young woman in scrubs with caption 'back cracking gone wrong' (l&r) xray of human spine (c)

Elizabeth_0102/Shutterstock @mylifeassugar_/TikTok (Licensed)

‘This is your warning to freaking stop’: Nurse warns against cracking friends’ backs for them after patient ends up paralyzed

'For you guys who like to ask people to crack your backs.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jun 1, 2022

A medical professional has a warning for the people of TikTok: Do not have a friend crack your back.

In a now-viral video, nurse and TikToker Sugar (@mylifeassugar_) cautions users against the practice after a patient allegedly became paralyzed following an attempt by their friend to crack their back.

The video currently has over 1.3 million views.


⚠️Be careful when you ask someone to crack your back ⚠️

♬ original sound – Sugar 🇳🇬 | Nurse Coach

“What I saw today, I swear to God, I’ve never seen anything like this,” she starts in her video.

“For you guys who like to ask people to crack your backs… this is your warning to freaking stop,” she continues. “I have somebody in the hospital… this person asked somebody to crack their back. Something went wrong, and this individual is now paralyzed. I’m talking lower extremities paralysis.”

“Now, this is your warning. If you feel like you’re having back pain, you need some massage, you feel tensed up, get yourself a professional to do these things,” she adds.

Later, she notes that the danger of trying to amateurly crack someone’s back is twofold.

“Number one, you can lose your legs,” she states. “Number two, the person that cracked your back will be forever in regret for doing that.”

In the comments section, users shared their own stories of back cracking gone wrong.

“I know someone who went to a chiropractor and ended up paralyzed,” one user wrote. “I don’t trust anyone with my back.”

“I had a sibling walk on the other ones back and stepped on it wrong and paralyzed her from the waist down,” another shared. “Sibling cried everyday.”

“I had a friend who went to chiro to get her neck adjusted,” a commenter recalled. “One day later she had a stroke.”

While complications from chiropractic adjustment are extremely rare, they are possible. A 2014 story published by the Washington Post details several cases where people suffered strokes and partial paralysis following chiropractic adjustment.

There is significant training that one must receive before becoming eligible for a Doctor of Chiropractic degree; some programs require “a minimum of 4,200 instructional hours” before one is eligible for a degree. The industry itself has also changed dramatically, getting specific with which procedures are recommended and advised against as the practice develops. 

This training acknowledged, there is little medical evidence to support chiropractic adjustment as a long term solution to neck and spinal issues. While chiropractic adjustment has been found to provide short-term pain relief with high satisfaction from patients, patients also report pain relief from massage and exercise, which often lack the (albeit rare) dangers of chiropractic adjustment, per an article in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine.

For those who are concerned about this danger but have previously found relief from back cracking, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) offer comprehensive care that can occasionally include manual adjustments and massage, per the Mayo Clinic.

Still, many on TikTok are seeing this video as a warning against cracking their backs at all, with a large amount of commenters swearing off the practice for good.

“I beg my husband ALL THE TIME! And he always tells me it’s dangerous… Won’t ask again! Thank you!” a commenter wrote.

“My bf tries to crack mine and I absolutely will never be allowing this again,” another agreed.

The Daily Dot reached out to Sugar via email.

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*First Published: Jun 1, 2022, 8:56 am CDT