I just joined so I could post this in reply to the headache thread but I'll post it again in hopes someone will read it
My dad started cracking my fingers & toes about the age of 9, then I started my back, wrists etc about 12 and neck at 14, getting progressively worse and more reliant on it until i was cracking my neck about 20+ times per day (each time in like 4 directions) and waking up in the night to crack my back.
Ive been seeing a physio for years for bad neck and back pain, done everything imaginable to help it (strengthening exercises/stretches, posture, new pillows, new desk chair, exercise). The only thing I didn't try was quitting cracking.
I started developing migraines (well, never diagnosed but that's what they felt like). Extreme pain radiating up from my neck into my skull and I would even feel nauseous. The only thing that would help was strong painkillers & sleep and sometimes they would still be there after sleeping through the night.
At 22 I finally decided to quit cracking in case it was the cause of all my problems and even if not, it is very antisocial behavior.
After 2 weeks I am so glad to say it is EASY to not do it anymore! I feel stronger and less stiff than I have in about 9 years! I never want to do it again- I don't even get tempted.
The first 4 days were hard, i was constantly checking myself, and I got a migraine after 3 days of quitting. I have had 3 accidental ones (looking over my shoulder etc) but that is ok.
I strongly recommend everyone to quit! Cracking might feel satisfying at the time but it is a downward spiral and you will feel better than ever ! Try it
If you read all of that well done!
And I am on the physio side of the physio vs chiropractor debate but this article was still very interesting;