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Posted by Bethaney Wallace on August 20, 2014
We’ve all experienced a crick in the neck. A pain, pull, or tingle that just won’t go away – even when we stretch our muscles intently. For a number of different causes, the neck can become injured – to varying degrees – and the subsequent side effects act as evidence that something isn’t quite right. To remedy these pains, there are a number of ways to go about “fixing” the problem. One might talk with their doctor about various exercises they can perform. They might stretch and loosen up on their own. Medicines can be taken, chiropractors seen, natural treatments explored, and more. Depending on the cause in the first place, each experiment might have a different result toward actually healing the neck.
But what about what’s going on underneath the surface? After all, muscles hurt for a reason, and even though they might heal over time, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t something more serious caused or improperly “fixed” in the process.
Popping or cracking one’s neck is often a go-to cure when the neck is in pain. This joint relief has been known to reduce pressure, and for many, cause some much-needed relief. Most generally because it allows the bones to become realigned in a quick, satisfying succession. When their misalignment caused pains or bone stress from sitting off kilter. Others have found relief simply from the habit itself, which becomes a comfort in and of itself when performed on a regular basis. However, this is also the most dangerous of practices as it causes one to pull or push far harder on the neck, as well as on a more regular basis. In contrast, those who sleep wrong or turn their head too quickly, will only pop their neck when it becomes out of whack or misaligned.
But that doesn’t meant it’s universally safe. When pulling or leaning too hard, the neck can actually become damaged in this process. In fact, studies have shown that neck cracking can even lead to a stroke. Two out of every 100 strokes have been linked to tiny muscle tears, which are most often caused when popping or pulling one’s neck. Though virtually microscopic, these injuries have the ability to cause health concerns down the line, including that of a stroke. [The Star]
Other side effects can include muscle damage, misalignment of bones (even if they’re already out of place, there’s no guarantee popping the neck will put them back into their proper formation). As well as chronic headaches, most likely caused by one of the above.
If you’re a regular neck popper – for whatever reason – it may be time to talk to a professional. Not only will they be able to help you determine what’s causing the
need for this excessive alignment, they’ll help you come up with a healthier way to improve your neck health.
Make an appointment today to find a better way to deal with ongoing neck issues.