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What happens in your body when you stretch your neck and it is cracking

The reason why the fingers and neck crackle is that “the joints boils when stretched,” says an American doctor. Overall, cracking the joints is not a bad thing, but when it becomes a habit, can irritate the soft tissues and cartilage.

By cracking your joints you release gas bubbles, explains Dr. Christopher J. Visco, director of sports medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

“The mechanism will work for any joint in the body that is surrounded by a capsule, such as the joints of the fingers,” says the specialist. The neck has a number of pair joints present on both sides, and each is filled with less fluid and is surrounded by a capsule. “When someone bends his/her neck, surrounding each joint capsule is stretched. This makes the pressure on the joint fluid to decrease,” explains Dr. Visco.

The lower the pressure on a fluid is, the closer it is to turn from liquid to gas. “This phenomenon is called cavitation or boiling.” “When a person lowers the  pressure on the fluid too much, eventually that fluid will release its gas. And when it comes to neck, you’ll hear a crackle when gas exits the fluid,” says dr. Visco. Although this practice, which is very popular among physiotherapists, has no major risks, there are rare side effects which include the stroke caused by a rupture of the lining of the vertebral artery, which leads blood to the brain.

While many physiotherapists considered useful and safe to crack your neck, orthopedic surgeons disagree with this technique. Because the accident rate is so low, physical therapists treatment seems safe from a public health perspective. If you are a relatively young person, such a move on the spine is relatively safe because of muscular strength, ligaments power and bone strength.
But as you get older and your blood vessels become a little tougher, you might have atherosclerosis and chiropractic manipulation can be a risk of rupture of an artery.
Also, older adults have more porous bones that are more prone to fracturing. A fast and strong moving is more likely to cause a fracture in these older bones than the younger ones.

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