How To Crack Your Back Properly And Safely

by | May 16, 2011 | Back Pain Tips | 0 comments

How To Crack Your Back Properly And Safely

How To Crack Your Back

Although it’s not usually advised that you crack your own back, many people want to know how to crack your back properly without needing to take a trip to the chiropractor or physiotherapist. A lot of people twist their torso from one side to the other in a quick ‘snappy’ motion in an attempt to make their back crack, but this is one of the worst things you can do if you want to keep your spine healthy and properly aligned.

An uncontrolled ‘jerky’ twist or movement might be able to make your back pop, but it’s not good for you in the long run. If your back feels like it needs to pop, your safest bet is to book an appointment with a well trained chiropractor, but if you are dead-set on cracking your own back at home, here are some of the safest ways to make your back pop without as much risk of damaging your vertebrae or discs.

My favorite ways to properly crack my back at home all involve using a swiss exercise ball. These balls are very affordable and can be used for much more than just cracking your back safely. Many of the most effective back pain and herniated disc healing exercises involve the use of these swiss exercise balls and I highly recommend you pick one up. You can order one from Amazon by clicking here. They come in several sizes and I personally have two different sizes at home because I prefer to use a different sized ball for some of the exercises that I do each day. If I had to choose one size to go with it would be the 75cm round swiss ball, but I also have a 65cm ball that I prefer for some exercises.

Using An Exercise Ball To Crack Your Back

There are a few ways that I use the swiss ball to properly crack my back at home.

Method #1: Crack Middle Back

Start out by sitting on the exercise ball. Slowly walk your feet out and lower yourself onto the exercise ball so that your back is resting over the exercise ball and creates a backwards arch over the ball. Do this slowly and carefully, and if it hurts don’t do it.

Relax your body over the swiss ball using your feet for balance, allow yourself to completely relax and feel a good stretch over the ball. You can slowly move forward and back so that the ball rests under different parts of your upper and lower back.

Almost every time I do this stretch my upper and mid back will give a few little cracks and pops as my joints release and become more mobile. I usually hold the position on the ball for 20-30 seconds as I slowly roll my spine up and down the ball while trying to relax completely.

To increase this stretch you can hold your arms out to your sides or up above your head, the same way you would if you were standing upright and reaching for the sky. Doing this will add extra weight to the stretch and provide a bit of decompression in your spine.

This stretch should look something like this (please excuse the terrible drawing, I’m not an artist):

Crack Your Own Back

Method #2: Crack Upper Back

Sit on your knees in front of your exercise ball. Put your hands on the ball to support your body and slowly roll the ball forwards, leaning forward as you move the ball further away from you. As you come to a good stretch with your arms out in front of you with most of your weight still on your knees, allow your upper and mid back to relax and sag a bit. Do not force it. This is supposed to be a gentle stretch to mobilize your upper and mid back joints.

I do this stretch with my head above my shoulders as well as allowing my head to sink below my arms to allow for more ‘sag’ in my upper back. Doing this often gets several pops and cracks out of my upper back and this stretch really feels amazing. It’s one of my favorite stretches to do, especially when I feel like my back needs to crack.

This stretch should look something like this (please excuse the terrible drawing, I’m not an artist):

How to crack your back

Method #3: How To Crack Your Back

The third method to crack your upper back using an exercise ball is to do the opposite of Method #1. This time you lay on the exercise ball with your chest and abdomen, almost as if you’re giving your exercise ball a hug. Slowly roll forward onto the ball so that your knees no longer touch the ground but your toes still touch the ground to help you balance.

You may let your arms hang over the sides or front of the ball but do not firmly plant them on the ground in front of you, that would defeat the purpose of this stretch. Instead, allow your arms to hang loosely around the ball. Relax the muscles in your back as you rest on the exercise ball. This stretch will help decompress your spine once you learn to relax the muscles that are usually quite tight in your upper and mid back.

This exercise ball back stretch doesn’t usually get my back to crack or pop, but for many people it does. The key is to allow yourself to fully relax over the ball and you should feel a decent stretch in your back as you do this. You can hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds if you feel comfortable.

This stretch should look something like this (please excuse the terrible drawing, I’m not an artist):

best way to crack your backCracking Your Back Without Props

Here are some of the best ways to crack your back without using a swiss exercise ball which are safe to do at home.

One way is to stand up straight with good posture. Take both hands and place them behind your head. As you do this slowly push your head back into your hands. Slowly push back as far as you can comfortably go without any sudden or jerky movements. This stretch will often mobilize the upper back between the shoulder blades and cause some of the joints to pop.

You can also stand up nice and straight with a corner of a wall in the center of your back. Gently bring your arms backwards by squeezing your shoulder blades. Do not force yourself backwards into the wall while you do this – it could harm your back. This is supposed to be a gentle stretch that will often get your back to crack naturally, never force your back to crack or pop.

Of course, the safest way to properly crack your back is to go to a licensed chiropractor who specializes in this sort of thing, but hopefully these few suggestions will help you safely crack your back yourself at home without causing any harm to your spine or discs.