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Are you wondering if you’re doing more harm than good when you crack your back? If so, you’re not alone. Thousands, if not millions, of people routinely ask themselves or their health care providers the same question. There’s just something about cracking your back that feels so good but also so wrong. In today’s post, we’ll give you all the information you need to know about exactly what happens when you crack your back. To start things off, let’s go over some related anatomy.

Spine Anatomy

The spine is divided into cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), and lumbar (lower back) regions. Each region is composed of uniquely shaped bones known as vertebrae. There are a total of twenty-four vertebrae in the mentioned regions. The breakdown of vertebrae per region is as follows:

  • 7 cervical
  • 12 thoracic
  • 5 lumbar

An anatomical spine is one in which the vertebrae of each region perfectly align to form a channel that allows the spinal cord to pass from the brain to the lower back. This channel is called the spinal canal. In addition to forming the spinal canal, the vertebrae have the important job of facilitating movement by serving as the sites for ligament and tendon attachments. The joints that are responsible for moving the spine are called the facet joints.

Facet Joint Anatomy

The facet joints are formed by the joining of adjacent vertebrae. Like all joints of the body, the facet joints consist of two bony surfaces covered in cartilage facing one another. A fluid-filled capsule surrounds each facet joint. A healthy facet joint is one that moves freely and smoothly. An unhealthy facet joint is one in which the bone, cartilage, or capsule is diseased or damaged.

Cracking Your Back

When you crack your back, you’re cracking your facet joints. The process that causes the “cracking” noise is really not that complicated.

The fluid found in the capsule that surrounds facet joints contains nitrogen and carbon dioxide gases. When you twist, turn, or maneuver your back in such a manner that stresses the facet joints, pressure is placed on the fluid and the gases inside it escape and a “crack” is heard.

Cracking your back can temporarily relieve tension and feel good; however, it is not a reliable short or long-term treatment option for back pain. Cracking your back every once and a while will not cause damage. Frequently cracking your back or manipulating your spine can lead to back problems. If you feel the need to constantly crack your back, you probably have an underlying problem with your spine. Some frequently seen problems include the following:

  • Poor posture
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ligament sprains
  • Tendon strains

These and other problems are best diagnosed and treated by an orthopedic spine specialist. Once a formal diagnosis is made, an effective treatment plan can be prescribed and the urge to constantly crack your back will go away.

Conclusion

The main thing to look out for when cracking your back is the frequency in which you do it. Cracking your back on a daily basis should be avoided. If you’re in pain that won’t go away until you crack your back, you should make an appointment with an orthopedic spine specialist.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.

The winter and holiday season is one of the most joyous ones. Enjoying time with family, friends, and loved ones is something everyone loves. To make the most of your winter and holiday season by staying safe, follow the easy instructions presented in this post.

Preparing Your Home

Winter is the season where people spend the most amount of time in their homes. It makes sense that you want to make sure your home is ready for cold temperatures and possibly snow before the changing of the seasons. Some of the most important things you can do to protect your home and ensure your comfort and safety include the following:

  • Insulate your water lines
  • Clean your gutters and roof
  • Check your gutters and roof for holes and/or leaks
  • Have your heating system professionally inspected and serviced
  • Clean your fireplace and chimney
  • Make sure your smoke detectors have new batteries and are working properly

If you can not perform any of these on your own, it is recommended that you get a professional to help you rather than put yourself and home and risk.

Preparing Yourself

Many people go into winter completely unprepared. They wait for the first cold front to hit before making winter preparations. More often than not, this approach leads to people getting sick or being very uncomfortable. It is recommended that you get all of your winter clothes and outdoor gear ready by the first week of November. Also, make sure you have the following medications/items:

  • Throat lozenges
  • Decongestants
  • Chapstick
  • Warm blankets
  • Hand and feet warmers

Taking this type of approach will ensure that you are completely ready should you start to feel a bit sick, cold, or uncomfortable.

Staying Safe

Moving around during winter can be more dangerous than it is in other months. To travel safely this winter, it is recommended that you take the following precautions:

  • Check the steps and sidewalks around your house for ice patches that can cause a slip or fall
  • Sprinkle salt, sand, or cat litter over ice patches and areas that you think might be dangerous
  • Give yourself more time to do things and slow down your routine
  • Always bring a cellphone with you when you leave your house
  • Have an emergency kit in your home and car
  • Do not travel when the weather is bad
  • Always let people know where you are going

In the winter months, it is recommended that you try to travel with another person rather than alone. This ensures complete safety.

Conclusion

The only effective approach to winter safety is a holistic one. By preparing your home and yourself, you can look forward to the winter season with excitement rather than worry. Taking the necessary precautions to ensure you remain safe is easy when you know what to do. If you have any questions or need any additional help, please do not hesitate to contact our office.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.