Neck pain is indeed an annoying feeling; that’s why many people take matters into their own hands. Instead of getting the help of a neck pain chiropractor in Monmouth, New Jersey, they crack or manipulate their necks to relieve their neck pain.
But, is this safe to do? Can self-manipulation of the neck really ease the pain? Read on as we will reveal the answer in this article. But first, let’s look at the possible reasons why you may feel the urge to pop your neck.
If you live with any of these symptoms or disorders, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor.
- Middle or lower back pain
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Vertigo and dizziness
- Numbness and tingling in the hands or feet
- Problems moving the head from one side to the other
- Soreness behind the ears and below the back of the skull
- Clicking in the neck when moving from side to side
- Uneven length of legs
- Oversensitive vision
- Neck or head trauma
Neck Cracking to Ease Neck Pain
Many people make a habit of cracking their necks to relieve tension in their neck area. However, it can be dangerous. In some cases, self-manipulation of the neck leads to a stroke. Others also obtain osteoarthritis over time, particularly those who are older. We will dive more into this later.
Similar to when you crack your knuckles, hearing a cracking or popping sound is common when you manipulate your neck. Many people usually crack their necks when they have been sitting for a long period or first thing in the morning. They may feel a little relief after doing so. What’s the reason behind the cracking of the bones?
The upper cervical vertebrae have seven bones. Tendons, ligaments, and muscles support these bones. Atlas and axis, the two topmost bones, support the head and let the neck move smoothly. If the neck is too stressed or tensed up, it may crack when twisted. In general, it is not harmful. But if you feel pain when you do it, it is best to seek the care of a neck pain chiropractor in Monmouth, New Jersey.
Why the Neck Makes a Cracking Noise
Surrounding the joints in the neck is synovial fluid, which serves as a lubricant, allowing smooth neck movements. The synovial fluid is consists of carbon dioxide and nitrogen that develop bubbles. The increase of stress on the neck may lead to a popping sound. This entire thing is called cavitation. Some other reasons for the cracking or popping noise are:
Conditions like osteoarthritis or osteoporosis can cause your neck to crack.
Previous neck injury
Common causes of neck injuries are due to heavy lifting or stressful activities. This results in issues over time. Injury can stress the neck joints, leading to neck cracking when you move. People who are into sports are more likely to get neck injuries.
The ligaments provide mobility and flexibility to the joints. Unfortunately, bony projections may catch ligaments. When a person rotates or twists these ligaments, they can produce cracking noise.
The Dangers of Self-Manipulation of the Neck
Cracking your own neck makes you at risk for the following:
Severe neck pain
Maybe you do it thinking it would reduce your neck pain. However, cracking your own neck may bring the opposite effect. Doing it very often can reduce the range of motion of your neck over time. Also, it can damage your cartilage due to excessive stress and neck movement. The result can be the degeneration of your bones and arthritic disorders.
Repeated cracking of your neck can overstretch your ligaments and stress your neck joints. As a result, the ligaments become unstable and the onset of bone bridging may happen. In short, the bone begins to produce calcium to stabilize the neck. This causes osteoarthritis.
A recent news story reported about a man who cracked his neck and suffered from a stroke. Although rare, stroke caused by neck cracking can happen. It occurs due to the damage of the blood vessels in the cervical spine. The arteries can break and result in a high risk of bleeding, and in turn, the buildup of blood clots.
The blood clot can block the blood reaching the brain, leading to a stroke. If you often crack your neck and experience any of these symptoms, you get the help of a doctor immediately:
- Blurry vision
- Insistent headache
Relieving Neck Pain Without the Need to Crack the Neck
Upper cervical chiropractic care is an effective natural therapy to ease neck pain without needing to crack the neck.
Neck ache is often due to a tiny misalignment in the top bones of the neck. The two culprits behind it are the C1 and C2 vertebrae. These two bones are prone to misaligning because of their mobility and location. A small misalignment of these bones can cause neck pain as well as several other health conditions.
Practitioners here at Upper Cervical of Monmouth in New Jersey do not pop crack the neck when patients visit us for an adjustment. Our method is gentle and uses only low force. It allows the bones ample time to heal and move back into their correct positions.
Visit our website to learn more about how a neck pain chiropractor in Monmouth can help you alleviate your neck pain safely and naturally.