How To Crack Your Back: Is It Safe?

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How To Crack Your Back: Is It Safe?


If you’re interested in learning how to crack your back, you should know that it’s important to do it in a healthy and safe way to avoid injury. In this blog, you'll learn some safe ways to crack your lower and upper back for you to practice at home.


Cracking your back can feel amazing. You get to feel relaxed, stretched, and ready to go in a matter of seconds.


But is it safe? Can cracking your back do any harm to your joints or spinal column? The short answer is yes, it can if you don't do it correctly or suffer from certain health conditions. And even when you do it properly, if you feel the need to crack your back every single day, then it might be time to see a chiropractor


Read on to find out more about how to crack your back and learn why seeing a professional chiropractor might be a better approach to back stiffness and persistent back pain.


Why Does Cracking Your Back Feel So Good?


Before looking at how to crack your lower or upper back, let’s first understand why it feels great doing it.


A bit of background is essential in understanding the good sensations behind back cracking. Most of us work in conditions that are not great for our backs. Whether standing up all day or spending your work hours on a chair in an office, your back suffers. Tension builds up in the muscles surrounding your spine and joints, and at the end of the day, you're in dire need of some stretching, or even better, cracking your back.


This instant feel-good routine compares to nothing else. Here's why:

  • Your range of motion is instantly increased.

  • Back muscles get activated because the blood flow is improved.

  • Back cracking reduces muscle tension and aids muscle relaxation.

  • Pain-managing endorphins are released in the entire area.


The downside to back cracking is that its effects are often short-lived. 


If you don't pair cracking your back with stretching exercises, regular workouts, an ergonomic chair, and a good quality mattress, your post-crack relaxation will likely last just a few minutes. 


Even with this instant relief move, there are no shortcuts to proper spinal health.


So, Is Cracking Your Back Safe?


In most cases, yes. As long as you don't have back damage and you don't overdo the cracking motion, cracking your back can be harmless and enjoyable. Still, studies have shown that there can be side effects.

Here are the downsides you should know about if you are interested in learning how to crack your back yourself.


What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Cracking Your Back?


  • When pressure is released from your muscles and spine, you might get a temporary headache.

  • You might feel some discomfort in your back area.

  • You might strain your muscles if you stretch too much and too fast.

  • You might pinch a nerve during this intense stretching routine, so be careful because this will be painful.

  • You might overstretch your ligaments in intense back-cracking motions, which can cause hypermobility. Your ligaments will be too stretched to keep your joints in the correct position.

  • You might feel stiff if your spinal joints are inflamed.

  • If you have a herniated disk, back cracking is not for you because it might worsen the condition.   


How To Crack Your Back Safely


When you crack your back, especially if you do it often, you're probably tempted to perform sudden ample moves to get that audible crack and the temporary relief that comes with it. But, as you've seen above, overdoing it is not the right way to go. 


Here are some safer ways to crack your lower and upper back:


It's recommended that you first loosen up your back. You can do this by breathing deeply and letting the tension in your body go with each exhale. You can also do some light stretching before you crack your back to make sure you avoid injury.


Sitting On a Chair


Sit straight on a chair, then turn to your right, rotating your upper body. Keep your lower body as still as possible. With your right arm, reach for the edge of the chair, grab it, and then do a quick twist to get that popping sound, but without putting too much force. Then turn to your left and do the same movement all over again.


Swiss Ball


Get on a Swiss ball, maintaining your balance with your legs. Be very careful because these exercise balls are not stable. Once you find a good position, extend your arms above your head, and use your legs to push yourself back and forth onto the ball.


Sitting On The Floor


Sit on an exercise mattress and extend your legs in front of you. Cross your left leg up and over your right knee, then bring your right elbow to the outside of your left knee while maintaining balance using your left arm. Then just do a little push on your right elbow. Breathe deeply and hold the stretch for as long as comfortable. Repeat this movement a few times and then slowly twist on the other side.  


When Is It Time To See a Chiropractor?


chiropractor explaining how to crack your lower and upper back

If you find yourself cracking your back every single day, sometimes even more than once a day, then you're doing this for a reason. There might be some back discomfort that you're trying to deal with and cracking your back will not provide the long-term relief you seek. 


If this sounds all too familiar, then instead of looking for how to crack your back maybe it's time to make an appointment with a chiropractor. Cracking your back is one of the simplest spinal manipulations out there. And, if that feels good, think about how you're going to feel once a professional chiropractor gets to perform a series of spinal manipulations on you! Worth a try, right?


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