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(Q&A) I’ve Had Back Pain For Months- Should Someone Just Step On My Back?
By: Dr.Arnan Sisson, PT
February 11, 2021
Crack! We’ve all tried at one point of time to get a friend, family member, or even a small child to step on our backs to try to get that popping sound and feeling of relief as our backs loosen up.
Having a back pain clinic here in the Northern Neck we’ve been asked literally dozens of times if this should be done to fix a painful back or at the very least is it even safe to do?
Many are worried their missing out easy relief or want to know if their putting their backs at risk of a fracture or big spinal injury with this type of activity.
Not Safe To Try
So, for the question of, is this really a safe thing to try? Short answer is … no!
In the past six months we’ve had two patients come in with fairly bad back pain and sciatica that came about from “back cracking.” One was a woman in Warsaw who got her husband to step on her back as he was holding on to a table for balance.
She was able to get the pop she was hoping for, and it felt great for her while laying down. Afterwards though, when she stood up, she started to feel intense back pain. This person couldn’t even bend over to tie her shoes at that point.
Another patient in her early-60’s had their brother walk on their back, and as they did it they didn’t get any kind of pop during. A few days after though, this woman had back pain that started inching its way down the leg.
So, based on these bad experiences I can say with 100% confidence that you shouldn’t try this! Yes, you can get your back cracked this way and not have any problems. But there definitely is a risk for injury with it. We’ll go over this later, but there are safer ways to still be able to get this pop.
Pop Is An Air Bubble
So, we now know cracking our backs this way isn’t safe, but what exactly is that sound we’re hearing? The answer is when someone steps on your back, that pop is created from pressure on back that causes air bubbles to be freed up from the joints.
When you treat back pain in a clinic, in some cases you want to free up the back when stiffness in the joints is causing back pain. But like any other medicine you can definitely overdo it. And unfortunately stepping on persons back over does the pressure and puts us at a risk of injury.
The key to actually fixing a back that’s stiff is to carefully increase the pressure to the back to free it up. This should be done with a professional that understands how to do this and more importantly a professional that gives you solid advice on how you can take stress off for your particular back, so your pain stays away long term.
Foam Rollers Give Safe Pop
So, for our last question, what can I do to mimic someone stepping on my back without hurting myself?
The answer is simple, you can head over to amazon and type in the words “foam roller.” You can purchase, lay on, and more safely get a few pops with these rollers without putting too much force on the back.
My experience is that these devices never 100% get rid of back pain BUT they can loosen the back, give you a few pops, and even reduce pain a tad bit over a few weeks.
4 Copies of Free Report Left
If you’re looking for some great ways to take stress off your back naturally and get back to driving, sleeping, or even being able to go for long walks again then you can get our 9 tip back pain report today to do just that.
Any reader can grab it for free online at https://sissonpt.com/thebackpainbook or give us a ring at (804) 493-3256 (accept messages 24/7) to get a physical copy of our report shipped to your doorstep for free(4 packages available this week)!