Can cracking your back cause chest pain?

Cracking your back can feel like an incredibly satisfying way to relieve discomfort or tension in the spine. You might even hear that familiar pop as pressure is released, and you’ll be tempted to twist and crack again, almost addicted to the feeling of release.

However, if you experience consistent chest pain after cracking your back, it can leave you wondering whether there might be something more serious going on. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what causes this kind of pain so that you know when it’s time to seek medical attention.

What Happens When Your Back Gets Cracked

Before we dive into why cracking your back might cause chest pain let’s stop for one moment and talk about what happens when a chiropractor cracks your back or when you do it yourself.

When someone cracks their own back (or neck), they’re commonly using spinal manipulation techniques known as “adjustments.” These involve bending or twisting parts of the spine in order to create an audible popping sound. The idea behind these adjustments is that they reduce stiffness and tension in the joint by increasing range-of-motion.

The outstretched run-down? People often report feeling less tense after getting cracked – which makes sense since pretty much every muscle group through our core relies on our spines being aligned correctly…

How Might Cracking Your Back Cause Chest Pain?

While most people don’t experience any adverse side effects from cracking their backs occasionally, some may develop negative symptoms, with varying degrees of severity. One such symptom could indeed be chest pain shortly following manipulation^1 .

Here are five potential ways that cause structural deficits leading towards thoracic wall malfunction during spinal manipulations^2:

1- Intercostal strain

While adjacent vertebrae get manipulated under forceful movements tears between intercostals spaces (the lining between two ribs) due to increased traction forces2.

2- Rib bruising

During an unsuspecting adjustment, there can be forced compressions on the ribs between muscles that cause minor injuries with rib-cage echoes reverberating into chest walls causing pain^1.

3- Fractured Sternum / Dislocated ribs:

Uniquely rare scenario have chance of happening particularly in older patients, as I mentioned earlier an excessive amount of pressure caused by aggressive chiropractic movements could fracture bones around your thoracic area which within distance also might affect structure surrounding it including sternum and dislocated ribs.{5}

4-Spinal Cord Injuries

Though uncommon but severe to indicate is a potential injury to spinal cord even when not manipulating directly at the cervical or lumbar level where vertebrae are supported enough by disks still uncomfortable unexpected mechanisms can result sometimes in unsettling coincidental bleeding into surrounding tissues putting immense amount of pressure onto adjacent nerves and acute/chronic back pains felt through patients’ spine can lead towards thoracic wall dysfunction causing chest pain^6.

5-Psychiatric issues are different leagues than physical problems

While not a structural issue some studies refers an indirect causality from long term anxiety-driven movement disorder (psychogenic movement disorder), those kind of behaviors may mimic similar causes toward diagnosed spinal pathologies potentially mental health parameter affecting patient’s craniofacial/cervical alignment thus damaging subdiaphragmatic anatomy^7

When Should You Be Concerned?

The majority of people who crack their backs don’t experience significant side effects. However, if you find yourself experiencing consistent chest pain after cracking your back—or any other symptoms such as difficulty breathing—it’s essential to seek medical advice promptly. Here three common mistakes regarding dealing with possible cardiovascular issues:

  1. Ignoring Symptoms Outright
    As old Turkish proverb says “denial means saving oneself” yet sadly this isn’t true for the heart. Whenever you feel like something’s off financially, schedule a quick visit to your primary care physician.

  2. Avoid Self-Medicating
    Fighting chest pain with over-the-counter meds or delaying people noticed inappreciable health issues posing longterm risks might put patient’s life on the line, those pains should be taken seriously rather than taking advil and forgetting all about it^1.

3- Delaying Emergency Care
The longer someone waits to seek medical attention for chest pain after back cracking or otherwise experiencing minor thoracic malfunctions can sometimes mean death because when dealing within cardiovascular realms of injury one must take utmost caution.

Can Cracking Your Back Be Dangerous?

Although relatively rare in occurrence an adventurous home-manipulation by oneself without proper techniques leads towards different hindrances – ranging from acute discomforts/thoracic wall malfunction/pulmonary embolisms/ spinal cord bleeds, depending heavily on levels of vulnerability through chiropractors manipulations coupled even as seen earlier effects such as intercostal strains or bruised ribs^4. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that cracking your back is dangerous per se–those consequences are unlikely so long as good prudent practice is utilized and an experienced professional perform treatment…

BUT!–If our constant obsession with relieving tension through non-professional adjustments causing misalignment we pose ourselves at risk for potential lung damage or disrupted nervous system happens gradually,, broken parts left untreated may progress towards harsh limits if not heeded which begs another question: Why running behind cheap alternatives when there alternate courses equipped under professional hands?

Should You Take Up Cracking Your Back Again?

Like any alternative forms of therapy seeking out professionals before acting impulsively goes a long way towards keeping yourself clear from much drama brought by unwanted lethal physical outcomes cause led reckless causal choices made during complex uncertainties….

In short Its always better being safe than sorry!


Cracking the back can be an effective way to deal with discomfort and tension in the spinal region. But, it’s important to realize that there may be some risks involved, particularly if you’re doing it yourself without proper training or support staff.

If you experience any chest pains immediately after cracking your back, please seek medical attention promptly rather than going through denialist fallbacks… With a little caution and good judgement in choosing which paths of treatment are right for us can help keep our bodies healthy from being vulnerable towards many unpredictable forces surrounding us daily. So guys as always just stay alert and make wise choices!