What is the danger of cracking your back and neck?

The quick relief sensation and satisfying sound of cracking your back or neck might seem pleasant, but is it a safe practice?

According to Dr. William Kimmel, a neurosurgeon at the Virginia Spine Institute, cited by Fox News, “when you stretch, twist, or bend your spine, the pressure inside the joint changes, which can cause a sudden release of gas bubbles, resulting in the cracking sound.”

The doctor pointed out that individuals often crack their backs or necks out of habit or to temporarily relieve tension or stiffness, but this habit can lead to wear and tear on the spine, as well as increased strain on the surrounding muscles and ligaments, which can result in injury or exacerbate existing problems.”

Chiropractor Tory Hartlein states that “while cracking may release endorphins, known as happiness hormones, it does not address the source of stress, and warns of the risk of injury.”

He adds that “the effects of cracking your back or neck can include joint hypermobility, twisting, or strain due to the joint being taken out of its proper range of motion, sometimes leading to a fracture if excessive pressure is applied.”

According to Dr. Todd Sinett, a chiropractor, “cracking the neck may impede blood flow and, in very rare cases, may increase the risk of stroke.”

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