At some point we all suffer from stiff necks, are overworked and carry a lot of stress on our shoulders. Bad posture and slouching over the computer doesn’t help either. In truth your shoulders can really start to hurt from all that strain. It would be easy to quickly relieve the tension with just one sharp crack. Naturally it would feel better because pressure is being relieved. But you should know that after you crack your neck, things do not go back to normal as you might think.
Neck muscles don’t go back to their original tightness immediately. They take their time. Continuous stretching of these muscles obviously doesn’t give them a chance to get back to normal as fast as they should. In some cases, chronic neck cracking can lead to loss of elasticity in the ligaments which forces the muscles to work harder and get tired easier. It happens because joints are forced beyond normal range of motion and the ligaments stretch out over time. When they do not return to normal, this causes a condition known as hypermobility.
The problem with the repetitive cracking is that you’re moving the joint unnaturally – you’re substituting one problem for another. Cracking stretches the joint capsule and creates a minor injury with each crack. In response, the muscles tighten up to stabilize the joints. Even though it feels good when you do it, each time you crack your neck, it wears down the cartilage in the vertebrae and can cause arthritis in the future. Clinical studies have also shown that hypermobile joints are more prone to being arthritic than normal joints. In addition, any time the neck is cracked, a major artery is threatened. If you happen to compress this artery while cracking your neck, it could cause a stroke.
When neck cracking is concerned, its best to find the root problem of your tension and stress you feel. That way, you don’t have to try and stop the cracking your neck, you just won’t feel the urge to do it. Try and adopt a correct posture when standing and sitting to stop the tightness. You can also try using a heat and cold pack for 15 minutes to get fresh blood flowing. If you constantly feel back pain and neck pain, visit a doctor. There could be underlying cause to the problem
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