Why Does My Spine Crack So Much
Do you often wonder in agony why your spine cracks so much? If this issue gives you sleepless nights and unproductive days, you are in the right place. There are several possible reasons why your back bones crack so much. This article can even help you understand why your lower back cracks so much.
Structure of the spine
To get a deeper understanding of “Why does my spine crack so much”, you need to understand the anatomy of your spine. The spine consists of:
- Spinal cord: It is a long thin bundle consisting of nerve fibres connecting the brain with the nerves of the entire body.
- Meninges: This protective membrane around the brain and spine contains cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and absorbs any shock.
- Spinal column: It is made of 33 bones called the vertebrae. They are flexible, allowing easy movement.
If you want more information about the spinal structure, consult your orthopaedic doctor. They will not only help you prevent spinal injuries but also treat them effectively.
What happens when your lower back cracks so much?
Here are the common theories explaining why your spine cracks so much:
- Theory 1: Synovial fluid pressure
A famous theory states that adjusting the bones and joints results in a gas release. Cracking the back or doing any movement stitches the capsules on the exterior side of the vertebrae around joints called facets joints. Further on stretching the capsules, the synovial joints within it get more space to move around. Thereby, it releases the pressure on the back joints and muscles, allowing movement of the facet joints.
On releasing this pressure, the synovial fluid changes to gaseous form and makes your back bones crack so much with the popping and snapping sound. The change of the synovial fluid from liquid to gas is called boiling or cavitation.
- Theory 2: Other gases
The second theory is also based on and related to gas. It is usually believed that common gases like nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen accumulate in the joints with time. They are, furthermore, in cases where the joint placement is improper, like slouching, hunching or sitting for long durations. The gas is then released when you move around or stretch your joints in a particular manner resulting in your back cracking so much.
Why do we feel good about cracking our backs?
The reason to feel good on stretching after your lower back crack so much is the release of all the existing pressure. It also releases endorphins in the region. Endorphins are released from the pituitary gland, which controls the pain felt in a region. It also makes the process of cracking a bone to be a more satisfying experience. In a study, it was shown that the sound of bone cracking has a relieving impact on our brains.
What are the risks associated with it?
Before trying to stretch your back muscles on your own to release the tension or under the supervision of a trained professional, it should not cause sharp pain at any point in time.
Here are some possible risks if you stretch incorrectly and your back crack so much:
- It can pinch a nerve in the spinal cord. It can cause extreme pain and limit your motion.
- It can result in strain on the muscle or even tear it. It can affect the neck, hip or any other muscles. It becomes difficult even to move around, and in rare cases, surgery is required.
- It can result in permanently stretched back ligaments called perpetual instability. Thus, if your spine cracks so much now, you are at higher risk of osteoarthritis at an older age.
- It can also cause injury to the blood vessels. It can result in severe complications like strokes, aneurysms, and brain injuries. Thus, even if you feel your back cracking so much, do not stretch on your own.
The stretching can be a little uncomfortable initially if you are not used to it or have stretched more than you should. However, if you feel extreme pain in your spinal cord at any moment, immediately stop it.
How to safely crack and release the pain?
The best way to safely crack the back is by stretching the muscles in a controlled manner in the presence of a trained professional. Practising yoga or pilates under professional guidance is helpful. Some light back exercises can also help make a quick adjustment.