Welcome back to the Hopkins Health And Wellness Center blog! In this blog, we like to provide our patients with articles that give insight into health and wellness, and specifically, the services we offer at our health and wellness centers in Hopkins and Woodbury. 

Today, we’ll be talking about chiropractic care, and more specifically, what exactly goes on when your back “cracks” during an adjustment with one of our amazing chiropractors. 

Nothing Is Actually Cracking

The first point we need to make in this blog is that when your back cracks, whether it’s during a stretch or a chiropractic adjustment at a Hopkins Health And Wellness Center, nothing is actually cracking or breaking! 

In truth, we think people call this “back cracking” because it’s an onomatopoeia. When you get a chiropractic adjustment, it definitely sounds like your spine is cracking, but the sound is actually caused by something else entirely. 

What’s Actually Going On?

Our skeletal system is comprised of joints where different bones join together. A major aspect of chiropractic care is re-aligning misalignments that occur in the body and these joints from stress and injuries, among other things. Visiting a chiropractor can improve your quality of life as they essentially work to constantly keep your body optimally aligned. 

Like a well-tuned machine, the body has naturally occurring lubricants and systems in place that keep your joints healthy and happy when aligned. That being said, when there is a misalignment in your musculoskeletal system, gasses are emitted and build up in these joints, sometimes from the lubricants like synovial fluid. 

There are many different ways you can cause a misalignment and gasses to build up between joints, but for the sake of example, think back to a time you’ve sat at a desk all day long. Whether it was school or work, there was probably a point where you stretched out or contorted your body in a way that caused your back to “crack.”

Being tensed up, slouching for long periods of time, or putting unusual stress on your body are a few examples of scenarios that can cause these gasses to build up, which would then “crack” after realignment. 

Okay, now that we’ve covered that, we can finally get to what happens when your back “cracks.”

When your back “cracks’ it’s because gasses that have built up in between joints have dissipated. They’re able to dissipate because the affected joints have been manipulated in a way that allows the built-up gasses that have become trapped between joints to release, which results in the iconic cracking sound. 

So in essence, when your back “cracks,” that is a good thing! You’re releasing built-up gasses, and thus, removing stress from certain joints. However, it’s important to make sure that if you are “cracking” your back, you’re doing it in a way that is healthy and not too aggressive. 

How To “Crack” Your Back

Now that we’ve covered what is actually going on when your back “cracks,” we’re going to give you some tips on how to do it in a way that ensures it’s beneficial to your body. 

The easiest way to “crack” your back is to stretch in a variety of ways that manipulate your spine. Some great stretches to utilize are:

  • A sit and reach stretch
  • Twisting your spine in a chair
  • Elongating and arching your spine
  • Roll on a foam roller

The wonderful thing about “cracking” your own back, is you know your own pain limits. This means that you are going to avoid overstretching to the point where you hurt yourself! Never try cracking your back on your own if it’s painful.

If you’re interested in having someone crack your back for you, make sure you’re enlisting a professional who knows what they are doing. An inexperienced back-cracker may end up doing more harm than good, as they have no professional experience properly adjusting the spine.

The best bet would be to schedule a chiropractic adjustment with our expert chiropractors at a Hopkins Health And Wellness Center. Our chiropractors have years of experience and myriad certifications, ensuring that they can adjust you beneficially, and increase your wellness.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We can’t wait to hear from you!