The thing about spinal cord is that it has the ability to provide all the support that your body needs in order function properly. And since it is the most important part of one’s body, it is also the most susceptible to injury or damage.
So keeping this mind, does your back pop and crack every time you turn a certain way? And does it feel like all the tension has been lifted after the crack? If your answer is what I think it is, then please keep reading.
So if you’re wondering why does my back crack so much and does that cause any serious harm to the spinal cord, then you need to know that it’s not something so serious to worry about.
The cracking of the back is caused due to one of these two reasons or both. It could be due to the soft tissue in your back gliding over the other soft tissue or soft tissue gliding over bumps found on the bone. The latter creates a pop or cracking sound.
People Get their Bones Professionally Cracked
More often than not, cracking the back is such a natural process that we don’t think twice before doing it. When there’s a lot of tension or stress buildup in your spine, cracking the back seems like the only way that provides immediate relief, right? It’s like a self-adjustment habit.
But should you really do it? The answer to this question is discussed at length below.
Is it Good to Crack your Back?
When you crack any part of your body excessively, be it your back, neck or knuckles, in order to relieve some pain and pressure, you’re in for some trouble. You might end up damaging your spinal cord or your body might just get used to the cracking every single time there’s excessive pain or pressure in the back.
So, inevitably, the only solution that you will turn to for instant relief from back pain or pressure will be back cracking. And you really don’t want your body to get accustomed to such a solution or habit, seriously.
One common condition that occurs due to cracking the back a little too often is known as hypermobility. When you have hypermobility, the spinal cord and the muscles around it are constantly subjected to being stretched.
I’m going to explain this condition with the help of a very simple example. Imagine that you have a rubber band that you repeatedly keep stretching. Even though the rubber band is supposed to stretch due to its elasticity and all, it still consequently tends to lose some of that elasticity after a certain period of time, right?
Likewise, this is how our spinal cord and the muscles around it function. While they are built to naturally stretch, they still have a knack for losing the elasticity due to constant stretching and relaxing of the bone and muscles. The stretching that I’m referring to is the result of cracking the back repeatedly. And once the spinal cord loses even the tiniest natural feature or quality, it causes your back to become hypermobile.
Why does My Back Crack so Much?
To state it simply, the adjustment of the spine is why your back cracks. But there are many causes that give rise to the cracking sound and the relaxed sensation when this adjustment takes place. Let’s go through them one by one below.
Joint Movement – Cause of the Cracking Sound
The way a joint works is important when it comes to cracking the back. Two bones joined together are covered by ligaments that hold them in place and also block the lubrication fluid found inside the joints from oozing out. So the bones, as well as the lubrication fluid, are sealed from the rest of the back and the body.
This lubrication fluid has many types of gasses dissolved in it, one of the most important ones being nitrogen. When you stretch your back, the joint along with the ligaments around it also stretch, right? And this causes the space found between two bones of the joint to get wider.
Once this happens, the lubrication fluid rushes out of the sealed area. And since this fluid contains certain amounts of different gasses, it produces a popping or cracking sound. Exactly like a soda bottle when you open it.
Endorphin Stimulation – Cause of the Relaxed Sensation
Why does my back crack so much and how does it provide instant relief to the excessive back pain and pressure? The answer to this question is right here. To fully understand the cause, you first need to know the meaning of mechanoreceptors.
Nerve sensors located in the ligaments, muscles, joint capsules and spinal discs in our body perform the job of sensing all the different kinds of movements and positions of these ligaments, muscles, joint capsules, and spinal discs. These nerve sensors are known as mechanoreceptors.
When you stretch your back, the mechanoreceptors become activated and produce a ripple effect that travels to the brain and stimulates the secretion of endorphins into the bloodstream. And we all know what endorphins do, right? They provide immediate relief to any kind of a pain in the body.
Endorphins are like drugs; they relieve pain as well as provide your body and mind with a short-lived sense of well-being (how to instantly boost your endorphins to feel better). So a person can easily get addicted to this endorphin stimulation. Hence, the constant cracking of the back.
How Stretching Helps in Reducing Cracking the Back
We all already know the importance of stretching when it comes to providing relief from back pain or any other back or spine-related diseases and injuries. Stretching does the job of helping your body get rid of excessive tension, while at the same time enhancing flexibility and making your spinal cord stronger. You can easily stretch at work as well, even in a seated position.
Exercises like seated lower back rotational stretch and shoulder squeeze can go a long way in providing relief from back pain. And once you’re back pain is under control or completely out of the picture, the need to crack the back also gets eliminated. Or you can easily do exercises with a back stretcher support
The seated lower back rotational stretch:
The shoulder squeeze stretch:
Easy Back Pain Stretches for Beginners, How to Improve Posture & Back Flexibility, Health Tips
Now you Know
The answer to the question "why does my back crack " depends on what your problem is and how you wish to treat it. Are you going to let it slide or do you really want to look for a permanent solution? All this entirely depends on the severity of your back pain, hence the level of back cracking obsession.
Why does my back crack so much?
- When you overstretch your spine on a regular basis, the lubrication fluid found in the joints tends to come out of the sealed region. And since this lubrication fluid contains different gasses, mostly nitrogen, the cracking or popping sound is created naturally. And this is why your back cracks so much.
- When your back is used to sending signals through the mechanoreceptors to the brain in order to release more endorphin into the bloodstream, you get addicted to the relaxed sensation supplied by these endorphins. Hence, the need to crack the back more often.
What are your thoughts about being addicted to “crack”? Why do you think your back cracks so much? And are you doing anything at all to avoid doing this?
I would really appreciate a response from your end. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Please leave a comment below.