Can cracking your neck for years cause sudden damage?
I have been cracking my neck, pretty much every day for the last 4 years. I slowed myself down once I started getting horrific pain. I try not to do it at all now. Problem is, while I have been having some pain, my neck hasn't felt too bad, up until early this month. Since then I have been in so much pain I haven't been able to do anything.I actually feel pressure in my head from it. I get headaches too. I also have horrible shoulder pain. I do get anxiety and panic attacks but I don't know if this is related. Anyone know what the pain can be? Had x-rays, mri's, ect. nothing wrong.
Well, I don't have an answer for the question can cracking your neck cause damage, however I can offer a couple tips. I have studied martial arts for many years and stretching is a major import for a healthy body especially before exercise.
Try this, stand comfortably in a quiet place, tilt your head to the left as far as you can comfortably go. Hold that position for 20 seconds and then raise your head to vertical. Then repeat this to the right.
Each time you do this, try to press just a little further until you reach the point that you simply have no more movement left in that direction. The goal is to stretch the muscles slowly a little at a time and gradually increase the movement.
You might find that your vertebrae pop or crack as you say when you do this slowly.
I am not a doctor or PHD but I feel this is good advice and have used this method more than 20 years.
Yes you can hurt yourself from popping your neck. Just like popping your nuckles, it causes inflamation of the joints and they swell, wear away cartilidge, create calcium build up and much more. The swelling can cause pressure, the weraing away of cartlidge causes gaps in your joints that pinch nerves with certain movements, and the calcium build up can cause stiffness of the neck. All of these could possibly go undetected. Now you could be lucky and just pulled a muscle the wrong while popping your neck.
PS I am not a doctor so don't take my word for it.
The chiropractor told my daughter not to crack her neck, it could cause injury or arthritis. She has terrible neck problems today - whether that is part of it or not, I don't know.
YES! Cracking your neck can cause long term damage. My sister is a physical therapist and has told me for years to stop cracking my neck (which I just did btw). The popping sound comes from a build up of nitrogen in the joints. The long term damage comes from the friction from the action of the joint. It causes bone spurs to grow in response to the friction which can cause excruciating pain and headaches (see my hub on migraines). It all comes from inflammation. It sounds like you have exactly what I have, and it doesn't get any better. Unfortunately, popping my neck actually gives me some relief from the pain which is only exacerbating the problem.
Never overdo it.
It is good to do stretching our joints. Never have sudden jerk as it will cause injury. Just daily and normal stretching of joints will help the Qi energy in your body to free from getting stuck.
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