Yoga and Pilates


  • Community Lead

    We all know that joint cracking leads to joint liagments and tendons which will tense up the more often, the more often you do crack the associated joint. This stiffness and tension is often described as a pressure feeling and leads to more and more popping. Which in turns leads to more and more stiffness and so on.

    This cause of Jointcracktitis labeled Hypermobile Joints / Lax liagments does suggest strengthening your joint liagments as treatment.

    At the same time relaxation exercises such as yoga and pilates seem to be great means to ease joint liagments / tendon tension so you won't have to crack.

    Many testomonials for this idea can be found on ask.metafilter.com.
    @purephase:

    Through stretching and exercise it's possible that you can replace the neck-cracking habit with something that is not only much safer, it might help in getting over the compulsion and you'll get some exercise at the same time. It's a common treatment for these types of problems (a family member of mine is a physiotherapist and has dealt with patients that have similar problems).

    @occhiblu:

    I feel like all I do on this site is recommend yoga, but…

    If you live in a big enough city that you can find a well-trained, certified yoga teacher who has worked with patients with spine problems (that is, actually knows anatomy and alignment), he or she might be able to help. I noticed that the various popping I used to do in my shoulder and ankles, which felt "necessary" because of the pressure building up, just stopped once I started practicing with good teachers. (And I wasn't even targeting that specifically.)

    @iurodivii:

    I'd like to second the Yoga suggestion. I definitely work hunched over a desk all day. After stretching for 5 or 10 minute bursts thruout the day, I find that not only am i alleviating desires to crack and pop my skeleton back into 'place' ( I mean how close, really, can you adjust your body to where it belongs?), but I find myself feeling genuinely better, instead of just satiating a habit. Any set of simple stretches incorporating the whole body should go a long way to alleviate pent-up stress (both physical and mental). But Yoga is all about the spine. So where better to start? Now fingers, thats another matter entirely. Anyone know any good finger asanas?

    @peewee:

    My name is Peewee, and I'm a recovering neck-cracker.

    I had the same experiences that you describe, and it went on and on for about 15 years. Then, over the last year or so, it just wouldn't crack anymore. It still feels good to stretch it in a similar fashion, but the cracking and tingling in my fingers is gone.

    I began doing yoga and pilates 2 years ago…...maybe that "fixed" it? Email me if you want to talk about it.

    @semmi:

    I would think that a good physical therapist could set you up with some exercises that would stretch and strengthen the appropriate muscles to relieve you of the need to crack your neck.

    @Vervain:

    As a former neck-cracker (and chiropractic patient), I strongly advise you to look into yoga and/or pilates in the long-term. Yoga to stretch out the muscles in the neck/shoulder area, and pilates to help retrain your body–you'd be surprised at how much tension your upper body can generate in order to compensate for things going haywire elsewhere.

    But for now, get yourself to an osteopath, or a good physical therapist. Craniosacral therapy may also help you. Keep a mild muscle relaxant on hand for emergencies, and make sure your surroundings are as ergonomically correct as possible. Do you clench your teeth when you sleep? If so, get a night guard that keeps your back teeth from touching (which prevents the very strong muscles on the sides of your skull from tensing all night).

    One last thing: if you must crack, DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS. Instead, pull your shoulder blades down as far as you can, then slowly tilt your head so that you look like you're listening to your shoulder. You may get some cracking, but more importantly, you'll stretch those muscles out.

    @readteam:

    I used to do this a lot as well. Especially at one point while I was growing (11-14 years old?). It's probably the cause of my frequent headaches. I quit after a chiropractor told me that it was very bad (that was when I was 18 or so).

    I learned to just relax my neck. To stop being so tense there all the time. I became more conscious of my neck area, and realized that I had a lot of tension there. When I noticed it and relaxed, I felt a lot better. I didn't feel a need to crack anymore.

    As for actual, proper quitting, I just stopped doing it cold turkey. Just ignore any continuing urges. If you feel that you "have to" crack your neck, just stop, relax your neck, and move on. No drugs (Jesus, man, anti-depressants? That's f* * * * d up advice), just relax the area and move on past the urge.

    I also recommend stretching a lot. Those yoga recommenders have the right idea. I remember that stretching helped remove the urges.

    I haven't cracked my neck in about 2 years. Before then it was like another 2 years.

    You can give it up. You'll eventually get to a point where you'll laugh about having had to deal with this. Good luck!


  • Community Lead

    Found helpful tips at Knuckle Cracking 101: for Therapists and Clients:

    WebMD suggests trying the following hand, wrist and finger exercises for increasing flexibility and strength:

    1. Rotating your wrist up, down, and from side to side.
    2. Stretching your fingers far apart, then relaxing them, then stretching them again.
    3. Squeezing a rubber ball.
    4. Wrist curls and extensions with a light weight.

    […]

    The cracking of finger and hand joints can be deliberate or unintentional. In either case, maintaining flexibility in the hand is governed by the health of its muscles, tendons and ligaments. Stressing the joint capsule may result in an audibly satisfying pop, but the long- term results show potential for tissue damage. If you or someone you know is a habitual cracker, or experiences inadvertent snapping with hand activity, periodic finger bends, stretches and exercises are the best preventative measure for maintaining hand health.

    .

    Here they were quoting www.webmd.com, Exercises for flexibility and strength in your hand, wrist and arm, 2/4/05.

    We should collect more of these exercises. :D I'm currently especially interested on streching exercises for your neck, shoulders, ankles and toes. :roll:

    Massaging seems to help with neck, shoulders and ankles. Looking up and down helps with neck too. Streching toes apart helps. Can't think of any useful ankle exercise. Any ideas?



  • To the person who listened to the chiropractor - that was a silly mistake - they are bad not what you were doing.

    But i am 14 and i have just read it and i will try and do what you did, i already get some headaches sometimes so thanks.



  • Interesting article quotes thanks 8)



  • This is ALL good but also controversial for trying to STOP cracking
    Through dedicated yoga practice, I now crack all/most joints
    That is not the goal, but, for me as a cracker, joint mobilization by stretching(which is a fundamental part of yoga practice) creates Cracks. Passively.
    In yoga cla* * * s some people crack and some don't
    I've seen peolpe way more flexible than me NOT crack at all!
    But I can not practice without lots of cracks, pops, booms.
    They all feel great, normal and natural. I know when they are coming. And they create a feeling of release.

    yoga is def not just 'all about the spine' as mentioned above
    it's all about the Body, mind, and spirit in union
    the spine being part of the body, is of course critical, but so is everything else.
    Yoga will give you stretches that promote flexibility and ROM in turn facilitating cracks(for crackers).
    If you LOVE cracking. Yoga is for you.
    Heck if you enjoy health and exercise yoga is for you.

    But what I'm really saying here involves common sense.
    If you practice yoga, or anything else involving intense stretching like Martial arts or gymnastics, with dedication, you will improve your flexibility /ROM .which if you crack, will INCREASE your ability to crack, not STOP it. You may even start cracking new joints as the ligaments and muscles become more flexible.

    :idea:



  • Yoga sounds interesting 8)



  • Yeh but limited at first.



  • Limited a first ? not sure I understand.
    of course you don't start karate cla* s with a black belt right?
    Just because you won't be the next Michael Jordan doesn't mean you don't exercise.
    The journey of a thousand miles starts with 1 step Grasshopper.



  • yeah but i'd rather be good at something than rubbish at it tbh 8)



  • I second Mastercracker. I've been doing yoga off and on for seven years, and the cracking definitely increases when I do it more often (more frequent, more joints). Yoga increases cracking, at least for me. But it feels freakin good!

    The benefits of yoga are many… I highly recommend it to everyone here. But everyone has their own priorities and goals, and I'd say if you are trying to NOT crack, then don't get your hopes up with thinking yoga is the cure...quite the opposite in my experience.

    If you want to be more aware of and in tune with your body, and if you like the idea of learning to accept and embrace it as it is, then by all means go to yoga.

    Namaste!



  • Interesting 1st post!
    Welcome to the board kyle :)



  • @MasterCracker:

    Limited a first ? not sure I understand.
    of course you don't start karate cla* s with a black belt right?
    Just because you won't be the next Michael Jordan doesn't mean you don't exercise.
    The journey of a thousand miles starts with 1 step Grasshopper.

    What film is grasshopper from and you could be black belt lol.

    Michael Jackson isn't an amazing athlete now.



  • can't remember what movie or tv series 'grasshopper' is from

    AND

    As far as I know Michael JACKSON never was an athlete Blaze.
    All though he had moves.
    Then he started moving in on little boys n now no one cares about that perv.

    Yoga is for Crackers
    The stretching part anyway.



  • @MasterCracker:

    can't remember what movie or tv series 'grasshopper' is from

    AND

    As far as I know Michael JACKSON never was an athlete Blaze.
    All though he had moves.
    Then he started moving in on little boys n now no one cares about that perv.

    Yoga is for Crackers
    The stretching part anyway.

    i'd rather do some sort of faster yoga



  • there are literally dozens of styles/schools
    I've been practicing for 8 years and still am learning new styles like
    'acroyoga'
    If you want fast instead of slow it already exists
    check into: hatha vinyasa yoga, ashtanga yoga, and especially Jivamuktia yoga.

    jivamukti yoga is like yoga boot camp
    it's hard to keep up
    you have to be very strong and have endurance
    and you will be pushed to the limits of your strength and willpower
    if you take a cla* s

    No walk in the park there homeboy,
    Bod8 i'd be surprised if you could keep up in a jivamukti cla* s
    it would probably break you :P
    I've only tried it once or twice
    and it almost broke me
    but I' looking forward to the next one

    ps the jivamukti style for me did not facilitate cracking. it moved to fast.
    it was great, but something slower(but prob still faster than your thinking) like vinyasa instigates Lots of cracking , at least for crackers.



  • Ok i mean Michael Jordan - he is past his prime after Chicago Bulls…then went to Washington Wizards to help out.

    Yoga though - if you are like the only 14-18 year old with like 30 year old women - a lil weird?



  • its all in your head Blaze
    where do you get the idea that it's just 30yr old women?
    yoga is for all ages
    find a teen yoga cla* s they exist
    go to a gym(although thats less traditional yoga, and more like areobics)
    there are always younger people in those cla* * * s
    wait til your 30 , i don't care
    practice at home w dvd or tv instruction
    I do all the time
    You need a teacher to help in the beginning
    to get your postures straight

    BLAZE IS AFRAID OF 30YR OLD WOMEN :P
    They don't bite. At least not in class.
    Blaze when you see a 30 yr old woman coming down the street do you drop your books and run. LoL
    I bet you do.



  • Ok one - i don't walk down the streets holding books - more hands in pockets, ipod on etc. Or cycling about no hands and skidding.

    2: Im not scared - just i don't see many advertisements for teen yoga classes.

    3: The gym is closest and most accessible for me where i play squash - #1 in youth league 8)



  • I'm not here to push Yoga
    I'm just saying I now use yoga stretches to crack as well as stretch
    and if you like cracking half as much as me yoga can teach you the best and safest ways to crack.
    Thanks for backing me up Kyle
    I knew I couldn't be the only one
    Kyle's wright "feels Great"
    thats the bottom line

    BLAZE IS SCARED OF 30yr OLD Women :cry:



  • Ok MC - let's go with that.

    Thanks for the biting thing.

    Cya



  • so sensitive
    My apologies
    Blaze when i was 14 i was in Love with 30yr old women
    it's ok your not
    but you shouldn't let that stop you from learning safe ways to crack and stretch


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