Have you ever watched those YouTube videos of chiropractors cracking their patients’ backs? If you have, did you notice that some of those patients cried afterwards? It’s as if they’ve been carrying a heavy emotional load on their backs for so long that when someone fixed their backs, their reaction was to cry.
If you think about it, we all do feel good after cracking a joint even if it’s just our knuckles. On top of that, it makes us feel like we’re turning a switch on that activates our brain to work mode. So, what is it about cracking joints that make it feel so good for most of us? Well, some experts have shared their thoughts on this topic.
What happens when we crack our joints?
According to experts, the reason our joints make those popping sounds has something to do with a fluid called the synovial fluid. Our joints are filled with that fluid and its purpose is to lubricate our joints so that when we move our fingers and our spine, the movement is seamless and without pain.
The synovial fluid is actually inside a capsule that’s made up of nitrogen and other dissolved gases. When we crack our knuckles, we’re actually stretching the capsule where the synovial fluid is in, which creates space inside and leads the fluid to form a bubble. When the bubble pops, that’s the sound we hear.
Unfortunately, no one knows yet why the cracking sound is loud. But experts say that the sound has nothing to with the bones realigning, which many people have been led to believe before.
Also, there’s a reason you can’t crack the same knuckles again and get a popping sound. It’s because the gases that popped from the bubble take about 20 minutes before they revert back into liquid form.
Why do we like cracking joints?
Some people claim that when they crack their knuckles, it relieves the tension not just in their hands but all throughout their bodies. That may be true for some, but what really happens when you crack your joints is you relieve the pressure on the affected area.
If you’ve been typing the whole day, for example, the joints in your fingers may be feeling some pressure from moving so much. When you crack your fingers, you relieve some of that pressure, which is why your fingers feel looser.
It’s the same idea when it comes to cracking your spine. Ask any chiropractor in West Jordan or anywhere else in the country and they will tell you that our spines tend to become misaligned after years of moving around. When you go about your daily life, what you don’t realize is that every move you make has an effect on your skeletal structure.
When you play sports, go hiking, work all day in the office or even sleep in an uncomfortable position, all of these things affect the structure of your spine and eventually, it will settle in a wrong position. So when a chiropractor aligns your spine once more, which will involve some cracking, your body reverts to its natural structure. When your spine gets fixed, the sensation of realigning it can feel so heavenly that some people cry from relief.
So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we love cracking our knuckles or even our backs because our body hates stress. And whenever we experience relief, we crave it even more.