Apparently, it may seem that cracking your back by twisting is not harmful, but it can lead to some painful consequences. While injuries are not that common but is a possibility that you might hurt yourself by putting too much pressure or force cracking your back. The extra pressure or strain that twisting will put on your back can result in too much wear and tear on the joints in your back and supporting your vertebrae. This wear and tear can lead to joint swelling, erosion, and even fractures of the delicate vertebral joints. The twisting of the back joints can also result in the damage to the soft tissues and ligaments of the back.
As we are talking about the bad things that could happen by cracking the joints in your back, we must consider that there are some myths related to the back cracking. One of the popular myths is that the cracking results in stunted growth in young people – which is actually not so true. Since the gas or the fluid releases when we crack our joints in the back, some people believe that it might lead to stunted growth. However, cracking your joints in the back by twisting can only relieve the strain between the spinal discs, which has nothing to do with the growth and development. On the other hand, growth happens at the epiphyseal plates in the long bones and not at your back.
Another concern about cracking the back joints is that you might end up with a slipped or a herniated disc while twisting your back. In rare cases, this can happen and you can get a slipped disc or even upset an already slipped disc while twisting your back. The twisting movement of the back muscles might move or irritate the discs in the spinal cord in the wrong direction – leading to immense pain. Moreover, there is absolute need of taking proper caution about exercising when you suffer from slipped disc or any vertebral injury as it might exacerbate your symptoms. In addition to a slipped disc, it might be a possibility that a joint might exceed its normal range of motion when you stretch or twist your back leading to stretching of the ligaments surrounding them.
The sprain or elongation of the ligaments surrounding the joints might result in damaged ligaments and joint instability since these are no longer able to hold and support the joint in the correct position. However, it is important to understand that you might not crack your back more often or doing it in the wrong way can lead to some serious complications. If you are recovering from some vertebrae or spinal injury, then you should hold the thought of cracking your back because it might go very wrong for you instead of providing relief. Also keep in mind that it takes usually 20 minutes for the joints to come back in their original position, so you might need to wait for 20 minutes to crack your back again.