A Clicking Neck: Self-Manipulation vs. Chiropractic Care – What’s the Difference?

Health & Fitness

  • Author Kasa Chiropractic
  • Published February 8, 2024
  • Word count 465

Lots of people click their own necks; sometimes for relief, sometimes for dramatic effect, sometime just because they can, often without trying to. But what is the difference between clicking it yourself and a Chiropractor doing it?

The need to click one’s own neck is potentially a sign of an underlying problem. Often the need to do it is down to poor posture putting excess stress on the joints in the cervical (neck) spine. Due to the stresses on the spine, the joints become restricted and uncomfortable. If an on-going problem, it may get to the stage of a trapped nerve! When you click your own neck (self manipulating) you are mostly ‘clicking’ either the joint above or below the restricted one that needs to move properly. Chiropractors train over 4-5 years to adjust the right joint in the right way (see picture below). This relieves the restricted joint and frees up any trapped nerves.

Is it Safe to Crack My Own Neck?

The risk in attempting self-neck manipulation is the potential for targeting the wrong joints. While self-adjustment may produce the familiar ‘popping’ sound (caused by the release of trapped air in the joint) similar to a chiropractic adjustment, offering temporary relief through the natural release of pain-relieving endorphins, it can also pose risks.

When a joint is already restricted, the joints both above and below it are working harder to compensate for the limited movement in the stiff joint. Self-adjustment forces these joints to move even more (as illustrated), potentially leading to the stretching of the ligaments supporting the spine. This can result in instability and potential future issues.

So what should I do if I’m always clicking my own neck?

If you find yourself often cracking your own neck, it might be a sign of an underlying issue that could harm your spine’s ligaments. To help, begin by checking your posture to ease stress on your neck and shoulders. Consider getting a thorough evaluation from a chiropractor to assess your spine’s joint movements and functionality. Following their assessment, they might suggest stretches, provide posture tips, and, if necessary, offer a series of chiropractic adjustments to improve your spinal mobility.

To sum it up, it’s important to know the difference between cracking your own neck and seeking chiropractic care for a healthy neck. While DIY neck cracking might give you temporary relief, it can be risky in the long run if you’re not hitting the right spots. Chiropractors, with their specialised training, can offer a safer and more effective solution for your neck concerns. So, if you often catch yourself trying to crack your own neck, consider reaching out to a chiropractor for a professional evaluation and care to keep your neck and spine in top shape.

Written by Charles Herbert. Kasa Chiropractic is dedicated to enhancing your health and wellness through personalised chiropractic and massage therapy. Our expert team is committed to your care from the moment you walk in. Learn more about our holistic approach at https://kasachiro.com/ Start your journey to feeling your best with us today.

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