Posts Tagged ‘sports injuries’
Many people start the day off with a fresh crack of the neck, back, or knuckles. It’s an action that may provide a sense of temporary relief or just a way to offset tension. Cracking joints has been the subject of much debate in the past, but in recent years there has been a lot of clinical study on the potential effects. Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ values the importance of safety in our patients and community. This topic has been very common among our patients, so we decided to answer the question: is cracking my joints bad for you?
What makes the cracking sound?
The cracking sound is a result of joints being pulled apart, which relieves pressure between them and creates a bubble of synovial fluid. The swift change in pressure in a joint resizes the bubble and creates an audible sound.
Accidental vs. intentional joint cracking
There needs to be a distinction between accidental and intentional joint cracking. Many individuals accidentally experience cracking sounds when they are either repeating a movement or quickly changing position. There is very common and typically little cause for concern. We recommend that you thoroughly stretch before repetitive activity to ease the joint pressure and surrounding muscles. However, if cracking occurs in the same spot or there are signs of swelling, tenderness and pain, then there could be a real medical issue that deserves attention.
Through extensive studies over decades, many research groups have arrived at the conclusion that intentionally cracking joints is relatively benign. Nevertheless, self-administered joint cracking may result in unintentional injury if not done correctly with chiropractic techniques. If joints are forcedly cracked, it’s possible pinch nerves and strain may occur in the surrounding muscles.
Does cracking joints give people arthritis?
There has been a long-standing belief that cracking joints increases a person’s chance for developing arthritis. Studies have yet to show a correlation between the two, despite this commonly held thought.
So, is it safe to crack my body?
There isn’t a simple answer to this question. As mentioned earlier, cracking joints is relatively harmless, but there is always a risk of injury. If you’re insistent upon cracking your body, take caution with the amount of force that you apply to your joints, nerves and muscles. Over time, you may create overstretching of the ligaments and cause laxity to the surrounding areas. If you feel the need to constantly crack or pop your joints, it may be in your best interest to get evaluated so you don’t create instability.
Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ can provide expert treatment solutions for areas where joints are sore or rigid. Our certified doctors and trainers work with patients of all ages to optimize the body’s performance and maintain peak health standards. If you have additional questions about cracking joints or our treatment options, contact us at 404.352.8900. To receive more tips and information about how to maximize your health and wellness, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+.
At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ our certified chiropractors and massage therapists understand that many different conditions can cause pain and discomfort or impair your daily activities. While the causes of conditions like ankle sprains, ACL tears, or lower back pain are usually obvious, other injuries may be much more difficult to identify. Some of the most common of these “hard-to-diagnose” issues are repetitive stress injuries. Although patients often dismiss them as minor annoyances, these injuries are actually America’s most common and costly occupational health problem. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive stress injuries affect hundreds of thousands of workers and cost more than $20 billion a year in workers’ compensation claims and lost productivity.
Most forms of injury result from a single traumatic event, but repetitive stress injuries are different because they develop gradually over time. When muscles, tendons, and ligaments are subjected to stress, they suffer damage on a microscopic level. Normally, this damage heals and the cells grow back even stronger, which is why “feeling the burn” is a sign that your workout is working. However, if the muscles are forced to repeat the same motions over the course of several days or weeks, the damage that they suffer never has a chance to fully heal. If the rate of injury is greater than the rate of recovery, the damage slowly compounds over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and diminished strength.
Repetitive stress often leads to injuries to the extremities, such as the wrists and elbows or the ankles and knees. However they can actually affect nearly any part of the body. Depending on the areas that are being overused, some of the more common repetitive stress injuries can include:
- • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrists)
- • Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow (elbows)
- • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis (shoulders)
- • Hip Bursitis (hips/lower back)
- • Shin Splints (shins/lower legs)
- • Achilles Tendonitis (ankles or calves)
Treatment for repetitive stress injuries generally involves therapies that reduce inflammation, such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Kinesiology Taping, or Trigger Point Therapy. However, the exact course of treatment will always depend on the specific area involved and the patient’s individual medical needs. Our certified Synergy Massage Therapists and Rehabilitation Specialists can also recommend simple corrections in posture and grip that will give the tissues an opportunity to rest and heal naturally.
Overuse Syndrome is extremely common, but it doesn’t have to stand in the way of an active and pain-free life. If you would like more information about repetitive stress injuries, or about any of the ways that our expert chiropractors and massage therapists can help you, please contact the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today at (404) 352-8900. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information about sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.