Chiropractor Questions Chiropractor

Does cracking your neck release endorphins?

I am a 32 year old male. I want to know if it is true that cracking your neck releases endorphins?

13 Answers

Hello. I would advise not to "crack" your neck on your own because vital structures and vessels, such as the internal carotid artery (that goes from your heart to the brain), jugular vein (that goes from your brain to your heart), and Cranial Nerve X (which is the biggest cranial nerve extending from your brain all the way to your vital organs, small and large intestines), can be damaged. When a doctor of chiropractic administers a spinal adjustment in the neck, many physiologic and neurologic changes happen that do affect many organ systems. Endorphin release maybe one of them. Hope this helps.
With each adjustment, there is a hyper stimulation of the nervous system in the surrounding area that can create a euphoric feeling due to the release of endorphins.
Yes. But is that correcting your underlying biomechanical issue or is it just finding a way to naturally medicate yourself? See many self-crackers are getting endorphin release without addressing the proper vertebra and thus have to continue this habit 20x per day, whereas a chiropractor will analyze and pinpoint the exact issue and only address that, while not disrupting the others. Over time, all of my "self-popping" patients cease the habit and feel much better and stable as a result. Precision beats power and brute force manipulation any day of the week. You get to the root cause AND get the endorphin release. Slam dunk.
Yes indeed
That's a tricky one. In general, the short answer is yes. But endorphins can be released by simply visualizing your neck being cracked if you visualize it vividly enough. You can also release adrenaline if you have a nervous perception of cracking your neck. Basically, your perception of what is happening during the crack will determine how much and what kind of chemicals your nervous system releases.
Yes it does by relieving nerve irritation, muscle tension and improving joint mobility. Some people "crack" their neck themselves which is a bad idea and can be dangerous. You should only let a licensed chiropractor manipulate the spine. The main reason is that a person does not know what condition their spine is in and if there are any underlying conditions that would contraindicate moving the vertebra in that manner. Also, vertebra are going to move in the direction of least resistance which is going to be farther out of alignment without an opposing force to manipulate them in the direction they need to go. There has been many times over 37 years that I have treated patients who created their own problem by "cracking" their neck. Let a professional do it.

Yours in health,

Doc J

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It is true that any adjustment releases endorphins at a certain level into the body which is why most people feel better after a good adjustment. That release, coupled with better mobility of the spinal joint, causes improved pain relief overall.
An adjustment stimulates small nerve endings along the spine known as mechanoreceptors. When stimulated, these receptors can distract the brain from pain sensation. Adjustments also trigger the release of endorphins, the “feel good hormone” in the body, which can also aide in pain relief.
It may do that, but there is very little research that is definitive for df spinal adjustments.

Yes, it does, but in my opinion, it’s not worth the risk. Just because we hear a crack sound doesn’t mean it’s going in the right place.

Skylar Bakko, DC QNCP PAK BFM

Yes, making the popping noise (cavitation) releases endorphins. That being said, I do not recommend you crack your own neck. Cracking your own neck can cause damage to your healthy discs. That is why you should have a professional such as a chiropractor adjust your spine.
Chiropractic adjustments allow our brain to receive and send signals via the nerves more effectively. Sometimes with adjustments to the neck we feel a rush of energy. I do not know for certain if the adjustment directly releases endorphins or dopamine.
Endorphins can be released with cracking your own neck. In my opinion no untrained individual should crack their own neck or anybody else's neck. Let a trained and licensed Doctor make an evaluation and determine of the need for making proper manipulations.