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Cracking Your Neck Does Not Cause Arthritis; Here’s Why

Feb 13, 2019

When you find yourself with tension in your neck, you may try to twist it to alleviate the discomfort. Doing this may produce a cracking sound that comes off as alarming or concerning. Some may say that by doing that to your neck you could be causing your neck to develop arthritis but the truth is, cracking your neck is actually harmless.

Proof That Cracking Your Neck Is Not Harmful

Studies have shown that no damage is caused when cracking your neck to relieve tension or cracking strictly out of habit. The noise that is heard is gas bubbles that form and that popping noise is a result of the fluid between the synovial joints.

Medical literature has shown that cracking of the fingers does not lead to arthritis so with numerous studies on this topic it has been determined that neck cracking does not cause harm either.

The actual cause

Neck arthritis or cervical osteoarthritis is caused by wearing down of the cartilage that surrounds the joints in the neck. Like other forms of arthritis, when the cartilage wears down the bones begin to grind on one another and this results in pain in the neck.

There are many factors that can contribute to arthritis in the neck, such as an injury, genetics or even a job in which is physically demanding.

When cracking causes concern

Although cracking is not a cause of neck arthritis, pay close attention if the cracking does cause pain and then reach out to your physician or one of our Atlanta chiropractors for a consult. Also, if your neck begins cracking after an injury such as an accident, consult your physician immediately. This cracking sound could be a result of a structural change resulting from the injury.

Muscle strains can result from overstretching and extending so as stated before, cracking is not harmful but contorting your neck can cause damage. If you are unsure about the strain your neck has endured or would like to consult a chiropractor about the best way to stretch your neck, contact AICA Chiropractors today at (404) 889-8828!


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