How to Crack Your Back

3 Simple Steps to Crack Your Back Safely

Cracking joints often feels good because it releases tension and increases mobility. When done under control and within a normal range of motion of the spine, it is usually safe to set or crack vertebrae. The popping sound in the small facet joints of the spine is usually produced by rotation and/or extension. However, if you have other spinal problems, then you should consult a joint specialist such as a chiropractor or osteopath.

Riskier methods

Stretch your back over the edge of the bed.

Another way to get more stretch is to use the edge of your bed as your apex. Your head dives lower than your spine. This position is the best for mid-back cracking. Lie on your back on the bed with everything above your shoulder blades over the edge. Relax your back and slowly let your head and arms slide towards the floor. Exhale fully. Hold for five seconds after each downward movement. Then do a full abdominal lift to get back to the starting position. Take a deep breath. Repeat as often as necessary. This move is also great for strengthening your abs. The risk of a spinal injury is slightly higher. Therefore, you should ask someone to be with you so that you can do the exercise safely.

Let me give you a “bear hug”.

A common way to do mid-back cracks is to give yourself a strong front hug. It takes some stretching to release the vertebrae, so it helps if the person hugging you is taller and stronger than you so there is more leverage. Be careful, however, as there is a risk of broken ribs and lung injuries. Face someone who is the same height or taller. This person should now hug you, bringing their hands together where you want them to crack. Your arms should hang loosely at your sides. After you’ve inhaled and exhaled fully, signal the person to squeeze quickly and firmly with their hands (this takes some practice and coordination). This stretches the spine a little, possibly loosening a few vertebrae. This method is not appropriate for women with large or sensitive breasts.

Let yourself be lifted from behind.

A hug from behind is even more effective for setting your middle back. This is because it is easier to straighten the thoracic spine from this position. Provided the performer is strong enough to lift you off the floor a few inches. Instead of using the hands to crack the back, the person uses gravity and their chest as they bend backward (which requires less coordination). Cross your arms in front of your body. Then have a stronger, taller person hug you from behind, holding your elbows for more support. After you fully exhale, signal the person to lift and push you at the same time. This will stretch your middle back. This maneuver is a bit risky for both sides because stronger forces are exerted on the respective spine and shoulder joints.

Never crack your back on the floor.

This should only be used by a person with reputable training such as an osteopath or chiropractor. The practice of this treatment by untrained persons is prohibited by law. So be sure to find a professional for this method.

Low risk exercises

Straighten your spine with the help of your hands.

As you slowly and controlled straighten your spine, reach behind your back with your arm and push on the area that is tightest. This way you achieve an even stronger stretch there. This move requires you to be a little more flexible, especially in your upper body and arms.

As you slowly straighten your back while standing, bring one hand behind you and slowly press down on your spine as you extend your stomach. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Do the exercise three to five times a day depending on how you are feeling. Use your dominant arm/hand so you have more control and power. The spot where you apply the most pressure is most likely to crack. Especially if you are so flexible that you can reach the spine in the thoracic area.

Rotate your spine while standing.

The spine is generally more flexible laterally than lengthwise. This is why twisting the spine is usually less dangerous and is more likely to be tolerated. As the spine rotates, it can crack anywhere in the back, especially in the lumbar spine or lower back. Stand shoulder-width apart (so that you are safe and stable). Raise your arms with your elbows bent. Twist your torso in one direction as far as you can in a controlled manner. Then turn back and after a few seconds the other way. You can work with a little momentum by swinging your arms. But be careful and don’t go too far. Otherwise, you risk a strain. Repeat the movement as many times as necessary. However, if your back cracked in one spot, it won’t crack there again for the next 30-60 minutes. That’s how long it takes for the vortex to settle down again.

Rotate your spine while sitting on the floor.

Another way to rotate the lower half of your spine is while seated. This is usually more stable and easier to control. You can also use your arms and hands to increase the rotation without having to swing your body. That’s a little safer. Sit on the floor with one leg bent and the other straight. It doesn’t matter which side you start with because you’ll then switch to the other and do both sides multiple times. The bent leg is on the floor. Push it down and twist your torso in the opposite direction. Stabilize yourself with your hands and use them to increase the rotation. Try looking over your shoulder on the side where your knee is bent. You should wear running shoes so you have more grip to push off.

Sit in a chair to get more leverage.

If you use a chair to turn around, you can hold on to it. This way you have more leverage and can increase the rotation. Vertebrae must be moved a little more than normal for them to crack. That’s why it often works very well with a chair. Sit face forward in a sturdy chair. Keep your butt and legs in the same position as you rotate in one direction as far as you can (hold for a few seconds). Then turn the other way. Breathe normally during the exercise. Hold onto the sides or the backrest to increase leverage. A wooden chair works particularly well for this. In this position, your lower back is most likely to crack or buckle.

Do a supine twisting stretch.

Another method for doing mid-lower back cracks is while lying down. Use your legs/knees as leverage to turn. Make sure the floor is padded and comfortable. Lie flat on the padded floor. Raise one leg to your chest with your knees bent. Then, with the opposite hand, pull the outside of the knee toward the floor. This is how you rotate your hips and lower back. You may feel a pop or release in your lower back and/or hips as you perform this movement. This is the same position that a chiropractor or osteopath will put you in when setting your lower back and hips (sacroiliac joints).

Use a foam roller.

With a foam roller made of solid foam, you can massage your back very well. A few vertebrae can also crack or pop – especially in the middle region (in the thoracic area). These fascia rolls are often used in physiotherapy, yoga or Pilates.

You can get foam rolls in sports shops or in medical supply stores. They don’t cost much and are almost indestructible. Place the facial roller on the floor, across your body. Lie on your back so that the foam roller is under your shoulders. Put your feet flat on the floor. Bend your knees and lift your lower back so it slides back and forth over the roller. Use your feet to move your body over the roller. Massage the entire spine in this way (at least ten minutes). Repeat this as often as necessary. However, you may get sore muscles when you use the foam roller for the first time.

Stretch your back muscles safely

Stretch your back muscles first.

Muscle tension in the back can often be relieved with a few simple stretches without the vertebrae cracking or popping. Cracking the joints too often could damage the tissues of the joint. This in turn can lead to a form of arthritis called osteoarthritis (which occurs from wear and tear). That’s why you should always stretch first at the beginning and not necessarily aim to hear a crack.

Muscle Stretching Guide Do these simple stretches 3-5 times a day, depending on the condition of your back. – Lie down on a flat surface that is slightly padded (like a rug or yoga mat) to avoid bruising your spine. – Bring both knees to your chest. Wrap your arms around them until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your back muscles. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Do this exercise three to five times a day depending on how tight your back is. Warning. – Don’t hold your breath. Instead, you should take deep breaths, exhaling as you go into the stretch. – You can also slowly rock back and forth in this position to increase the stretch. Always do this gently and in a controlled manner. You should never aggressively fall on or force your spine or other joints, or you could injure yourself.

Lengthen your back by lengthening your spine.

Another stretch involves kneeling with your face on the floor. In yoga, this corresponds to the pose of the child. Again, the aim is to stretch the muscles of the back and spine. This doesn’t necessarily result in cracking unless you rotate your spine or straighten your back. Kneel on a padded surface so that your butt rests on your heels. Then bend your hips and bend forward. Wander your fingers as far away from you as you can. At the same time, try to touch the ground with your nose. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds while continuing to breathe. Do this exercise three to five times a day – depending on how tense your back is. Maybe you’re not very flexible or your stomach is in the way. Still, try to stretch your arms out in front of you as much as possible—until you feel at least a little stretch in your muscles and spine.

Straighten your spine while standing.

Stretching the spine often leads to cracking. However, the length of the spine can only move to a very limited extent. Therefore, you should not be aggressive with this exercise. When stretching the back, the back muscles are not particularly stretched. However, you may feel a tightening in your chest or abdominal muscles. Place both hands behind your head and slowly pull it back so that your spine bends and straightens backward, with your stomach protruding. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds and do the exercise three to five times a day, depending on how tense your back is. This movement is most likely to crack in the thoracic region. This is the spot on the spine between the shoulder blades. As you do this, make sure your feet are firmly on the ground and shoulder-width apart, so you maintain balance and minimize the risk of falling over.

Tips

Bend your back and twist your body to either side until you hear a snap. Remember to bend forward as well and repeat the exercise there or you could injure your back. There are many instructions on the internet from chiropractors, physical therapists or osteopaths on how to crack your back safely. There, however, it is not called “cracking”, but “straightening your back” or “how to mobilize the lumbar spine”. Don’t crack your back too frequently (more than a few times a day). Otherwise, you could injure your vertebrae and develop problems with your spine over time. If you’re doing gymnastics, you can also do a bridge on an exercise mat or bed. Lean back in a chair so your mid-back is over the back. So you can crack your back wonderfully. Subscribe to our blog to discover more about health.

Warnings

If you or your partner experience pain (especially stabbing or burning) while attempting to set a vertebra, stop immediately. Consult a chiropractor. They can show you more stretches and/or manual techniques for the spine. Spinal straightening is risky (if you’re untrained), so you should proceed conservatively and cautiously.

 

About the Author

John Hill

John Hill is a freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including gaming, personal finance, gadget reviews, travel, entertainment, and education. With an extensive journalistic background, he has written for several print and online publications.