“Why does my back crack when I breathe?” “Do I need to see chiropractors for this?” Have you ever thought about this as well? Did you think you’re alone? You might be surprised to learn that a lot more people find themselves wondering about this than you think.
It is something that feels like it happens every time you take those really deep breaths. The back just seems to crack in several spots. While it might not necessarily hurt when it happens, it still makes you wonder if something is wrong. Let us take a look at everything you need to know.
First things first for all those wondering why does my back crack when I breathe is that most cases see this problem as benign. It is just the same as cracking your knuckles.
You see, the most common cause of your back cracking when you breathe is nothing more than cavitation of the costovertebral joint. A mouthful, isn’t it? It’s basically the same thing that happens with your back like when you pop the knuckles.
Why does your back crack when you breathe in?
A reason not to worry
When you take a deep breath, it causes your rib cage to expand as the lungs fill up. The costovertebral joint is where the ribs meet the spinal column. With the expansion of the ribs, there’s a slight separation of the joints which is the same as popping knuckles.
While this is nothing to worry about, you can avoid the back cracking by going for shallower breathing, so your rib cage doesn’t expand too much. You can even try diaphragmatic breathing where the deep breathing doesn’t expand the lungs.
The reasons why you should
If you find yourself wondering why does my back crack when I breathe but there isn’t any pain, it is nothing more than the cavitation.
For those wondering something along the lines of “my back cracks when I breathe…and I experience some pain because of it,” you might have some reason to worry. Another potential cause for the cracking sound is arthritis in the spine. When a joint is arthritic, the surfaces of the bones become less smooth, their lubrication deteriorates, and the bones touch each other.
The lack of cushion between the bones can cause them to rub together, and that’s what makes the sound. This isn’t too alarming if you’re not experiencing swelling or pain but if these two symptoms are there, arthritis can be pretty severe, and you need to see a doctor for it.
What to do about this?
Wondering why does my back crack when I breathe and wondering how to stop it from happening goes hand in hand. First off, you need to start stretching. It helps to make your back muscles and spine stronger.
You can use devices like foam rollers and yoga wheels to exercise your back for a few minutes every day. While your back might crack while foam rolling, it is normal, and it will help the spine get stronger.
Lastly, you can use an inversion table or a decompression device to decompress your spine. The decompression will separate the spine and allow the joint to replenish with fresh blood and nutrients. The joint surfaces can be healthier and smoother this way and provide an excellent stretch for all the muscles, tendons, and the spine.
Unless there are swelling and back pain, the question “Why does my back crack when I breathe?” has pretty simple answers. It is a good idea to get yourself checked by a doctor just to rule anything out, but most of the time, you won’t have to worry about it.