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Why You Shouldn't "POP" Your Own Neck

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

One question we hear is "what's the difference between when I adjust my own neck and when the chiropractor does it?"

Now a lot of times we might get a stiff neck and that just means we've lost the natural range of motion in our neck. Sometimes we're able to just stretch it out and we might get some popping and some cracking and that's okay. The problem is when we try to pop our neck by twisting or pulling at our head with our hands.

In the video above, I use this little illustration to help me describe what's going on. We have a restricted vertebra or that joint that's just not moving the way we wanted to so when we try to pop our own neck what usually happens a majority of the time is we're moving the joints that are around the restricted joint we're moving those joints even though they're already moving just fine. We might hear some popping and when that happens our body releases some endorphins which are those feel-good hormones, so

we're going to start feeling better. You've increased that range of motion so maybe it's back but the way that we did that was by creating hypermobility at some other joints rather than just restoring the motion that was lost at that stuck joint. So when we create this hypermobility over time that leads to instability which means that we're going to be in a constant battle with those misalignments leading to you feeling the need to pop your neck more and more and more.

As chiropractors, we're trying to find these restricted joints and then we could be specific with our adjustments to the spine and restore that motion to that one joint.

Now the popping noise is not necessarily something that we're looking for as chiropractors because we know that we can make adjustments to the spine without making any noise at all. So next time you feel the need to pop your neck please go see your trained chiropractor or come see us here at Restoration Chiropractic.

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