The cracking is the release of gasses that store up between your bones. So cracking your back does help, but there are other ways to release these gasses and decompress your back and spine without any cracking.
Nobody wants to hear that they have to lose weight, but even being a little overweight can put unnecessary strain on your back muscles. It is imperative for your back health to stay at a healthy, manageable weight.
Gravity boots are designed to help a person hang upside down from a horizontal bar, most commonly placed in a doorway. The boots strap around your ankles and attach to the bar using a sturdy hook. Many people use gravity boots as part of their core workout.
In essence, you're not actually "cracking" anything. You're simply popping the bubbles that have formed in the synovial joints contained in frequently cracked areas like the neck vertebrae, fingers, and knees. However, the underlying issue behind cracking is that our joints are not meant to be repeatedly stretched. When we do frequently stretch to crack them, they gradually become less stable. This can lead to an array of pains, including dislocated fingers, chronic back pain, and even sciatica. That satisfying cracking sound doesn't seem as worth it anymore, does it?
If you've ever visited a chiropractor, you'll know that they will most likely crack your neck and back while performing an alignment. They are often alleviating pain from subluxation in the neck and spine. In order to do this, the chiropractor has completed extensive education and has a thorough knowledge of what the spine needs to perform at its best. That being said, a chiropractor will practice light to moderate amounts of cracking in order to relieve stress on your joints without repeatedly stretching them. But what is subluxation and can you alleviate pain from the comfort of your own home?
Following an uptick in chiropractic care, many individuals have taken it upon themselves to crack their own back using a chair. The idea behind the practice is simple: by either lowering the spine slowly over the back of the chair or twisting the body quickly around the back of the chair will force the back to crack. However, when you crack your back, you're forcing your vertebrae and joints out of their normal range of mobility.
Solo, you cannot crack all of the bones in your spine the way a qualified chiropractor can. This means you're most likely only stretching joints above or below the point in which you're twisting from the chair, placing an unnecessary amount of stress on those joints. Additionally, you're stretching your muscles unnaturally, which will most likely result in increased tension.
The excess movement of your joints when someone walks on your back forces your muscles to work overtime to keep them stable. Similar to attempting to crack your own back with a chair, your muscles will ultimately feel tighter following this event, and you can be tricked into thinking you need someone to walk on your back again to crack it. Attempting to rid yourself of tension this way will force your muscles to become even tenser, and will lead to an extreme amount of stress on your joints that can be detrimental to spinal health.
The idea behind inversion therapy is that by hanging upside-down, you're relieving the pressure on your spine. This is due to the force of gravity pulling your vertebrae away from each other, which takes the pressure off your discs. What many people don't realize, however, is that while inversion therapy might provide temporary relief from back pain, it can also lead to serious injury if not done correctly.
Additionally, while you might think that being upside-down would help boost circulation and improve posture, this isn't always the case. If you have poor circulation or suffer from conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, or glaucoma, hanging upside-down can actually be dangerous. The increased blood pressure in your head can cause serious health complications, and the last thing you want is to end up in the hospital because you were trying to crack your back at home.
As you have likely recognized from the aforementioned remedies and the associated risks, it is important to realize that the cracking sounds are not necessarily an indication of an improvement to your health or a successful remedy.
If you are experiencing back pain, posture issues, limitations to your mobility, or a feeling of constant pressure in your thoracic or cervical spine, working with a trained professional is the best way to minimize your risk of additional injuries or complications while getting the care you actually need. Repeatedly using this method may ultimately worsen your condition in a number of ways, and we strongly encourage you to avoid relying on at-home treatments such as a bear hug for your spinal issues.
In fact, taking a hot bath can actually make your back pain worse. When you soak in a tub of hot water, your muscles loosen and relax. This might feel good at first, but when you get out of the tub and try to move around, you may do more damage to your spine because the muscles holding it in place are weakened.
Are you looking for pain relief? Please, do yourself a favor and don't attempt it alone. Whereas simple stretches, moderate exercise, and natural treatments can be helpful, in the case of back or neck pain, attempting to contort the spine without the aid of a professional is dangerous and can have lasting side effects.
Cracking your back may feel good in the moment, but it does not guarantee lasting results or provide a cure for underlying issues. In fact, as we have seen, some of the most popular methods for cracking your back can actually do more harm than good.
Everyday activities can place a lot of stress and compression on your back. Sitting in office chairs, standing up all day, even laying down on a flat bed puts a little bit of compression on your spine. Your spine needs decompression to keep it from becoming too tight. Excess compression can lead to injury. The most well-known way to decompress your spine is to hang upside down on an Inversion Table.
Not everybody has an inversion table. However, there is an alternative that feels just as good and is just about as effective as a inversion table. Simply hanging from a pull-up bar may become your favorite new stretch. Pull-Up bars are readily available at your gym or your local park. You can also install one in your house (we have actually have one we highly recommend here: . This is the same feeling of relief and benefits I paid $1000 for at the Chiropractor for decompression therapy when I was injured , because I did not know about the benefits of hanging on a pull-up bar. Check out how to properly hang from a pull-up bar in this picture:
Grab the pull-up bar and let your body hang. Try to touch the ground while you are on the pull-up bar (If you are on one that is taller than you.) You can either reach up toward the bar, jump up to the bar, or if you are unable to reach it, use the other playground equipment or a block to step on to prop yourself up to the bar. Your spine stretches out as a result. Keep your head forward and tighten up your core while performing this decompression stretch. Hang for as long as you can. Typically, you are not going to be hanging very long until you have done this stretch for a while or you already have a lot of strength. Often, you will feel a nice little pop in your thoracic spine. The tightness in your back is being released.
We also suggest you hang from a pull-up bar several times a day if you can get to one, and you should definitely hang from one during your warm-up, cool-down, and after every heavy weight exercise that compresses your back (Ex. Squats or Deadlifts). Hanging on the pull-up bar is one of the simplest, yet most effective stretches you can do. Your back will thank you immensely! Your shoulders would not mind the stretch either. As always, if you have a serious injury, consult with a physician before doing any kind of exercise or stretch. Let us know how your back feels after a nice pull-up bar decompression stretch.
Sue, I am glad you are feeling relief. I recommend the toes on the floor, because a lot of people may not be able to jump up and grab the pull-up bar. I wanted to show accessibility. I hope for your continued recovery. How has your back been feeling since?
My back has bothered me for 1.5 years. After watching American Ninja Warrior I thought hanging from a bar could be a good exercise.About 3 weeks ago I started trying to hang from my my chin up bar. When I first tried it I could hang for 15 seconds. Now I can go for up up to 45 seconds and do a total of about 2 minutes per day.My back is so much better it is amazing. It used to hurt from sneezing and every time I got up from lying down.
If the pull-ups are not causing your back any pain, then I would go for them. Make sure you keep your core tight while doing the pull-ups. If they do cause any pain other than normal soreness, then stop doing them for the day. I was able to do pull-ups before I could do Lat Pulldowns.
Thank you and I am glad you have kept up with our articles! Try it out slowly. If you can, step onto something and gradually lower yourself. If needed, you can step back onto the surface (a bench, the top of a dumbbell.)
I tried hanging, not at the recommendation of this article, yesterday and I suffered an injury from the dismount. First some of my background: I am a mostly-healthy 26yr old male with a history in fitness and exercise. I have emphasized flexibility and functional strength since injuring my back playing frisbee when I was 22. I have not had an acute back injury in over a year.
Adjusting your back can stretch your facet joints, which are capsules at the outer edges of your vertebrae. When you stretch these capsules, the synovial fluid has more space to move. This releases pressure against your back joints and muscles.
After sitting or standing for long periods, your back may be sore. Cracking your back can alleviate pain caused by soreness, leaving you feeling refreshed. The process of cracking your back is simple, but be careful. You should not crack your back too often, as this can worsen back pain. Also, keep in mind that cracking your back may not solve the problem if you have persistent back and shoulder pain. In that case, you should see a doctor to treat your pain. 2b1af7f3a8