Neck cracking, which is otherwise called cervical spine manipulation, increases the risk of strokes, health experts warn.
Neck cracking involves applying `thrusts' to the neck and back to treat neck discomfort. This method is widely is in use by chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists.
But, a fresh research by a team of researchers at the Centre for Research & Rehabilitation at England-based Brunel University revealed that neck cracking could lead to serious neurovascular complications.
The researchers called for the method to be stamped out altogether, saying it could lead to permanent neck damage.
Lead researcher Neil O'Connell said, "The potential for catastrophic events and the clear absence of unique benefit lead to the inevitable conclusion that manipulation of the cervical spine should be abandoned as part of conservative care for neck pain."
However, there are many who disagree with O'Connell. David Cassidy, a professor at the University of Toronto, argued that neck cracking is a safe as well as effective treatment for neck pain.
The research published in the recent issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ).