The backbone aka the spine as the name suggests is the PILLAR OF SUPPORT of the human body. It connects the skull with the pelvis and is a vital part of the human skeletal system.
Structure of the human spine.
Let us learn a wee bit about the structure of the human spine before exploring ways of popping it! The backbone or the spine consists of 33 cylindrical bones called vertebrae stacked up in a vertical column and separated by a disc which is a soft gel-like cushion that acts as a lubricant and prevents the spinal bones from rubbing against each other. Interestingly the human spine is made of 5 unique regions namely the cervical region, the thoracic region, the lumbar region, the sacrum, and the coccyx. Only the top 24 bones of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar regions are moveable and the rest in the sacrum and coccyx are immovable.WOW! That is a lot of learning!
With that said, have you ever tried cracking your SPINE? Sounds CRAZY, isn’t it? Well, the next time you try popping your spine, remember how many of those 33 bones can pop and CLUCK as you are relieved from the STRESS! Also, relieve pain and give a sense of mental and emotional satisfaction due to the release of endorphins when you go CLUCK!
Just like the CLUCK when you crack your knuckles and the sound of the Nitrogen bubbles in the fluid of the bone joints, you will hear a similar CLUCK sound when you crack your spine ( either your upper or lower back .)
Upper and lower back.
Your Upper back is the longest portion of the spine, it connects the cervical portion after the neck to the lower back which is the Lumbar region. The portion of the back from between your shoulder blades to the area above your pelvis is your upper back. While the lower back is the portion of the spine that starts from the ribcage is the lower back.
Why does my back hurt? Causes can be umpteen in number.
- Poor posture, either sitting or sleeping.
- Injury to muscle, ligaments, or supporting discs.
- Overuse, an overdose of work out for example at the gym or high intensity work out for longer .than usual hours like a full marathon, full day at the cricket, or football.
- Muscle strain due to long hours of standing, traveling, or sitting.
Solutions, are there any?
You may want to try over-the-counter medicine or simple bending and stretching exercises accompanied by a good amount of rest and plenty of fluids and to help your relief any pain in the spine. Alternatively, if you have to crack your back, you may do so with utmost precaution and care and if required supervision.
Do you feel a need to pop your back?
If yes, here is what you would want to try. First of all the need to pop your upper or lower back may arise either as a habit or just a once in a while need to destress and release those Endorphins, yes it is indeed pleasurable and gives a sense of satisfaction to hear that CLUCK! We guess it’s the sound that does the magic!.
Also, do not pop your back very frequently as you would end up loosening/injuring the muscles and if you do this incorrectly you could get into trouble by even injuring your spine. A spine injury is the last thing you would ever want to take treatment for! Hence try to pop your back on your own only if you are completely sure of your skills /expertise in self cracking your spine or trust a friend enough to do you this favor. You can always make an appointment with A CHIROPRACTOR (A professional who is trained to crack your back among other things!)
How to crack your upper or your lower back?
Here is a guideline on some of the popular/tried and tested ways to crack your back on your own.
- Chair stretch –Helps crack upper back.
- Sit on a chair with your back resting on the back of the chair.
- Put your hands vertically up.
- Bend back slowly and gently.
- Continue to bend back resting on the chair until your back cracks.CLUCK!
- Chair twist- May help pop both upper and lower back.
- After sitting in a chair, reach out to your left side with your ride hand.
- Lock your body to the chair by holding the back of the chair with your left hand.
- Now carefully twist your body towards the left until your back cracks. CLUCK!
- If required repeat the above steps.
- Standing upward position 1 –Helps crack lower back.
- Stand straight and raise both your hands up in the air.
- With your feet locked on the floor move towards your LEFT and then RIGHT and bend your body until you hear that CLUCK!
- REPEAT if required.
- Standing upward position 2 –Helps crack lower back.
- Stand straight and raise both your hands up upwards to heaven.
- With your feet locked, bend your body towards your FRONT and then BACK until you hear the CLUCK sound!
- REPEAT if required.
- Other positions – to cracks your spine.
- SEATING on floor
- SUPINE positions (lying on the floor with your back down) etc
Although, the above methods seem pretty simple, kindly only try by understanding all the steps and at your own risk. Also, It is advisable to seek immediate help if you encounter sudden shooting pain, bulge, or injury during your attempt to crack your spine on your own. Please see a doctor and seek immediate medical help if you pass out or vomit during the process.
Also, a Chiro practitioner is that pair of safe hands and comfort you are looking for when you need to crack your spine, it might just help to just spend that two hours with the Chiro and assure yourselves of safety while cracking your spine in an attempt to de-stress.
Who should not crack their spine?
- Expectant moms -should never try the above methods of self-relief on their own.
- Aged people -Old bones are more fragile and self-cracking your spine may lead to unforeseen emergencies in aged people. Hence, they are best advised to try these relief techniques ONLY under the safe hands of trained professionals like a Chiro practitioner or an Osteopath.
Risks associated with self cracking your spine.
Cracking your back, if done correctly will not pose any risks and if done incorrectly by putting too much pressure or more often than required may lead to severe injuries or emergencies that may require medical intervention.
To sum up, it is best advisable to remember that SPINE is the BACKBONE and like the name suggests is it the LIFE! Handle it with care!