I just recently joined this message board, and after reading a few posts felt I should impart what I have come to find out.
For many years I also self-adjusted my neck, and used terms such as 'cracking my neck' I also 'cracked' my hips pelvic area, by shifting my upper torso from side to side. In light of the chronic pain, cracking them offered only very temporary relief.
But I did it all day and even woke up throughout the night to move my neck for the building pressure was insufferable. I was convinced that I was dying and began producing stained glass artwork in preparing to leave my legacy.
Eventually I over-exerted myself which led me to a chiropractors office.
i was educated there by a very kind and knowledgable young chirporactor, about what chiropractors can help with and told it was a partnership and I must do my part to take care of myself.
This meant retraining myself to no longer sleep on my stomach, use a cervical neck pillow, use lumbar support pillows, do not sit with ankles crossed, do not sit with chin resting in palm of hand, etc. she advised about drinking more water and less caffein and consuming less red meat.
She told me I had a hiatal hernia and am hypoglycemic and advised against three large meals instead five smaller meals.
They don't use terms such as ; cracking your back, that is just the sound it makes when the bones are shifting and trapped gas is escaping.
The correct term is 'adjusting' the spine to include the cervical, thoracic and lubar/sacrum (pelvic spine).
Try as one might, one cannot self adjust their own spine properly. it takes a trained professional doctor of chiropractic medicine.
The proper terms are; spinal adjustment, for a spinal subluxation, which is when the vertebral segments have shifted out of their proper alignment.
The spinal segments called vertebrae are stacked one on top of another to produce a spinal column. Within that column is the spinal cord. When these segments, including intervertebral discs, are knocked out of place from any number of ways such as a trip and fall, car accident, ski accident, or whatever, they shift out of position, and usually stay out of position until a trained doctor of chiropractic manually repositions them for you. t
Often there is pain locally, because the nerves at that location are feeling pressure (pinched, or rather impinged) again the term for any spinasl dislocation is called a subluxation, the pain can be excruciating and continue until it's put back into proper position alignment.
Also the nerves that project out from between the spinal segments vertebral bodies, that go to different body organs and are responsible for feeding them and providing them with operating and konitoringinstructuions fro m the brain central computer are interfered with and a poor signal results in diminished efficiency, and can not function as well.
Chiropractic medicine and I'm no expert but I've come to understand they are about the idea that the human body is a perfect independant organism and can heal itself and nourish itself when there is no interference. The spinal column itself can cause interference when out of proper alignment.
Chiropractic which means 'by hand' is based upon removing what ever is interfering with the bodys wellness. It serves to remove the blocks that are standing in the pathway, which is literally and figuratively represented by the spinal column and spinal cord.
The related organs that are effectively cut off from the optimal flow of neurons / life energy/chi communicating with the brain thru the spinal cord are impacted to a degree that is directly proportional to the amount of disc bulging and /or vertebral subluxation that's occuring in the spinal column.
You can actually be doing more damage because the bones have special end plates that are specially designed to interlock with one another and are being worn down each time that you 'crack ' your neck. I would strongly suggest that you stop the bad habit of attempting to self adjust and see a dr of chiropractic at your earliest convenience.
After years of cracking my pelvic sacrum, I caused rotation to manifest inmy hip area and caused one leg to be longer than the other and created another problem, I was tripping over my own leg. I had to unlearn the poor habits I'd used as a coping mechanism.
The first adjustment is not the end of it. you will most likely need regular and ongoing adjustments for the rest of your life as a means of maintenance for wellness. You will find that your quality of life will improve drastically, but it will take time for your body to accept the new adjustments. I also was advised to walk around after my adjustment, don't jump right into a car especially if it's a bucket seat, it just undoes the recent adjustment. give your body time to take hold of it's new adjustments. exercise within reason, take time to stretch both before and after any strenous exercise, eat nourishing foods, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water and get adjusted regularly by a doctor of chiropractic medicine.
Doctors of chiropractic, have a wholistic approach to healing and have an understanding about how everything in the body is connected and related to one another through the optimal efficiency of the spinal column and health of the spinal cord.
I sincerely hope that my input can be of help and guidance.