Why does the back have to be cracked

Adjust your back in case of pain and blockages

What is popularly called straightening the back is actually the gentle release of blockages. When it can help, how you can adjust yourself and what is still important.

Straighten your back - who hasn't heard that before? If you look closely, that's wrong, because vertebrae don't just dislocate. They are usually blocked or wedged vertebrae. Physiotherapists or orthopedists with additional training in manual therapy can resolve the blockages. You then speak of manipulation or mobilization of the spine.

Exercises for a pain-free and strong back

Exercises for a pain-free and strong back

Dislocate your back yourself?

Incorrect movement, such as bending or lifting incorrectly, can quickly cause a joint in the back to crack, i.e. block. Common causes are also:

  • Cough: blockage of the rib joints
  • Sleep: Due to the deep relaxation of the muscles during sleep, the neck can become dislocated (cervical spine blockage).
  • Much sport
  • Always the same posture or movement
  • Congenital malposition. for example, leg length difference

You can try to undo the block yourself. This sometimes works, especially with vigorous stretching in all directions.

The following exercises can help you straighten your back yourself:

  • Back swing: Lie on your back, pull your knees up to your chest and grip them, your back becomes rounded. Roll back and forth slowly so that the spine is loosened.

  • Hang up: Grasp a high bar with both hands and hang from it with your whole body weight. Feel how the spine stretches and relaxes.

  • Twisting: Sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out, place your right leg bent over your left. Press your left arm against your left knee and turn your upper body to the right. Repeat this exercise in reverse. It is especially good for mobilizing the lumbar spine.

  • Hugging and lifting up: Let someone taller hug you and lift it up slightly. Blockages in the vertebrae sometimes loosen here too.

What does the straightening of joints do?

By mobilizing the joint, the blockage is lifted and mobility is restored. However, since the muscles in the affected area also tend to cramp, the pain may initially persist. The muscles can then be treated with additional heat and relaxed through massage and regular exercises.

It is therefore safer to go to the manual therapist immediately if you have back problems. These are physiotherapists or orthopedists who have completed additional training in manual therapy. Doctors with this additional training are also called chiropractors. Osteopaths also often have the additional qualification of chiropractors and can make adjustments. Only in the United States is a chiropractor a separate medical profession.

The physiotherapist has mastered several techniques that not only straighten blocked joints, but also relieve tension and thus indirectly bring joints back into their correct position. He can also show exercises in order to regain control and to strengthen the muscles in these areas.

Test: where does the back pain come from?

Test: where does the back pain come from?

Why the joints crack when straightening

Incidentally, the typical cracking of the joints does not come from the fact that the joint surfaces interlock. The noise probably arises when tiny gas bubbles, which have formed in the joint fluid due to the misalignment, burst as a result of the straightening. This can then be heard as a crack.

A typical sign that a joint has been brought back into the correct position: a dull jolt that is barely audible, but which the affected person feels - by the way, also when dislocated or blocked.

Areas of application: When manual therapy and straightening help

Adjustments are not only possible on the spine. In principle, all joints in the body can block and then be adjusted again. Mobilizing can be helpful for the following ailments:

  • Back pain
  • Nerve pain
  • Joint blockages
  • Joint misalignments
  • Pelvic inclination
  • Tension

Adjusting: Risks and Side Effects

Professional Manual Therapy is normally tolerated by everyone, including babies and the elderly. However, in extremely rare cases, incorrectly performed chiropractic treatment can also damage nerves and lead to injuries, especially in the area of ​​the carotid artery. This could cause a blood clot and cause a stroke. Therefore, only qualified therapists should be consulted to restore the vertebrae, especially in the cervical spine.

Anyone can try to treat themselves with straightening in the sense of hanging out or swinging the back. But never press or tear hard. In the case of persistent complaints or if pain and restricted mobility come back, a physiotherapist or orthopedic surgeon should be consulted.

Last update: 04.03.2020
  • Online information from Physiozentrum.ch: https://www.physiozentrum.ch/2015/12/wirbel-einrenken/ (accessed: 03/2020);