Results of over 10 years of popping
I have been cracking my joints for over 10 years now, since I was 16 years old and I can report that I have serious problems that I am sure are related to the cracking. I began by cracking my neck with a simple twist from side to side but that eventually was not enough and I began to feel the need to jolt my neck until my ear touched my shoulder because this gave a stronger crack that went all the way up the side of my neck.
But by doing this I was agitating my spinal area because I was continually jolting my head from side to side (I pop various times each hour every day). So eventually I started to feel the need to pop my back because I felt a tightness throughout my spinal area. So I learned how to pop my middle back and then the entire side areas of my back by either twisting my body around or by tensing up and jolting my body from side to side. I also pop my finger, hands, elbows, and ankles. What I have noticed is that the jointcracking is really a cycle of dependancy. I feel tightness and pressure and so I crack my joints. But this cracking causes more pressure to build up and so I have to crack again.
I have tried stopping and have made it up to two months but eventually the pressure and the desire to crack is simply overwhelming and I have no choice but to crack. But after stopping it seems that when I start again the pressure is worse and the need to pop is greater. My body seems to never be satisfied with the cracking and it is always drawing me to new techniques and new joints to crack. I believe that I can crack nearly every joint in my upper body with at least one technique for I have surely twisted, strained and jolted by body in every possible direction.
But I must end with a warning. All this cracking has caused me serious problems. I constantly have headaches and I wake up in the morning very sore and stiff. X-rays show that I have serious spinal deteriation and that I have three bulging disks in the three different areas of my spine (I may have caused these bulging disks from my continual jolting of my spine, sort of like whiplash from a serious jolt in a car accident). The worst so far are the migraine headaches I have been getting. My head feels up with pressure and I getting pointed pain behind my eye which causes great light sensitivity. During one of these episodes I get sensitivity to sound, smell and movement and sort of feel like I am motion sick (I think this is due to my equilibrium being agitated from my constant jolting of my head, sort of like when you get a headache from trying to shake water out of your ears). This episodes make my stomach very upset because I feel dizzy and there is nothing I can do but lie down and take a pain medication. I am constantly on pain killers and have spent thousands of dollars on chiropractors, spine doctors, and emergency room visits from muscle spasms that have been caused by my spine cracking. Then when I lay down to sleep I toss and turn for hours because my back hurts so much and I am usually not able to get to sleep until I pull off a major spinal crack that is hard to get at times.
I just wanted to share my experiences with you. Some people may have no problem cracking thier joints but I know I have major problems from it. For those who do not have problems I wonder if they crack as constantly as I do, if they crack as many joints as I do, and if they manipulate their spine as bad as I do. If you are just starting I would advise you to stop before it becomes a terrible habbit that your body is dependant on like some bad drug habbit that you know is bad for you but you just can't stop.
I say be careful, do not do any unnatural movements. The only thing unnatural I ever do is bend my wrist, up to 160 degrees and it doesn't hurt. But I'll make sure not to do anything extreme. Thanks for warning.
That sounds really scary. I'm sorry you're having such a bad time. I've been cracking a little longer than you, and I don't have any pain. Sometimes my back feels stiff, but I don't know if that's related to cracking or not. A good stretch or crack makes me feel better. If I try to not crack I feel that I will go crazy. However, that's my only really uncontrollable habit. I don't wash my hands 20x a day or have any other types of rituals. Still, I'm pretty sure it's an OCD type thing. I love the crack sound. Popping bubble wrap is also very satisfying to the part of me that likes that sound.
WoW man sorry to hear your suffering.
Bulging discs equal pain.
They are often caused by heavy lifting and over use or straight up accident/injury. You must really be pushing yourself to have done that manually, if in fact you did.
DUDE Why are you 'JOLTING' yourself so much if it's causing pain?
With slow stretching you can crack more effectively, more joints, and it feels BETTER and is enjoyed LONGER, with less if ANY risk of injury let alone bulging discs. And it is Healthy/Advantageous for your joints to keep them mobilized and strong as we age.
Here's an example: Spinal "crack" vs spinal twist
So I've been cracking/stretching my back/spine many ways for many years (20+)
You describe your cracking techinque as 'jolting'
So I have an idea what your up to. And it makes LOGICAL sense that you are feeling strain if you are forcing your tight muscles past their normal Range of Motion(ROM) to get cracks. doesn't it?
I 'm sure all of us have used a chair at some point to crack our spines
You sit upright w a tall spine and rotate to the L + R using the back of the chair to assist you w the STRETCH that gets the cracks.
Now there are 2 ways of doing this and many in between, But
1 would be to use the grip on the back of the chair to quickly JOLT/FORCE a twist with a quick push. (often past your normal ROM).
2 would be to slowly twist and hold the twist maybe even for a few breaths while enjoying the "buzz" of a spinal twist.
When doing number 2 try exhaling as much as possible when twisting. This will increase the ROM/distance of the stretch safely.
That can instigate more cracks.
TAKE YOUR TIME. When you think your going slow go SLOWER.
Feel your joints and focus on them. Don't push if it hurts. (duh)
Big inhale while holding the twist, big exhale and twist even further.
This is GREAT for your spine. Make sure to do both sides
Spine mobilization. Keep it flexible. When muscles are tight, thats when they strain. If they are not flexible and you JOLT them to get cracks, then it would seem you would put yourself at risk for Pain at the least.
I find it controversial that the bulging disks are a result of cracking alone, that would take a lot of force, but I'm not an expert.
Do you play sports or do anything else that may have caused that?
Also, I probably crack MORE than you do.
Definitely safer techniques.
Its is TOTALY NATURAL to twist your spine several times a day.
It's asking for it isn't it?
Stretching keeps your joints healthy, flexible and strong. compared to stagnant, stiff , and weak.
If you are just starting cracking I strongly advise you TO DO SO. SAFELY.
Learn how to laterally flex and rotate your neck correctly. And slowly.
Don't Jolt your neck or body around to get cracks. Be kind to your body.
Learn how to stretch safely to crack.
Slower stretching = safer , more enjoyable cracking, while improving ROM and resistance to joint injury.
This is exercise people.
And it's wonderful.
Think of all the amazing possibilities.
exercise w your partner, and stretch/crack each other
There are infinite ways to stretch and crack.
I find your input interesting ic2705
thanks and good luck with the pain,
Massage therapy is heaven on earth for back pain.
Poppoppop, bending your wrist like that is totally natural.
jPad….bubble wrap.....that's f'n hysterical.
I'm in the exact same situation, nutrition has been the most effective remedy for my problems. The most noticeable factors are; Calcium, phosphorous, fructose, protein and testosterone. If you want, try a diet that supplies 1 - 2g of calcium and phosphorous, 3 servings of fruit, and i guess beef is an effective source of testosterone approx. 200 - 400g depending on your body weight. However working out is essential to maintain bone structure, muscle mass and in my opinion a more effective source of testosterone. On days when you do weight training sleep slightly upright, so the kidneys are at a 45 degree angle or more, along with the adrenal gland, this helps to maintain a steady level of testosterone production throughout the night rather than having spikes. Try it out if you want, this is what has worked for me. Anyway you guys have probably all cracked more than I have, I just haven't seen a lot of messages about diets and workouts, that sort of stuff.
so we got x-rays, yoga, wrist popping, stretching, hand washing, popping bubble wrap and pain killers. Well my dad is really old and he doesn't crack but he likes those seat beads.
by the way if your serious, you can try what I said above.
If it doesn't make sense to you I can explain it better.
Or if you don't care then I'm sorry for wasting your time.
10 years of cracking thats h**l.
it has all the information you need for maintaining a healthy diet.
It's based on the RDI's that the USDA came up with on the internet about 12 years ago.
its cool you can see the molecular makeup of any food of your choice.
They have like over 10000 foods listed and its free.