The Risks and Dangers of Self Chiropractic Neck Adjustments

Chiropractic care is a health profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches. However, when these adjustments are performed without professional guidance, they can lead to serious health issues. This is particularly true for self chiropractic neck adjustments, also known as self neck adjustments or cracking your neck at home.

Self Chiropractic neck

Self chiropractic neck adjustments can pose several risks and dangers. While it might provide temporary relief, it can lead to serious health issues if not done correctly. The urge to crack your neck or adjust it yourself is often driven by discomfort or a feeling of pressure in the neck area. However, the risks associated with self-adjustment far outweigh the temporary relief it may provide.

One of the most significant risks of self-adjusting your neck is the potential for serious injury. When you self-adjust, you’re likely only moving the joints adjacent to the problematic one, not addressing the root cause of your pain. Moreover, the forceful motion of cracking your neck can potentially puncture the blood vessels in your neck, leading to dangerous blood clotting and restricted blood flow to the brain.

Another risk associated with self chiropractic neck adjustments is the possibility of stroke. Rigorous cervical manipulation could cause arterial dissection in people who are predisposed to it, leading to ischemic stroke. Although the risk is low, it’s still present and should be taken into consideration.

Continuously self-adjusting without addressing the root cause can lead to chronic issues and worsen the original problem. It can promote hypermobility, stretching the ligaments and compromising stability. This can lead to spinal damage and long-term health issues.

Over Manipulation Syndrome (OMS) is another condition that can result from self chiropractic neck adjustments. This condition is characterized by chronic pain of the joints or vertebrae from spinal instability or hypermobility due to ligament damage.

Finally, while self-adjustments may provide temporary relief, they often do not address the underlying problem and might even make it worse. The relief comes from the release of natural painkillers called endorphins, which only work on a short-term basis, lasting 15 to 20 minutes at most.

Instead of self-adjusting, it’s recommended to seek professional help when dealing with severe physical pain. Trained and experienced chiropractors can successfully manipulate your neck and spinal joints, ensuring that your spine remains healthy and pain-free. They can also provide long-lasting relief by restoring proper alignment and addressing the root cause of the problem.

If you feel the urge to self-adjust, consider gentle stretching exercises instead. These can help alleviate discomfort and are a safer alternative to self-adjustment.

While self chiropractic neck adjustments might provide temporary relief, they pose several risks and dangers, including potential for serious injury, risk of stroke, spinal damage, and the development of Over Manipulation Syndrome. It’s always best to seek professional help when dealing with severe physical pain.