in the hands of amateurs.

Treatment for your spine and related areas like your neck or back is best left to experienced chiropractors.

Arrowhead Clinic will provide a diagnosis for your symptoms and get the best treatment to keep them from becoming worse. 

Click the button below for your free consultation and get the treatment you deserve.




Dr. Darris Gentry

Dr. Darris Gentry is Arrowhead Clinic’s Duluth Chiropractor. He specializes in treating accident victims as well as people suffering from chronic pain conditions. With the use of manual and hands-on spinal adjustments, he is able to help restore proper function and mobility to patients’ bodies. Dr. Gentry has been a practicing chiropractor for over 20 years. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and Life University, one of the country's top chiropractic schools. He enjoys treating patients who have back pain, neck pain, sciatica pain, and spinal trauma from all sorts of accidents. His main goal is to help his patients physically improve and reduce and manage their pain. Dr. Gentry is a motivated individual who enjoys helping others reach their goals. Healthcare, in all aspects, remains his main interest. He loves being a chiropractor and having the ability to help others. One of Dr. Gentry’s recent patients stated, “The staff is so welcoming, and Dr. Darris Gentry is amazing. He helped me throughout my treatment.” Dr. Gentry provides free, same-day consultations to all potential patients. He is available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. During the consultation, Dr. Gentry will ask questions regarding medical history and a person’s current physical condition, and the type of symptoms they are experiencing. He takes the time to thoroughly examine and diagnose each patient’s condition before coming up with an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to their particular recovery needs.