It’s something that almost everyone has done at one point or another.
Picture the scene: You’ve been sitting at your computer for hours, long enough that your eyes feel like they might start bleeding at any moment. You’re stiff and you’re tired, so to try and shake a little more life into your body for the final sprint to the finish line, you lean back, stretch, and twist your neck around until you feel a series of satisfying pops and cracks.
There. That’s better, and you get back to work.
The question, though, is whether it’s a good idea, and the answer to that question is, sadly, no.
What you’re hearing when that pop occurs are gasses being released from in between joints. Those gasses build up over time, and when you crack your neck or back, it’s a bit like opening a can of soda.
Unfortunately, unless you’ve undertaken extensive training, you don’t have the necessary background to safely adjust yourself. Most times, all you’re doing is putting further stress on ligaments and tendons that are already stretched too thin from extended periods of poor posture or other stresses.
These are a lot like rubber bands, and like a rubber band, if you keep stretching and stressing it long enough, it begins to lose its elasticity and will no longer snap back into its proper shape and form.
In short, then, while cracking your own neck and back may provide you with a sense of short term relief, you’re not doing your body any favors. The fact that you keep having to do so is your body’s way of telling you that there’s a deeper and more pervasive problem.
The only way to keep from feeling like you need to pop your own neck or back is to address the root cause of that problem. That’s best done by a chiropractor who can properly assess your condition and recommend a course of treatment that will make that stiffness a thing of the past!