Is Cracking Your Neck Bad?
Crepitus or crepitation is the noise that may be heard during joint movements, such as a cracking, popping, snapping, or grinding. These sounds and sensations can occur in the neck as well. Most people at some point have experienced neck crepitus. One example is feeling a cracking sensation in the neck when turning the head to back up a car. Crepitus neck is the crunching, grinding, or popping sound produced when you move your neck. These sounds are indicative of the presence of air trapped in the joints or subcutaneous tissue.
Fill out the fields below to get in touch! Ever wonder what that sharp pain and crackling noise in your neck is when you move your head? The cracking is generally a result of some sort of minor injury, which is why you often feel tension or pain associated with the noise. The clicking noise is the sound of your neck vertebrae rubbing together as a result of muscle tightness. Often, it is caused what is a cape cod mixed drink muscle how to create a free domain name, which makes the muscle tense causing the neck muscle to shorten and pull over the vertebrae.
Tight muscles caused by injury produce the same result. Two adjacent vertebrae in the neck rubbing together myy also produce a clicking neck. But a much simpler form of injury can also cause clicking neck, like from looking down too long, resulting in muscle strain.
Any form of neck strain no matter how trivial it may seem can cause clicking neck. Things like sitting down and looking at a laptop for too long can cause stiffness. Even dehydration can cause clicking neck. When your muscles lack water and nutrients they start to spasm, which could also tug at your vertebrae.
In a crackin sense, emotional stress can generate similar effects as craccking takes an immense physical toll on the body. Overexerting yourself and extreme fatigue makes muscles weak and tired. As this happens, the way your dehydrated muscles start to spasm, exhausted muscles will do the same. With the causes of clicking neck being so crackking it is important to see a chiropractor, and make sure you get your neck checked out if you continuously hear that clicking noise. However, the most common symptom after the noise is stiffness and pain.
Next comes a reduced range of motion as it becomes difficult to turn and move around with such tight muscles. Less common symptoms include redness of skin around the stiff area, and swelling.
Another unusual wat is stiff or tingling arms, but this symptom generally means the problems is more serious and you should consult a doctor immediately if this happens. Natural muscle relaxants such as Relax Already are also great for helping to reduce the spasm and associated pain.
There is no drowsiness and it uses completely plant-based ingredients to ensure safety and effectiveness. Clicking neck can also be caused by stress, poor posture, and migraines that result in neck strain. This can easily be helped by a chiropractor that can perform a series of adjustments to release tension. Often times this can result in almost immediate relief from the pain and stiffness.
Dr David M. Sincehe has treated thousands of patients for various conditions ranging from neck and back pain, to migraine headaches. After several years in practice, Dr. Spitz continued his education by what is the cracking in my neck a 3 year post-graduate tje in neurology, and by taking various courses on improving patient health with lifestyle changes, treating patients with headaches, and much more.
He is currently an expert on chiropractic for Quora, and has fhe an expert witness for numerous court cases involving automobile injuries. In addition to seeing his regular patients, Dr Spitz has been a consultant for several companies where they require a second opinion for one of their patients. He has lectured throughout CT on various topics including, chiropractic, stress management, headaches and preventing back injury in the workplace.
In How to calculate voltage in a parallel circuit. Spitz became a pilot, and inan instrument rated pilot. His love of flying has encouraged him to fly from Washington State to Connecticut, and throughout all of New England. SinceDr Spitz has practiced Kyokushin Karate and received his black belt in In DecemberDr Spitz was promoted to 2nd degree black.
He continues to study the martial arts to continue to develop both physically and mentally. Dr Spitz is dedicated to helping his patients achieve optimal health through lifestyle change and stress reduction.
How Does Chiropractic Work? If you're wondering, … More. Causes of Clicking Neck Ever wonder what that sharp pain and crackling noise in your neck is when you move your head? Talk to a Specialist.
Crepitus neck symptoms
Neck cracking or ‘clicking neck’ is the audible sound which occurs when you tilt (lateral flexion) or rotate (turn) the head. Majority of the sounds are generated when the tight neck muscles cause the vertebrae (bones of the neck) to rub against each other when some movements are performed/5(81). May 20, · Hearing a cracking sound in your neck? It is mostly normal, but can be a sign of arthritis which usually improves with rest, medications and exercises. Some people find it weird that whenever they move their heads, they hear a crunching sound in neck. Some think the crackling sound in neck comes from the back of the head where it meets the neck. What you’re experiencing is actually called clicking neck, which is a clear cracking or clicking sound caused by an aberrant form of movement of the head or neck, and is usually accompanied with stiffness and discomfort. The clicking noise is the sound of your neck vertebrae rubbing together as a result of muscle tightness.
Do you occasionally feel like impressing your friends and neighbours through neck cracking? Or do these sounds or crepitus occur on their own without you playing any active role in making them happen? Well, neck cracking can be both safe and dangerous, depending on the actual cause.
If you are consciously clicking the neck and it does not cause you any pain, you may not be in danger. But whereby the sound comes on its own, especially when accompanied by pain, you could be at risk. However, no matter the cause of the problem, the good news is that the problem has a cure and therefore, it should not cause you any fears. In this post, we shall be talking about neck cracking, its causes, whether the condition is good or bad, treatment, pain relief, and when to see a doctor.
Majority of the sounds are generated when the tight neck muscles cause the vertebrae bones of the neck to rub against each other when some movements are performed. Apart from the cracking or clicking sound produced upon certain movement, the sufferer may be symptomless, meaning that there is usually no pain. But in some cases, the condition may lead to headache, upper back or neck pain, or swelling as a result of the continual spasms of the muscles.
Neck cracking is caused by several factors. We shall be taking a look at the various causes, one after the other. There have been contradictory reports as to the actual cause of crepitus or popping that occurs with movement of the head. Several experiments were conducted by cracking the synovial joints of the fingers in order to determine the actual cause of the noise.
While a study result published in posited that the noise was created by bursting the gaseous bubbles in the synovial fluid of the joints, another study made in counteracted this opinion by saying that the clicking noise was from the bubble being created in the synovial fluid.
Another possible cause of the popping or grinding sound is when two neighboring bones of the spine vertebrae lie too close to each other and rub against themselves when there is movement.
When there is poor lubrication of the joints and poor flexibility as seen in certain conditions, the articulating vertebral facets the rubbing point of two vertebrae could also produce the clicking sound. One other possible cause of the crepitation or clicking sound on the neck is the snapping sound produced by ligaments and tendons as they rub over the bones in the course of movements.
This happens mostly when there is enough force in the opposite direction this can be from spasm of the muscles. This is possible if one bone grinds against another one due to a worn-out cartilage.
This is common in osteoarthritis, a condition which sets in as one gradually ages. The condition can also be aggravated by traumatic injuries like sports-related injury or whiplash. When there are adhesions on the joint, it can lead to a clicking sound otherwise known as grating, when the head is turned or twisted as a result of impairment of movement. The thick synovial fluid which surrounds the seven joints of the neck lubricates the bones and makes movement easier and free.
The fluid is made up of carbon dioxide and nitrogen gases capable of forming bubbles. Pressure within the bubble can increase as a result of movement, leading to popping or bursting of the bubbles. This is heard as cracking sound and is one of the major reasons why there is neck cracking.
When undergoing chiropractic adjustment, the cracking sound is produced due to a temporary vacuum created within the joint, which eventually collapses to create the clicking sound. Spasms of the neck muscles contribute in no small measure to clicking neck. Spasms lead to involuntary movement and stiffening of the muscles of the neck, especially the Sternocleidomastoid and the Trapezius muscle of the back thereby leading to a cracking sound as one tries to move the head in certain directions.
The different causes of neck muscle spasm include:. When there is a trauma to the muscles of the neck as seen in whiplash injury , the muscles go into spasm, leading to a pull on the cervical vertebrae bones of the neck thereby causing an abnormal curvature of the cervical vertebrae a condition known as Lordosis.
Stooping over a desk and hunching when sitting or walking can lead to neck muscle spasm especially when done for a long period. Adopting a bad position when sleeping like sleeping on an uneven surface or sleeping on too many pillows can also cause spasm of the muscles of the neck. Excessive loss of fluids and electrolytes such as calcium and magnesium can also bring about spasm of the muscles.
This may continue until the deficiency and the electrolyte imbalance are corrected. Excessive strain or overexertion of the muscles especially when you exercise without first stretching the muscles before the workout can lead to neck muscle spasm and consequently to neck cracking.
Excessive exercise of the muscle may give rise to reduced oxygen and a build-up of lactic acid in the muscle. These factors combine to reduce the muscles ability to stretch properly and relax. Psychological stress sometimes causes cramping of the muscles of the neck. This has been linked to the propping up of the shoulders during periods of anxiety and psychological stress.
With prolonged psychological stress, the muscles experience some cramping. Cracking neck is simply a situation where you experience some popping sound as you roll your neck after sitting in the same position for a long time. Those who crack their necks do so mainly to relieve the stiffness in the neck joints.
It is a bad and risky practice to crack your neck. This is because the practice can cause further damage to the muscles that are already overstretched from whiplash injury, for example. Cracking the neck repeatedly can also produce more stiffness and pain on the neck rather than creating the relief you seek.
With the stiffness and pain, movement could be further restricted on the neck. Besides, for those below the age of 60 years, repeated cracking can cause some blood vessels to rupture and produce a blood clot which eventually hinders adequate supply of blood to the brain. This can lead to stroke. However, if the cracking is occasional and unforced, the possibility of complications is minimal and remote. In a nutshell, neck cracking can result in neck pain, headache, stroke, joint degeneration or osteoarthritis, and some other problems.
Therefore, it is not advisable to crack your neck for any reason. Neck cracking can be treated in various ways, including treating the underlying cause of the problem. In the light of the foregoing, the problem can be treated in the following ways:. Seeing a spinal doctor who specializes in establishing the normal motion of the neck and putting the neck back to it normal function is a good place to start.
Adjustment manual manipulation of the joint would be performed to loosen those stiff muscles of the neck. The osteopath or chiropractor may even apply the traction or massage techniques in relieving the problem. Acupuncture can be used as a primary or auxiliary management for the problem. This can be carried out by naturopaths, physicians, massage therapist, physical therapists or chiropractor.
The acupuncture point that would provide the relief may be located at far away areas of the body, not necessarily on the neck. Clicking neck can also be treated through professional neck massaging that helps to lessen spasm, minimize inflammation and promote muscle relaxation. Such result can be achieved by massaging the deep tissues of the neck to handle the original muscle strain that could have resulted from whiplash, sports injury, etc.
Neck cracking sometimes results from minor injuries from physical activities or repetitive motions in the course of work. You can make a few adjustments in your work environment if it is contributing to your problem. If the position of your computer is making you strain your neck, change its position to a friendlier one. Your sleeping position could be responsible for the strain on your neck. If these are responsible, readjust them. Try an orthopaedic pillow or mattress that keeps your body on a straight alignment.
When the stiffness becomes uncomfortable, then there is the need to consider using a neck collar especially if there is spondylosis. This will help to minimize unnecessary movement of the affected muscles and reduce pains and further degeneration of the joints. Some forms of exercise are helpful in treating this condition. Since the pain is usually caused by neck muscle spasm, you have to apply an exercise that assists in reducing or easing the spasm.
Bend your head forward and allow your chin to touch your chest. This will help to stretch the muscles of the back of the neck and also strengthen the neck. In addition, bend your head sideways to help in easing the strain on the neck muscles.
Do the exercises up to 2 to 3 times daily. Since joint stiffness contributes to clicking neck, a gentle range-of-motion exercise can help release the stiff muscles and reduce pain and improve free movement. Stretch your neck muscles gently to ease the tension in the muscles of the neck. Exercise the weak muscles in order to increase the supply of blood to the area and reduce pain. Neck cracking can sometimes lead to a nasty headache. While some people believe that cracking is a way of relieving the tension built up in the neck joint, it is good to understand that cracking itself builds up pressure in the neck joint.
Occasionally, as you try to crack your neck you get the muscles overstretched and injured. This can manifest with headache. Besides, cracking can lead to trapping of nerves around the neck. When this happens, you are sure to receive a warning that something has gone wrong.
This comes in form of severe headache. Not all cases of neck cracking require the attention of the doctor. But you must consider seeing the doctor immediately if you have the following:. Neck cracking should not be seen as a solution to stiff or painful neck muscles.
If you are ever tempted to crack your neck, you must be sure that it does not pose any health danger to you and that it is done under the supervision of a professional doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist or naturopath.
However, if you have a cracking sound in your neck that needs attending to at home, the tips we have presented in this post will help relieve your problem without posing any danger to your life.
But if the suggestions fail to address your problem, see the doctor for further investigation and appropriate management of the condition.
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