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Self Manipulation - All It's Cracked Up to Be?

Chiropractors frequently see patients who have been experiencing "popping" or cracking sounds in their spines, or who can purposely "crack" their necks or backs when they feel things are not quite right. Some people obtain considerable relief from doing so. The fact that someone feels the need to "crack" their own back should be seen as a warning sign that they need to consult their chiropractor.

Imbalances in the spine usually result from one or two major joint problems and several secondary ones. The secondary problems arise from the body’s attempt to compensate or adapt to the abnormal movement caused by the major problems. Major or primary fixations of spinal joints can seldom, if ever, be corrected by "adjusting" yourself. The secondary fixations, however, often release easily... but keep coming back.


If you can produce an audible popping or cracking sound yourself, or if your back and neck often do this involuntarily on certain movements, there is a major problem in the spine which is causing an imbalance. The longer this situation is allowed to continue, the more difficult it will be to correct the cause.

It is often difficult to convince someone that self manipulation is not wise, because they may feel fine most of the time. However, the fact that they need to do it over and over again, sometimes with increasing frequency, indicates that something is not right.

Remember, even chiropractors cannot adjust themselves. The balance and movement of the spinal joints can only be evaluated and corrected by a trained professional. Contact our office if you feel you may need a chiropractic adjustment.

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