In the past couple of weeks, the subject of “cracking” one’s own back has come up several times. It’s such a common question...”Is it okay to pop my own back?” Short answer? Yes, it won’t kill you. But...There’s ALWAYS a “but.”
There’s largely two different models of chiropractic care. One model states that we doctors of chiropractic “put bones back into place.” The other model states that we “restore mobility” where we DON’T have it. As most of you know, we are proponents of the latter model. The literature simply has never shown that we can literally put bones back into place. Rather, we restore proper motion where needed.
How does this correlate with whether or not to crack your own back? It’s actually quite simple. My goal each and every time I adjust a patient is to restore a RESTRICTED (or stuck) motion in a particular area, whether that’s the low back, mid-back, or upper back and neck. With that said, there’s a very clear reason why I do NOT want to adjust areas that already move just fine or even too much. The reason is because those areas are the likely culprits for that self-cracking some are addicted to. What’s more is that those areas are also probably causing the “bad guys” (like pain) because of those stuck areas nearby. Put simply, the goal is to move stuck areas so areas that move too much, simply move less. This way, the entire spine moves more efficiently.
So you can crack your own back, but understand if you do, you’re really doing absolutely nothing to improve the overall health of your spine. In fact, you’re actually slightly contributing to the declining integrity of your spinal hygiene. Really? Yes. I love this car analogy:
The parts of our car that are used the most wear out the quickest, right? Tires, brakes, lights, etc. Those parts move a lot. But what about the chassis or frame of the car? It doesn’t move much at all and needs tuned or aligned very specifically. Take care of the chassis (stuck areas of spine and extremities) so that the other areas of the car move more efficiently and experience less wear and tear.
Hope you enjoyed. Be sure to get that “chassis” taken care of soon if you haven’t been in for a bit! If you have additional questions, ask us in the office or shoot us an email!