when i pop my own joints, is that bad?

stoic

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I've been wondering about this for awhile, so I thought I post and see if anyone had any comments.

I've gotten in the habbit of "popping" my back and neck when i get up in the morning. I pop my neck to left left and to the right and then the same with my back. It seems to loosen things up and feels pretty good.

So is this actually bad? Since maniuplation is actually a medical modality, is what i do akin to improperly taking medication? Or is it so none specific that it doesn't matter.

Thanks for the insights,
Dave
 

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No, seriously. There have been no longer term studies indicating the danger of "Cracking your knuckles" and the like. Of course, I suppose you can do micro damage to the cartilage if it's violent or in any way injurious to the tissues.

I say if it feels good, do it.
 
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H0mersimps0n

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Actually, certain clinicians in our OMM lab told us that the adjustments done while laying down are ok but you want to avoid doing spinal adjustments while sitting or standing upright. puts extra strain on ligaments (especially cervical should not be done in an upright position). We were taught specifically that self-cervical corrections CAN lead to ligament laxity and problems later in life...

This probably explains why we are all taught most HVLA techniques in supine/prone positions.

I'm not saying this is gospel but that's what we were taught.
 

coreyw

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That's first I've heard about the upright/lying down danger! If you're performing the thrust carefully then I'd stick my neck out (ha!) and say there's no evidence to support your tutors on that one.

'Popping' one's own joints can be not-so-good, sometimes bad.

Often when a patient is cracking their own neck/back they're missing the fixated joint entirely, producing temporary relief as beta endorphins flood the system, but putting the popped joint complex under unnecessary strain... they often make the problem worse, 'jamming' other joints, stressing out the soft tissues and leading to pain. Joint instability is certainly not an unlikely consequence of repeated self-popping over years (maybe less).

You've also got to ask *why* they're self-manipulating. With me and most others I'd say it's stress-related. We know that pain-tolerance is lowered under stress, so the urge to self-pop is greater too.

A lot depends on how the manipulation is done too.

The need or compulsion to self-manip (especially the spine) often goes once the patient has had a good stint of accurate manipulative therapy.

The general advice given by every osteopath, chiropractor and manipulative physiotherapist I've ever struck is that it's best to discourage self-manipulation, or at least to seek to address the under-lying cause(s).
 

sleep deprived

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Frequent popping and cracking will make you hypermobile. You can be adjusted easily which is the pro, but you get thrown out of alignment easily as well...which is the con.

But all this osteopathy, popping, cracking, massage, it's a good way to reel in guys. "Would you like an adjustment?" :) Yeah, I can loosen you up. lol
 

zenblunder

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there was actually a doctor who tested the theory of popping knuckles by cracking the knuckles on his left hand ten times a day, but never cracking the right, after years of doing this, he found no difference in his hands. Imagine the incredible will power that would be required to only crack one side. Amazing!
 

coreyw

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zenblunder said:
there was actually a doctor who tested the theory of popping knuckles by cracking the knuckles on his left hand ten times a day, but never cracking the right, after years of doing this, he found no difference in his hands. Imagine the incredible will power that would be required to only crack one side. Amazing!

I'd like to know what technique he used, i.e. traction, etc.?
 
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