6 doctors weighed in:

Does cracking your neck/back do any harm? I have cervical spondylosis and a torn l4/l5 disc. I get relief from stiffness w/ cracking.

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Byrnes
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: If it feels good

The noise made when you crack your neck is thought to be from cavitation-- it happens when the volume of the joint space suddenly expands, like when you open a soda can.
Its good that you can relieve some of your stiffness. If you incorporated core strengthening, gentle yoga type stretching with controlled breathing exercises and normal motion patterns, you will have your best chance of healing.

In brief: If it feels good

The noise made when you crack your neck is thought to be from cavitation-- it happens when the volume of the joint space suddenly expands, like when you open a soda can.
Its good that you can relieve some of your stiffness. If you incorporated core strengthening, gentle yoga type stretching with controlled breathing exercises and normal motion patterns, you will have your best chance of healing.
Dr. Thomas Byrnes
Dr. Thomas Byrnes
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1 comment
Dr. Kevin Teal
I would be careful with forceful swift movements that cause cracking in your neck or back. Part of that cracking is the joints in your neck moving past each other. Doing this forcefully can aggravate the normal wear and tear that comes with the normal movement of your neck and back. Some cracking with the normal range of motion of your neck or back is good but avoid extreme postures or movements.
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Probably not

Used in moderation, self manipulation is probably safe.
Avoid using large force to move the spine, and stop if you experience pain, numbness, tingling, weakness.

In brief: Probably not

Used in moderation, self manipulation is probably safe.
Avoid using large force to move the spine, and stop if you experience pain, numbness, tingling, weakness.
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Dr. Michael Bolesta
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