You’ve had a long day at work and you feel some stiffness in the middle of your back. You turn to one side and hear a rippling of pops travel up your back–then suddenly you feel relief! But after that satisfying pop, you might ask yourself: Is this bad for me?

Well, we have good news and bad news.

The good news: Cracking your back isn’t technically bad for you, especially if you only do it occasionally. We expect some stiffness now and again, and cracking your back can relieve tension and help ease some minor back pain.

The bad news: If you are a serial back-cracker, you could be damaging your spine.

Ligaments are like rubber bands: If you stretch them too much, they can lose their elasticity. If your ligaments have a difficult time pulling themselves back into place, they can’t do their job of supporting the structure and stability of your spine. This means you might be more susceptible to pinched nerves, misaligned vertebra, and overall back pain.

Those of you who regularly crack your own backs probably do so because you frequently experience tension and pain. We understand that tension can be quite uncomfortable. However, the next time you want to crack your back, you should consider stretching instead. Bend slightly forward, backward, and side to side gently. This can relieve some pressure without weakening any ligaments.

Don’t worry, we can help with any lingering pain. We can discover the root of your back discomfort and find the best method of treatment to strengthen those ligaments. Call for an appointment today!