Is Cracking Your Neck Bad For You? – Benefits and Risk Factors

Girl cracking his neck
7 min read
(Last Updated On: May 4, 2021)

We all have experienced pain in the neck once in a life, while staring or watching anything for a long time, sitting in a desk or car for hours. Many of us do it to accomplish a sense of relief after cracking their neck while some of us do it to release pressure and stress from our neck.

Also, some research has shown that cracking a neck for quick relief is due to the placebo effect or for some psychological reason. 

But the question remains same is cracking your neck provides us with a benefit, or is it bad? The answer to the questions is well; it depends on you. 

Yes, when you do it frequently or repeatedly can cause more discomfort than before and No when you do it unforce or occasionally can cause no harm to your neck.

In this article, you will learn more about risks that may occur, when neck cracking is bad for you, a convenient way to crack your neck and how to improve your neck health.

Why Does My Neck And Other Joints Crack?

Here you can consider two important reasons behind your neck crack.  

Reason #1:

When you crack any joints or neck in your body, the capsules around your joint expands, the capsules which surround your neck contain fluid in them and stretching them results in allowing the fluid to fewer or less the pressure on the joint.

As the pressure decreases these fluids, then turn to gas and make a popping or cracking sound and this process is known as boiling or cavitation.

Reason #2:

This method is the same as the above method like the boiling in this method, the necks which have several sets of joints called facet joints which are located at each side of your neck. 

When you crack your necks, the facet joints stretch and let the fluids to spread out in the joint capsule, and once the fluid turns into a gas, it produces a pop sound.

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Is cracking your neck beneficial to you?

By cracking your neck can give you various benefits, the benefit you will get to know is surprising.

Most of the time, the benefit you will get from cracking your neck is only suitable if you have taken consultation with a licensed professional doctor or osteopath because they will suggest you the safest advice.

Benefit #1: If you have ever visited a chiropractor to crack your neck then you must be familiar with their practise because the process involved in cracking your neck will provide you with a positive mental effect on your mind.

Although some study has shown that cracking your neck for some people makes us feel better with successful adjustment of joint muscles and sounds. 

Benefit #2: Most healthy necks, ligaments and muscles do not need to be cracked because when a bone moves it within its optimal range.

You will never hear a neck cracking pop sound and thus help you from various risks such as Vascular injury, fracture and nerve damage.

Sidenote: chances of happening above risk mentioned are low, but it may happen to you if you do not have healthy necks, later in this article you will learn how to improve your bad neck.

How risky is neck popping? 

Cracking your neck can be risky if you constantly crack or do it in the wrong way. Some neurologists say that link exists between neck cracking and stroke. 

In the plain text, it means that when you crack your neck, it can cause a blood clot that disposes of the brain of oxygen (stroke means that blood which carries nutrients and oxygen in the blood do not properly supply to the brain when needed).

Your neck joints may develop osteoarthritis when you prompt your neck to crack this result when the joints in your ligaments have a larger motion than typical and make your ligaments in your joints to be forever stretched.   

But for some, it has become a habit of and this result they crack their neck multiple times a day this is also due to the hypermobility which makes you feel like cracking your neck many times.

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When is Your neck cracking too much bad for you?

If you crack your neck in the right way, then it’s unlikely that it gives you more harm than doing it forcefully.

Here you can consider two aspects by which your neck cracking is unacceptable:

  • The first and more important aspect is when you crack your neck constantly, there are plenty of blood vessels in your neck joints which can be damaged over time.
  • Another exposure by which your neck can be bad for you when you crack it constantly is overextending your ligaments and tendons and thus weakening your neck flexibly and supporting your head.  

When to see a Chiropractic Doctor or Professionals? 

If you crack your neck constantly and never feel satisfied by it or if you have a pain in neck likely which you are unable to control then you need to seek Chiropractic immediately.

Why only Chiropractic?

Chiropractic professionals have the ability to manipulate your joints or realign the joints properly and systematically. When it comes to back or neck pain, it is highly recommended to get your neck or back adjusted from a chiropractor.

Three important reasons why to see a chiropractor if:

  • You started to notice unexpected swelling in your neck and started to struggle in breathing. 
  • You started feeling a more and more constant pain in the joints of your neck. 
  • You started looking to improve the overall health of your neck 
  • Your joint initiated to become less flexible than usual.
  • You begin to notice numbness and weakness in the affected area.

How to find a chiropractor?

You can find a chiropractor :

  1. You can ask your doctor about an established chiropractor in that area.
  2. Last but not least, you can search online for an appointment with a licensed chiropractor.

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How to crack your neck in the right way?

Cracking your neck in the right way can help you to relieve pain but doing it in the wrong way may cause you some serious problems (1).

Side Note: Before trying to crack your neck take advice or help from a licensed chiropractor or osteopath.

Here is a simple technique by which you can crack your neck without having many problems:

  • Step#1: If you feel pain in the left side of your neck with your right hand, you have to reach your hand over to the opposite side of the ear.
  • Step#2: You have to just lower your right shoulder and right ear. 
  • Step#3: Then you have to apply little pressure or by slower ways so that you can get your neck joints to the close range so that you can have a good stretch without any problems.

Please Note: While doing these above steps you don’t want your shoulder to come up so that you do not face any problem after these techniques and don’t aggressively practise the above techniques.

What can I do to ease my neck pain?

Your neck pain does not start in overnight there are different reasons behind your neck pain, to relief from your neck pain simply you have to follow these easy tips Given by Health Harvard:

  • If you have a habit of staying in a particular position for a long time and doing one or more work and sticking around it for many hours, then it’s recommended not to stay in one position for a long time.  
  • Have a good sleep for 7 hours so that you don’t have to worry about the risk of several different conditions.
  • Avoid using too many pillows in your bed while sleeping so by doing this. Your head can suffocate easily.

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Cracking the neck in the right way may benefit you by making you feel better, but if you do it on a regular basis, it can lead to several different types of problems over time.

But you have a chance to make your necks pop better and to maintain the proper overall health of your neck you have to seek help or to take advice, to go to see a doctor or chiropractor in your area.

And thus helps your neck to be cracked in your natural way so that you don’t feel any discomfort or pain in the long run.

As a result, this helps you to fix or diagnose your own problems which may affect you in future and prevent several different conditions and harm to your muscles, joints and nerves.

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