Is it good for me to click my neck or back?
I have been in practice now for four years and have come across many people who regularly click their necks or backs. Often I am asked if this is a good thing as ‘it makes it feel better’. My years in practice and years of training have taught me that symptoms can be misleading and something that feels better isn’t necessarily easing or solving the problem.
The likelihood is that you have seen someone who regularly twists their neck or back. You may even be someone who does it yourself to get a few clicks or pops. What I am going to do is explain what happens, why people do it and why it is bad for you.
What happens when I click my neck or back?
The clicking and popping is gas being released from the joints where the joint surfaces are separating. This clicking or popping sound is called a cavitation. In the hands of a chiropractor this can be a very useful tool. In the hands of an untrained individual . . . not so much.
Why do I feel the need to click my neck or back?
People feel the need to click their necks or backs due to a feeling of stiffness or discomfort. By forcing our joints, bones and muscles into some kind of action, we can achieve a temporary feeling of relief. The stiffness we experience is generally due to specific muscle tightness or a stuck or fixed joint in the spine. This can be due to an injury or just down to poor posture.
Why shouldn’t I click my own neck or back?
Self-cavitation is non specific, meaning the stiff joint won’t necessary be affected. What happens is you bend or twist and hope that the joint that makes the noise is the stiff one. This is generally not the case as surrounding the stiff joint are normal, moving, more mobile joints.
When you bend or twist to the point where one of the joints must give, it is typically the more mobile joint that gives first. This does provide temporary relief but soon enough there will be the feeling of needing to do it again as the underlying stiffness has not been addressed.
Also when you move these more mobile joints what you are doing is increasing their movement further which can cause hypermobility and overstretching of the ligaments. This can leave you more susceptible to injury and cause the muscles to tighten to try and stabilise the joint.
What should I do if I feel the need to click my own neck or back regularly?
As a chiropractor I have been trained to identify the stiff joints and target them specifically to get them moving again. This is what is needed to provide longer term relief in these situations. The best thing to do if you feel the need to click or pop your back or neck regularly is to get it looked at properly by a professional.
If you would like to get things checked out properly or if you have any further questions, please feel free to give me a ring at the clinic on 01323 722499.
Yours in health,
Call now 01323 722499