Super important post! I came across this infographic the other day and decided it warrants an entire post, and it is all about self-adjusting aka trying to "crack" your own joints.
Oftentimes, when people are in pain, they will try to contort their necks or backs or other joints in an attempt to self-adjust themselves. This often can provide short-term relief, but the important takeaway here is that in the long-run, it is aggravating the condition and the pain, and making the issue worse.
What often happens when you attempt to adjust your own joint is that you get movement in the joint above or below where the true restriction is, because a true spinal misalignment will require an extra set of hands and outside force to be moved. This self-adjusting will offer temporary relief due to the pain-relieving chemicals released with the pops obtained elsewhere, but this will be very temporary as you know. Now, what has happened is that the true restricted joint and source of pain is even more restricted, and the joints around it even more mobile.
It can be difficult to resist, but just stop self-adjusting! Within a couple of weeks, the pain will reduce, and the urge to self-adjust will reduce as well. Eliminating your self-adjusting will help to heal the area for the long-term, and allow your ligaments to strengthen and recover. Please, leave the adjusting to me!
What you can do? It is completely acceptable to stretch your neck in ONE plane of motion, such as bending to the left, bending to the to right, turning your head to the left, turning to the right, bending forwards, and backwards. If you obtain any releases aka "pops" when doing this, it is totally fine! However, if you bend and twist at the same time, it can do damage, aka do not contort yourself to force a pop, just gently stretch.
Another note is that when you stop self-adjusting, it will be much easier for me to obtain those satisfying, noisy adjustments on you when you come in, the ones that are truly needed!
If you all had not noticed yet, I LIVE to adjust. I love it, I breath it, please just come to me for your adjustments! Thanks for reading.