Physical therapists help you learn how to crack your neck safely

How to Crack Your Neck

If you experience neck pain, headaches or stiffness from sitting in front of your computer for too long, it can be hard to resist the urge to crack your neck. Who doesn’t love that feeling of immediate relief? We do the same thing to our fingers when our hands get stiff, and our backs after we’ve been sitting for hours. But cracking your neck can be harmful if done too often or incorrectly.

If you crack your neck incorrectly, you risk pinching the nerves in your neck. This can make your neck extremely painful and difficult to move. You can also strain the muscles around the head and neck if you stretch them too much while cracking your neck. One of the more serious risks of neck popping is placing too much pressure on the blood vessels in the neck. This can lead to dizziness and even unconsciousness.


Is there a safe way to crack my neck?

There are benefits to correctly cracking your neck. Relieving the pain and stiffness in your neck after staying still for too long is one benefit. It can also improve your circulation and take pressure off your joints. But it is important to take these steps to crack your neck safely:

  1. Stretch your neck first by looking down and up slowly several times.
  2. Stand up before cracking your neck. Stand with your feet apart and slowly roll your spine back until you hear a pop. This decompresses the spine, helping to reduce stiffness.
  3. Place the back of your hand against the small of your back and slide it over until your forearm is against your back.
  4. Take your other hand and place it on top of your head. Gently pull your head toward your shoulder until you feel a crack. If your neck does not crack, don’t try to force it.


Why does my neck feel like it needs to crack?

Improper posture, previous injury, and repetitive motion can lead to a painful and stiff neck. If your neck constantly feels stiff or painful, it may be time to turn to a physical therapist for help. A licensed physical therapist can help you determine the source of your neck pain and stiffness and employ trusted methods to treat it. Some of these might include:


Where can I go for physical therapy near me?

If you are suffering from chronic pain and stiffness in your neck and always feel like you need to crack it, it’s time to turn to the experts. Our qualified team at Whatcom Physical Therapy is ready to help get to the bottom of your neck problems. A free screening at one of our convenient clinics is the first step toward finding relief.


Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.