ZocdocAnswersIs it bad to crack your back?

Question

Is it bad to crack your back?

I have my roommate crack my back a couple of times a week. It is getting to the point where I feel like I need it though. Does this mean that I doing something bad to my back? Causing permanent damage? Should I stop?

Answer

If you feel that you "need" to have your back cracked, meaning that you have back stiffness or pain that is persistent, then that is definitely something that you should talk to your primary care doctor about. There are a number of different conditions that could be causing your back symptoms, and your doctor will be able to perform an examination and help you figure out what you might need to do. To give just one example, much back stiffness is caused by strain and weakness of the muscles running along the sides of the spine. These muscles can be specifically stretched and strengthened with targeted exercises, which your doctor can explain to you. Also, it is generally best not to have untrained persons, such as your roommate, performing vigorous manipulation of your spine, as this could potentially result in injury. If you feel that you need manipulation in order to relieve your symptoms, then you should get help from a trained professional, such as a licensed massage therapist, who will have the skills to relieve back tension without risk of injury. Please talk with your primary care doctor about this issue to be safe. Good luck!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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