Neck Cracking- WatsonsHealth


Neck cracking includes the creation of a particular popping or cracking sound in your neck area while standing up or changing the position where your neck has been for an extended interval of time. It is a common sound and most persons often experience it throughout their lives. This sound may be heard in all of our joints like in our knees, elbows, shoulders, toes, and many others. Nevertheless, many people are bothered by this sound, mainly if it is placed in the neck.

Neck cracking is all about physics and somewhat of chemistry. Our neck, as well as all other joints we have in our body, has distinctive fluids in it. These fluids serve for lubrication and friction elimination in the course of movement. Nevertheless, when we stretch our neck, the fluid within it stretches as well.

As a result of this action, the pressure within the fluid decreases and triggers certain reactions within the fluid itself. The reaction includes production of small bubbles within the fluid, the burst of which results in the cracking sound we hear. Yet, the question of protection and safety of this motion remains unsolved.

Whether this neck cracking sound is good or not is rather ambivalent. Some persons consider that this cracking sound is good. People even pay to chiropractors to have their bodies stretched and cracked. All these facts lead people to believe that neck cracking is a good and positive sound of getting relieved of pain.

Moreover, some people believe that excessive neck cracking may lead to additional strain on the arteries going to the brain. This pressure, may result on the production of clots which can set off a stroke. Regardless of their opinions, this situation may not be likely but possible nevertheless.

There are many types and causes of neck cracking:

  • Synovial fluid changes. The synovial fluid between your joints lubricates movement, and when the pressure changes in this fluid, it creates gaseous bubbles
  • Ligament or tendon movement. When ligaments and tendons move over bone, they can make a breaking sound that is heard when you move your joints.
  • Bone grinding. If the cartilage in the joints has worn down enough, the grinding or cracking sound you hear may be because of the bones grinding against each other.

If you have heard neck cracking but don’t experience any kind of continuous pain or discomfort, you probably don’t have to seek chiropractic or any other type of medical care.

You must also see your doctor or chiropractor if you have these symptoms:

  • Any abnormal swelling in your neck
  • Pain in your neck joint, specifically chronic pain that doesn’t have any remarkable cause
  • Joints are begun to become less mobile due to age or a condition like osteoarthritis

Most minor strains of ligaments, tendons and muscles in the neck heal in a relatively short amount of time (e.g. one or two days).

Until the symptoms get relieved, there are various self-care remedies that are efficient in improving the pain and stiffness, such as:

  • Applying cold packs or ice
  • Applying heat
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Massage

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