There are many people who “pop” their own neck throughout the day to gain some type of relief or simply without trying during a stretch. So why is that different than having a chiropractor adjust your neck?
Feeling the need to adjust your own neck could be a sign of an underlying problem or condition. This occurs due to daily repetitive stresses and strains on the body or postural issues. For example, sitting at a desk all day long at a computer, or carrying a book bag weighing 20 pounds, causes excessive stress on the spinal joints.
Because of these unwanted stresses on the spine, joints will become inflamed, restricted, and uncomfortable. This could even lead to a “pinched” nerve if left untreated. Most of the time when you “self-manipulate”, you are simply moving areas above and below the actual restricted area of the spine that needs to be adjusted properly.
Chiropractors train for a minimum of four years learning the spine and how to adjust it properly. Proper adjustments will relieve the restricted area and release any pressure placed on the surrounding nerves. Often if you “self-manipulate,” it may make some popping noises and provide some relief similar to a chiropractic adjustment due to releasing chemicals called endorphins, but it can cause damage.
When a certain area of the spine is restricted or not moving properly, the areas above and below must work harder to compensate for the lack of motion. This means those joints you continually self- manipulate over and over are moving too much causing ligaments, muscles, and tendons to be unstable and lead to further problems down the road.
So, if you find yourself constantly “popping” or “manipulating” your own neck or back, please call to schedule a complete exam to assess the movement and function of your spine to prevent any potential injury or further damage. We will then determine the necessary course of treatment including adjustments, postural recommendations, and exercises if necessary, to fully aide your body in functioning the best it can.