Dr. Sunil - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Sunil

Is Cracking Your Back Bad For You?



Short answer

Cracking your back on a regular basis can be dangerous. If you crack your back every so often, there isn't anything to worry about.



Long answer

After that long day of hard work, we've all come across the moment where we deem it necessary to "crack our back". Most of the time, we instantly get a feeling of relief after doing so. However, the loud and unnatural sound your back makes when it cracks can only cause one to wonder if it is bad or not.

Ultimately, the outcome is a win/lose situation. Just like any other things in life, doing too much of it can have a dangerous impact towards your health/body. First comes the temptation to crack your back. Eventually, most end up cracking their back without even thinking about it (habit), leading millions of people to back problems. The noise itself comes from a rush of nitrogen into your facet joints as they open up. Facet joints are small stabilizing joints located between and behind the adjacent vertebrae (your facet joint provide about 20% of the twisting in the neck, and lower back).

If you see yourself doing this on a regular basis, damage may be done to your spine and eventually you will find yourself needing to crack your back much more often. What most people don't know is that cracking your back too much can lead to a condition called "hypermobility". Hypermobility results from the spine, and muscles around the spine, repeatedly stretching. When the structures in your back are stretched over and over (making the cracking sound), it loses the normal elasticity. This can cause your spine to move incorrectly, preventing your back from returning to a normal position.

Possible long-term side effects

  • hypermobility
  • build a back cracking tolerance
  • spinal damage

Big is cracking your back bad for you 2


  • pain relief
  • stiffness relief

Healthier alternatives

  • stretching
  • limit to one back crack a week
  • massage

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Written by Desmond | 12-27-2015

Written by Desmond
Suggest improvement or correction

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