In 2018, teens risked their lives by consuming tiny poisonous packs with the #TidePodChallenge. Now they're tempting fate again with the #BackCrackChallenge.
Now, before you read further, this is a good time to say: DO NOT TRY THIS.
The #BackCrackChallenge involves one person sitting on their knees and their partner standing behind them. The person on their knees lifts their arms to hold the back of their head. Meanwhile, their partner loops their arms through the sitter's elbows and slowly leans forward until a supposedly *satisfying* crack is heard.
Though it's hard to say how the #BackCrackChallenge came to be, it's equally difficult to ignore the fact that the dangerous trend is picking up steam, with over 25.7 million views accumulated from videos using the tag.
Though the move is reminiscent of methods you may see a chiropractor use, something about two teenagers cracking each others' spines just didn't sit right with me. So, I talked to Dr. Michael VanDerschelden, an actual professional chiropractor, about the challenge and whether or not it's safe.
"That video was hard to watch," Dr. Mike told BuzzFeed. "This 'adjustment' can be very detrimental to the spine because it is not being performed correctly. Doing exercises like this at home can be very dangerous as it can twist or pull someone’s spine out of place."
"When chiropractors analyze the spine, we are looking for joints that have inflammation and that are not moving correctly. When we spot these restricted joints, we then do a specific chiropractic adjustment to restore motion," he continued.
"When you adjust yourself, you actually are unable to adjust the specific tight joints that actually need it," he said. "What you are doing instead is moving the segments above and below the tight joint. Therefore, you end up with joints in your spine that are unstable, and the joints that are still tight remain tight. This is why, when you adjust yourself, usually it gives you no lasting relief, as people usually try to do it again and again multiple times a day. An unstable spine from multiple self adjustments will result in instability and make you prone to early degeneration and arthritis."
So, instead of trusting your friend with your spine and future ability to walk, please see a professional chiropractor.
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