“IS IT OKAY TO ‘POP’ MY OWN BACK?!”
I find that more often than not, patients are surprised when I say “yes and no.”
YES – As long as you are NOT forcing things, simple “pops” are often times just tiny gas bubbles being released from your joints. This is relieving pressure, increasing range of motion and sending signals to your brain to inhibit pain. To reiterate, the key here is NOT forcing anything. You probably don’t know the proper limits or ranges of motion for all of your joints so just be careful.
NO – This one is the obvious answer and what most people expect me to say. When you “pop” your own back, you aren’t necessarily improving anything. In fact, you might be making the issue worse causing hypermobility (too much motion) in your joints. Typically, you are moving joints that are already mobile segments that are above and below the restricted joint. This will still send signals to your brain to inhibit pain so you think, “I got it!” when in reality, the joint segment that is restricted hasn’t had any range of motion restored to it at all.
The best thing that you can do if you feel like you are constantly dealing with the same issues is get assessed by a healthcare provider that deals with proper movement patterns of the human body. Chiropractors, physical therapists, strength coaches, personal trainers and athletic trainers should all be equipped with the tools to help you in-person and at home. After that, it’s more than likely taking a look at your daily habits/routines that are causing pain/dysfunction over time.
Bonus point: “Popping” your joints (like your fingers) does NOT lead to arthritis. Arthritis simply means “joint inflammation.”
Please, if you have any questions, feel free to talk to me at our next appointment, call our office at 317-595-9620 or reach out via Instagram or Facebook @DrJordanBurns.
Thank you for allowing me to be your chiropractor and I look forward to helping you along your path to a healthier life.
Yours in health,