During the day, we may feel the need to get up, move around and then, crack our neck, back or even knuckles. So what is that popping noise?
Throughout the body joints are covered in a synovial fluid that acts as a lubricant. Inside this fluid, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide are found. When a manipulation is performed, the force, that is applied to the segment, separates the articular surfaces of the joint which creates a reduction of pressure. This reduction of pressure within the joint, creates bubbles, or cavities, from the gases found in the fluid which make the cracking or popping noise that people are familiar with.
But why do we do it?
The simple answer is because it feels good.
Even though doing this may feel good, what a lot of people fail to understand is that there a number of health risks associated with cracking your own neck.
Your neck contains many important and delicate structures such as blood vessels, bones, muscles, ligaments, joints, glands, and more importantly nerves and spinal cords.
When you manipulate your own neck, a lot of force is required to create a cavitation (crack).
At some point, self-manipulation of the cervical spine stops becoming relieving and becomes a habit.