NO! Self-manipulation is not recommended and is never a good idea to perform on oneself. Regular self-manipulation can actually lead to ligament laxity and an increase in muscle tension leading to imbalances in spinal musculature.
When you self-manipulate, or “crack” your own back, you are actually mobilizing your joints. While this can provide temporary relief of muscle tension, it can also lead to hypermobility or too much movement of the joint.
Hypermobility of a joint may then lead to the muscles having to work harder to stabilize the joint, which usually results in the tendency to feel like you need to “crack” or mobilize the joint over and over again. This vicious cycle of repeated mobilization will further prolong joint instability and muscle tension.
Many patients who come into the office with pain are actually causing some of their pain by cracking their spine/joints.