Does Thai Massage Crack Your Back?


Does Thai Massage Crack Your Back?

4-hands Thai Massage

Those who haven’t tried Thai massage sometimes hesitate because they have questions about joint cracking,

or they think it might hurt. If you have any reservations, rest assured, those who have experienced Thai massage attest that the benefits far outweigh the potential discomfort.

One of the most common questions people have about Thai massage is whether the process cracks your back or some of your other joints in general. Aside from answering that question, we will also explain what makes a joint crack and when cracking is okay.

Cracking Your Back During a Thai Massage Session

Thai massage practitioners are not chiropractors. This means it is not the role of Thai massage experts to make spinal adjustments intentionally. This is important to emphasize because some practitioners intentionally provide joint cracking as part of their sessions.

This is deemed inappropriate because Thai massage practitioners are not trained to perform the roles of chiropractors. Some Thai massage practitioners even perform sudden neck adjustments to achieve a crack. Without the right training, this can be extremely dangerous.

However, when done right, it is likely you will experience back cracks at times during the Thai massage session without the Thai massage practitioner even trying.

At ThaiMassage-NYC, each client gets a unique treatment tailored to their individual needs. While New York state law prohibits licensed massage therapists from using the specific thrusting techniques employed by chiropractors to make backs crack, cracking may happen unintentionally and this is okay. There may also be other beneficial cracking that will happen in other parts of your body, but the Thai massage practitioner will never know ahead of time or where it will occur. 

Why Do Your Joints Crack?

It is understandable to find it surprising when your back cracks while getting a Thai massage. However, by understanding a little bit about what’s happening when your joint pops, your mind will be put at ease.

So what is the science behind joint cracking?

According to a study by Kawchuk and their team at the University of Alberta, the cracking sound that your joints sometimes make is due to the small gas bubble that forms within the synovial joint. 

This cavitation of a synovial joint occurs when two bone surfaces are drawing away from each other. When this happens, a low-pressure system or a partial vacuum environment gets created. Certain dissolved gases in the joint aggregate come out of the solution momentarily, and upon formation, the bubble and vacuum degrade within a short span. The gases then move back into the solution gradually.

Is Joint Cracking During a Thai Massage Session Okay?

There are some instances during a Thai massage session where you will find your back or joints cracking even when the practitioner focuses on manipulating your soft tissues.

These relieving cracks happen because when pressure is applied slowly and gradual movements are made, your joints may cavitate spontaneously. Everyone needs a certain amount of tension within our body to hold us together. However, where you’re too stressed physically, emotionally, or mentally, there will be greater levels of tension within your connective tissues. 

When the tension gets high, there will be decreased mobility in your joints. So during a Thai massage session, when the pent-up tension around these joints gets released, there will be higher chances of joint cracking, simply because the joint won’t be able to move as far in different directions compared to normal.

So if you find your back or other joints in different parts of your body cracking while the Thai massage practitioner is moving and applying pressure slowly, it is totally fine. If you’re looking for a treatment that involves sudden movements to crack joints and make adjustments, a trained chiropractor can do this for you.

Final Thoughts

Back or joint cracking is fine while getting a Thai massage depending on when and how it happens. We understand that if you don’t typically crack your joints during a massage, it can be a bit surprising or concerning when it happens in the middle of a Thai massage session.

However, we want to assure you that it is perfectly normal for your back to crack during the process. The key thing to remember here is that it is not okay to expect Thai massage practitioners to do it intentionally because they are not trained to perform the treatments of chiropractors.

We hope that by understanding what makes joints crack and when it might happen during a Thai massage session, you will be more comfortable in getting one. If you’re looking for a reliable Thai massage therapist who specializes in various techniques and can adjust the approach according to your liking and needs, contact us for a session today.


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