This is not medical advice. If you’ve recently had an accident, go see a doctor.
I first visited a chiropractor when I was 11 years old for my back pain. After my first adjustment I felt better for the rest of the day, and the next day my aching pain gradually returned. After speaking with the chiropractor, he assured me that he could help me if I visited him and paid him regularly.
Chiropractic can be quite expensive after the first visit or two, which can lead people to “crack” their own spines to save money.
After the initial 2 visits to the chiropractor, I began adjusting my own back and neck myself. A dozen or so times throughout the day I’d crack my back and neck because it provided temporary relief.
After the first crack of the day it would get a bit more difficult to get the next crack, so I’d end up pulling harder on my neck and twisting my back as hard as I could to get one more crack. For a long time I was cracking my back and neck a dozen or so times per day.
One day my grandpa said, “When you ‘crack’ your back, you’re teaching your body to tighten up in the same way, then you’re ‘cracking’ your spine in the same spot. What do you think this will do to you in the long run?”
My grandpa was not a doctor, but he made me think.
What if there were a better way?
The primary issue with chiropractic is it never addresses the underlying cause for why your spine is tightening-up in the first place. For most people, back pain can be a lifelong problem, which means that we need a lifelong solution!
The treatment of spine problems with adjustment or spinal manipulation has been a popular method because the effects appear to be immediate. The reality is that the relief is temporary and the chiropractic solution does nothing to address the cause.
Chiropractic relies on complete dependence on the chiropractor - someone outside of yourself - for life! It can be terribly disempowering for the individual suffering from pain and it teaches that “cracking” your spine is the solution to your aches and pains.
What if you could fix your back yourself? What if there were a way to address the underlying cause of your tight back or neck?
You know what the chiropractor never told me to do? Stretch.
To a hammer everything looks like a nail.
The solution to lifelong pain management is in education and empowerment! Teaching someone about the cause of their pain - mainly posture and sedentary lifestyle - can completely empower them because now they know they are in control of their pain!
Most people who experience back pain have more pain after sitting for long periods. If this is you, performing a couch stretch - a stretch addressing the hip flexor muscles - can be an effective solution to relieve back pain without cracking anything.
There are many solutions to joint pain that you can learn through exercise and movement!
If you want to learn more about treating your own back pain, check out “Back Mechanic” by Dr. Stuart Mcgill. In this book he teaches and empowers you to better understand your back pain.
Hope this helps! - Tom