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How To Pop Your Lower Back

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How to SAFELY Crack Your Lower Back

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Be Diligent And Get Rid Of The Pain

Youve got all the information youll need to fix that lower back pain right above the tailbone. Follow each step consistently, and perform the movements exactly as Ive shown them. If youre careless, youll risk worsening the pain and lengthening your recovery time.

If youre diligent about following this pain-relief routine, youll not only get rid of that back pain, but youll enjoy the benefits of increased hip mobility and a powerfully developed core.


Cracking Your Own Back

  • 1Use a chair to crack your back. If you need to crack your back quickly at work or school, you can do so while seated. This works best if you are sitting in a chair with a short back. While seated, slide your butt toward the front edge of the chair. Then, lean back until your back is touching the back of the chair.
  • Place your palms on your forehead and exhale slowly.
  • This will cause your head and shoulders to sink down behind the chair.
  • Eventually, you should hear a crack.
  • Do not lean back past the point where it feels uncomfortable to you. If it hurts or feels uncomfortable, then stop.
  • 2Lie on the floor. If you’re struggling to crack your back while seated or standing, you can try doing it while lying on the floor. However, this exercise will require some more range of motion. You need to be able to grab your toes.
  • Do not attempt this exercise if it is painful for you to reach your feet. If you feel pain or discomfort when you attempt the stretch, then stop immediately.
  • Tip: To do this stretch, lie on a padded or carpeted floor. Then, turn over onto your side and bring your knees in towards your chest. Then, extend your legs and grab your feet with your hands.XResearch source Hold this position until your back cracks, and then turn over to your other side and repeat the stretch.

  • To start, place your hands behind your back, one on top of another, at the center of your spine.XResearch source
  • Press both hands against your spine, and as you do so, lean backward.
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    Impact Of Back Cracking On The Spine

    The exact mechanics of facet joint cracking and its possible effects are not fully understood. The effects of joint cracking likely vary due to individual differences in overall muscle and joint function. As a general rule, cracking the spinal joints does not cause pain or necessitate medical attention.

    Seated Lower Back Rotation

    • Sit straight on a chair forming an angle of 90 degrees
    • Place your right elbow to the left knee and rotate your upper body towards the left
    • Hold the position for 15 seconds and return to the initial position
    • Now place your left elbow to the right knee and turn your body towards the right
    • Again hold the position for 15 seconds and return to the initial position

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    Supine Figure 4 Stretch

    This classic yoga pose helps open up the hips as much as it is good for massaging your low back. “This pose stretches the outer glutes, as well as your piriformis, both of which can contribute to a tight lower back,” says Hilary Wright, Y7 instructor and director of continuing education.

    How to do a supine figure 4 stretch: Lie on your back on a yoga mat with both knees bent and feet planted on the floor. Lift your right leg, flex your right foot and cross your right ankle over your left thigh. If this is enough stay here, or draw your left knee in and hold behind your left thigh to increase the intensity. Hold for 10 to 15 breaths and then switch to the other side.

    Using A Chair To Crack Your Back

    If you’ve ever visited a chiropractor, you’ll know that they will most likely crack your neck and back while performing an alignment. They are often alleviating pain from subluxation in the neck and spine. In order to do this, the chiropractor has completed extensive education and has a thorough knowledge of what the spine needs to perform at its best. That being said, a chiropractor will practice light to moderate amounts of cracking in order to relieve stress on your joints without repeatedly stretching them. But what is subluxation and can you alleviate pain from the comfort of your own home?

    Following an uptick in chiropractic care, many individuals have taken it upon themselves to crack their own back using a chair. The idea behind the practice is simple: by either lowering the spine slowly over the back of the chair or twisting the body quickly around the back of the chair will force the back to crack. However, when you crack your back, you’re forcing your vertebrae and joints out of their normal range of mobility.

    Solo, you cannot crack all of the bones in your spine the way a qualified chiropractor can. This means you’re most likely only stretching joints above or below the point in which you’re twisting from the chair, placing an unnecessary amount of stress on those joints. Additionally, you’re stretching your muscles unnaturally, which will most likely result in increased tension.

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    Is There Any Alternative To Back Cracking

    You can substitute back cracking with some stretching moves which help in relieving the pressure. Child pose, open book, and cobra are some of the helpful yoga postures which help in lowering the strain on your back. It is vital to be comfortable with these yoga postures or execute them under the vigilance of expert yoga instructors to avoid any muscle injury or sprain.

    Possible Causes Of Cracking Spinal Joints

    How to SELF POP Your Lower Back With a Foam Roller

    There is no consensus on what causes joints to crack or on the potential long-term effects of frequent back cracking. The mechanisms that cause joints to crack or grind can differ from person to person. There are three primary theories about why facet joints crack, pop, or grind:

    • Cavitation. Surrounding each facet joint is a capsule of liquid, called synovial fluid, that lubricates the joints and allows for smooth, comfortable movements. One theory on crepitus suggests that air pressure within the joint is suddenly altered when the joint is cracked, resulting in the formation or collapse of an air cavity in the synovial fluid that produces a popping sound.1
    • Ligament or tendon snapping. When a tight or tense ligament is pulled across a surface of bone, cartilage, or another tendon or ligament, it can create a snapping noise similar to a joint crack or pop.
    • Bone grinding. Deteriorated cartilage surrounding a spinal joint can cause popping, cracking, or grinding. Cartilage may wear down from overuse and/or age, causing the bones of the joint to rub together and produce a grinding sensation and a sound similar to a crack or pop.

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    Does Popping Your Back Cause Arthritis

    Another common misconception is that back cracking causes arthritis. This is a myth. While the origin of this myth is unclear, research has shown that there is no direct link to cracking your knuckles or other body parts and an increase in the development of arthritis. Physical therapists, pain specialists and chiropractors can analyze your back pain and assist you in cracking your back.

    Stretches To Relieve Tension In Your Back

    Gentle stretching also may help relieve tension on your back or even safely make it crack. Here are a handful of seated, standing and on-the-floor stretches and exercises to try.

    Seated chair twist

    What this helps: The movement builds range of motion in the spine while also working muscles in your back. The stretch also benefits your neck, hips and even shoulders.

  • Sit tall in a chair with your back straight and your hips and feet facing forward.
  • Slowly twist your upper body to the right as far as you can comfortably go while keeping your hips and feet locked in position.
  • Hold for a few seconds.
  • Return to center.
  • Do the same movement to the left.
  • Seated piriformis stretch

    What this helps: The stretch can help release tension in your lower back to address sciatic nerve pain.

    What this helps: The stretch targets muscles in your upper back and shoulders.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Place your hands behind your head, interlocking your fingers.
  • Slowly arch backward as far as comfortable, pressing your head against your hands.
  • Hold for up to 10 seconds.
  • Standing back twist

    What this helps: The movement builds flexibility and strength for your lower back.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hips and feet facing forward.
  • Slowly twist your upper body to the right, keeping your hips and feet in place.
  • Hold for a few seconds.
  • Return to center.
  • Do the same movement to the left.
  • Foam roller stretches

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    Why Do Joints Pop And Crack

    The exact mechanism explaining what happens in your joints when they crack and pop isn’t completely understood. However, the general consensus is that the sounds result from the spine releasing gas that has built up in the joints.

    One theory is that these gas bubbles naturally build up within the fluid that lubricates your joints over time. Another is that stretching your back puts the fluid within your joints under pressure, creating vapor-filled pockets within your joints.

    “Regardless of why it’s there, stretching or trying to crack your back releases this gas, which sometimes results in an audible popping or cracking sound,” says Dr. Kenneth Palmer, an orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist.

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    When You Crack Your Back What Happens

    What happens when you crack your back by stretching or twisting, explains Amandeep, is âyou stretch the capsules around the outer edge of the vertebrae, specifically around the facet joints. This stretching allows synovial fluid within the joint to become more gaseous. As some gases are released, such as nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide, they make a cracking or popping sound.â

    If you find yourself wondering, âwhy does my back crack so much?â, donât worry. Most peopleâs joints pop and crack from time to time â itâs completely normal.

    Press On The Upper Back

  • Apply gentle pressure with the bottom of your hands. Keep pressing until the person feels relief. As you do this, encourage the person to take deep breaths in and out.XResearch source
  • Keep in mind, you may not always hear the traditional popping or cracking sound. Nevertheless, the person may feel relief from the rocking and pressing alone.
  • Also Check: Mayo Clinic Low Back Pain Exercises

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    Pros:- Very adjustable both man and woman Remove lower injuries Can use Daily working hours

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    How To Safely Crack Your Back At Home

    How to Self Pop Your WHOLE BACK for Instant Pain Relief

    Ultimately, if cracking your back brings relief, youre probably fine to keep doing it. It’s not advised, however, to have friends or family members assist you by stepping on your back or lifting you from the ground.

    Here are a few ways you can crack your back through stretches:

    • Cobra or child’s pose

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    What Is The Back Made Of

    In order to understand whats happening when you hear your back or neck crack, its important to know the structure of your back. The spine runs down the centre of your body and it protects your spinal cord. Meanwhile, the vertebrae along your spine help to support your body weight and healthy posture. The average human is actually born with 33 vertebrae, but compression on the lower vertebrae reduces this number to about 24 vertebrae by the time youve reached mid-adulthood. This means that as you age, it becomes even more important to support and maintain the health of your back and spine.

    Your vertebrae are divided into sections:

    • Your cervical spine
    • Your thoracic spine
    • Your lumbar spine
    • Your sacrum
    • Your coccyx

    Each of these vertebrae in each of the five sections connect with ligaments, muscles and tendons and are connected by soft disks that add cushioning. These discs protect your vertebrae, like the insoles of your shoes cushion and protect your foot bones. These shock-absorbing discs in your vertebrae let you enjoy an active lifestyle, whether youre just going for a walk, or doing something more physically demanding, like surfing.

    How To Crack Your Lower Back

  • While youre sitting down, bring your left leg over your right leg.
  • Put your right elbow on your left knee, then rotate your upper body to the left.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  • Return to your initial seated position.
  • Repeat this with your right leg over your leg, turning the opposite way.
  • Get down on your hands and knees.
  • Gradually arch your back, pulling your stomach upward and pushing your back out.
  • Gradually push your stomach back downward and pull your back inward, letting your stomach hang towards the ground.
  • Go back to your original position.
  • Do a set of at least 3 of these, doing 2 sessions daily.
  • Lie on your back.
  • Pull your knee up toward your chest, one leg at a time, and stabilize them as close to your chest as possible with your hands.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 times per session, at least twice a day.
  • Lie on your back.
  • Raise your knees up so theyre bent.
  • Keeping your shoulders still, move your hips to one side so that the knee on that side is touching the ground.
  • Hold this position for ten seconds.
  • Slowly return your knees to their previous position.
  • Repeat in the other direction.
  • Do this 2 to 3 times, at least twice a day.
  • Lie on your back.
  • Bring your feet up towards your butt so that your knees are up.
  • Lift your pelvis up so that your body is straight from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Lie on your back.
  • Raise your knees up so that theyre bent. Make sure the bottom of your feet are fully flat on the ground.
  • Flex your stomach muscles so that your abdomen is firm.
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    How To Crack Your Back

    This article was co-authored by Karen Litzy, PT, DPT. Dr. Karen Litzy, PT, DPT is a licensed physical therapist, international speaker, owner of Karen Litzy Physical Therapy, PLLC, and the host of the Healthy Wealthy & Smart podcast. With over 20 years of experience, she specializes in a comprehensive approach to practicing physical therapy utilizing therapeutic exercises, manual therapy, pain education, and home exercise programs. Karen holds a Master of Science in Physical Therapy and a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Misericordia University. Karen is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and is an official spokesperson for the APTA as a member of their media corps. She lives and works in New York City. This article has been viewed 5,689,944 times.

    Looking for that feeling of relief you get when you pop your back? Cracking your back feels good because it can release tension and increase your range of motion. We’ll explain the safest ways to crack your back, both on your own and with someone’s help. Plus, we’ll walk you through all of the best exercises and stretches for your back so you can loosen up and release tension to get some relief.

    How To Pop Lower Back

    How To Crack Your Lower Back (Should You?)

    Yeah, its ok to pop your back. When you do this, you are not really popping your back. Think of it as adjusting more, relieving stress, or expanding your muscles. The same thing happens when your fingers, toes, neck or other joints rupture. How to safely pop your back, what precautions you need to take, and for what reason a doctors trip may be needed. Lets Discuss.

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    Why Do I Need To Crack My Back All The Time

    Why you crack your back and if it’s a bad idea

    Some people relish that satisfying âpopâ they hear when they stretch, but why do we do it, is it normal, and is cracking your back bad?

    âPeople like to âcrackâ their back because it feels good, especially when they feel stiff, and it helps them achieve a sense of satisfaction,â explains GP Dr Amandeep Hansra. âIt can release endorphins, and the sound and feeling can be addictive â hence people want to keep doing it. There is an assumption that hearing the âcrackâ or popping sound means tension or tightness is released.â

    But that tell-tale popping sound accompanying a good spine crack might not mean what you think it means â and no, itâs not your bones cracking!

    âPeople often crack their back by twisting, leaning forward or leaning backwards,â Amandeep continues. âBut the sound or feeling of your back cracking is actually thought to be related to air bubbles in the synovial fluid within our joints


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