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, practicing self-alignment by popping your joints offers short-term relief that doesn't address the cause of your pain and could make things worse.
In the article below, we will talk about why you shouldn't try to adjust yourself.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Chiropractic Adjustment?
- What's That Pop?
- What's Self Cracking?
- Chiropractic With Friends and Family
- What Chiropractors Know That You Don't
- Visit A Chiropractor Today
What Is A Chiropractic Adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment is an integral part of the treatment of joint problems in the spine 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.
They 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'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 joint's.
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.
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.
This may relieve the pain temporarily as well, but you're not helping the problem.
Having your friends attempt to perform DIY chiropractic moves is usually more dangerous than cracking it yourself.
Unless your friends or family are professional chiropractors, they should not attempt chiropractic maneuvers.
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.
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 neck 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
- Herniated Discs
Attempting to relieve your symptoms through self chiropractic typically results in the underlying condition for your symptoms failing to get treated or being worsened.
This can cause your 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.
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.
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.