As with most things in life, there are people who believe that chiropractic adjustments could be a DIY project too. Patients who self manipulate are probably some of the most difficult patients to treat. “Self cracking may be treated with chiropractic manipulation”-says Dr Pamela Leader, MD and DC at EEMC Dubai.
Twisting and contorting your body in such a way as to elicit a “pop” from your spine, most likely doesn’t do much for you. When a joint is restricted, the joints above and below work harder to compensate for the lack of movement in the stiff joint. So these joints are moving too much already. To put it in simple terms, the joints that are stiff and hypo mobile are the ones that need the adjustment, when you self manipulate, you could be adjusting the joints around it, and moving the wrong ones.
You are forcing these joints to move even further when you self adjust. This can, over time, cause stretching of the ligaments that support the spine and lead to instability and future problems.
Yes, for a brief moment you might experience some sort of relief…. due to the natural release of a pain-relieving chemical called endorphins. But it’s short lived, and unfortunately the actual problem could only get worse, possibly becoming the source of degenerative arthritis.
At the age of 16, Patient A* fell down and suffered a blow to the head/neck area. The patient obviously suffered from trauma to the upper neck joints. It came to the knowledge of our chiropractor that this kid has been adjusting his own neck since the age of 13. Before commencing to treat him, she referred him to get a cervical X-ray first. At the tender age of 17, this young male had already clear signs of arthritis most likely as a result of frequently self-manipulating his neck.
Self-manipulation has the potential to be very unsafe. To say the least, combining this with the fact that it rarely tackles the root of the problem, and almost always makes it worse, performing self-manipulation just doesn’t make good sense. That’s why we chiropractors visit other chiropractors — just as a surgeon would seek out another surgeon for an operation.
The research that inspired the topic of this article can be found at http://vertebralsubluxation.sharepoint.com/Pages/2013_1175_selfmanipulation.aspx.
If you feel the need to continually crack your neck it back there is probably a chronic blockage in a certain part of your spine. Have it checked by a well-qualified chiropractor and you will obtain real long-term relief.