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Should You Be Adjusting Your Own Back?

| Dr David Palmer |

Cracking your own back - Durban Chiro

Patients often ask me if they should self adjust or “crack” their own back, and while this may bring some short term relief it rarely has the effect a proper Chiropractic adjustment will have.

A chiropractic adjustment is so much more than just “cracking” your back. It is a very specific manoeuvre with just the right amount of speed and force in the right direction to either place the vertebra in the right position or to restore proper motion to the joint.

Your Durban Chiropractor will perform a detailed exam to determine exactly which joints are out of position properly before they adjust you. These tests will also help the Chiropractor decide if an adjustment is the right thing for you.

The problem with “cracking” your own spine (self adjusting) is that you have no idea which joint you are moving and which joints aren’t moving. Chiropractors are trained to use specific contacts to ensure that only the segment that needs adjusting is adjusted.

Another thing to remember is that a vertebra can be misaligned in a number of different ways. In fact a vertebra can move in 16 different directions, so it is important to know in which direction it has moved before adjusting it. If you don’t know which direction your vertebra has moved in, and you try “crack” it yourself, you could quite possibly be moving it further out of position.

I find that one of the biggest problems with the self adjust or “cracking” your own back is that it becomes a habit. Every time a joint “cracks” it causes a release of endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel good. Unfortunately endorphins only last in the blood stream a short while, so when the effects wear off you feel like you need to “crack” your back again.

If you are constantly “cracking” your back, over time these joints will start to move easier and become “loose” and to compensate other joints will tighten up and become stuck which just causes more of a problem. Your Chiropractor will be able to adjust these vertebrae into a proper position, to make sure they are all aligned and moving properly, therefore fixing the problem.

So should you be adjusting your own back?

No. No one should adjust their own spine; even Chiropractors get adjusted by other chiropractors. Clicking your own spine is certainly not going to fix the problem and it may even make it worse.