After a long and stressful day, the muscles throughout your body may feel tense. Very often, that strain can settle in your neck muscles, especially if you work at a job that requires you to look at a computer all day.
Your first instinct to find a fix for this tense neck may be to try adjusting it on your own. In fact, adjusting your own neck may be second nature to you.
Nonetheless, there’s information about how to adjust your own neck before attempting to do so. After all, the neck is a delicate part of your body and should be dealt with accordingly.
To help you understand more about adjusting your neck, we’ve put together some necessary information on how to adjust your own neck and why you shouldn’t do it alone.
How to Adjust Your Own Neck
Why Adjusting Your Own Neck Feels Good—But Isn’t
One of the common reasons that many of us may start as well as continue to adjust our necks is the sound we hear when we do it. In other words, many people associate the feeling of relief with the sound they hear when adjusting any given joint.
For example, an interview study of various chiropractic patients shows that many of them associated the sound they sometimes hear in adjustments as a sign the adjustment was successful.
However, these patients also shared that they didn’t see an adjustment as unsuccessful just because they didn’t hear any popping noises. Typically, this was due to their past experiences with a good chiropractor.
All in all, it is common for us to hear a noise when moving a joint and feel relief at that sound. An example of this is when people crack their knuckles.
While cracking your knuckles has been proven not to cause arthritis or other serious conditions, the same is not true for your neck.
One major issue that comes with repeatedly adjusting your own neck is hyper-mobility. Essentially, a joint that has become hyper-mobile is more likely to end up injured or even misaligned. A misaligned neck spells trouble for the rest of your body.
What Happens When You Adjust Your Neck?
Now that you know a bit more about why adjusting your neck, you may be curious about the sound you hear.
Harvard researchers found that the satisfying pop you hear is harmless and normal.
There is a pocket of fluid in your joints called synovial fluid. This fluid exists between your joints to help you move without any friction between the bones that make up a joint. The popping noise is caused by air bubbles bursting.
While this noise is normal, it is still something to take note of, especially in joints outside of your knuckles. Like we discussed earlier, joints making noises is not always the sign of a job well done when adjusting joints.
Alternatives to Adjusting Your Neck at Home
Now that you know the risks of adjusting your neck at home, it’s time to learn about the safer alternatives you can try!
To start, try stretching your neck slowly, moving it from side to side and around in circles.
Often, we are not aware that we are holding our shoulder or neck stiffly, causing tension and pain. Actively stretching your neck is a safe alternative to adjusting your own neck.
Another alternative to consider is your sleeping arrangement. How many pillows do you sleep on, for example? If the way you sleep has your neck at odd angles, this could be irritating your neck and causing pain.
How to Adjust Your Own Neck: The Right Way!
Consequently, those who regularly self adjust, or crack, their necks do not find long-term relief. Self-adjustments do not fix the underlying issues that cause pain and discomfort.
It’s important to fix the underlying issue early to decrease the chance of lasting damage to the joints or spine—like degenerative disk disease and arthritis.
At chiropractic offices like Begin Within Family Wellness, you can meet with an experienced chiropractor to fully understand what is causing your pain and discomfort.
Then, your chiropractor will craft a personalized approach designed so that you can receive the specific neck and back pain treatment that you need.
Plus, you can also receive a complimentary consultation by calling Begin Within’s office at (480) 699-3086 today! With this first consultation, you can start on your path towards healthier living with the care you need.