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Does anyone else hear "clicks" in their head when their back cracks?

BrihtwulfBBrihtwulf Posts: 71
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Chronic Pain
I've had this happening for quite some time, and for a while I thought it was probably normal. But people I've talked to don't really seem to experience the same thing, so I thought I would ask here to see if maybe it's related to my spinal issues. I'll try to explain what it sounds like.

Any time I stretch and loosen my back, or it cracks, or my vertebrae are shifting, I hear a "tick" or "click" sound in my head. I'm not talking about the crunch that everyone's back makes when it cracks. This is more like a tinny sound. If you've ever been swimming in a lake and something makes a snap or a boat drives nearby, it's similar to that high-pitched clicking sound.

Does anyone know why I'm hearing that, or what's causing it? Maybe it's normal, but it's just weird. I don't remember always hearing that sound...

-JJ
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Comments

  • I have no idea what you're talking about, so I assume it does not happen to me. Also, my back does not "crack."

    How long does the "sound" last? It sounds a bit like tinnitus but I gather the sound does not continue on?
  • No, it doesn't continue on. It only happens when my vertebrae move/crack. I don't crack my back or have anyone do it, like a chiropractor. It just happens when I stretch. As my back cracks a little when my vertebrae move, it hear those little clicks in my head. It is a very tinny, sort of crackling sound, but it is instantaneous and doesn't continue on after the fact.

    Even if I lean forward a little or stretch my shoulders up after I've been stationary for a bit, I can hear my spine move and click a little in my head. It's as if the vibration is moving up my spine into my brain. At least that's what it seems like to me when it happens. I know it sounds weird, and that's why I thought I would ask. Definitely going to bring this up to my doctor as well.

    -JJ
  • Just recently I have started hearing clicking when I walk. My PM Dr. said that is is arthritis.
  • For about 6 years I would hear a crackling sound from my spine in my ears with every step I would take !!
    I told some of the Doc's and they thought I was nuts !!
  • Yes, those clicks!! I can't believe there is someone else out there who hears the clicks. My back cracks every time I stretch it a bit too, and every time it cracks it feels like something in my head cracks too. I thought that maybe it's just the sound of the crack traveling upwards and that's why it feels like there is a clicking sound in my head too - but I don't know anymore.

    Also, when I walk up the stairs, I feel this very slight rubbing-clicking sound traveling up through my head as well. I know, this all sounds insane, especially to normal people! Please if you bring this up with your doctor, let me know what he/she says. I figure it must be related to our back issues. Or perhaps yet another problem. Yeah, that would be exciting.
  • I used to always feel relief when mine would crack and pop. Not any more. I'm like perpetual I feel the rubbing popping and sorta grinding sound.
  • YES!! Since my lumbar fusion (actually began about 1 year out) my NECK makes snapping/sharp clicking sounds all the time..like knuckle crackiing stuff--so loud sometimes that my kids in class will ask "What was THAT?" Often they are accompanyied by an electrical-type "zap" up to the top of my head...like a lightning bolt from neck to head, & just that fast. Like a metalic sound, like a short/quick jolt-bolt.

    NS has no clue. Never had ANY throactic or neck problems b4 the lumbar stuff. But I believe everything is connected & compromised now...& yes, when I crack the fusion area (not on purpose but thru normal movement) my whole spine from L4/5 up will "crack" ending w/ the neck *SNAP*...

    Sure makes life interesting!

    Terriffic thread! JJ, you are NOT alone in this!

    ~Lakeside
  • Honestly though I've never really thought about it... I snap, crackle, and pop everywhere... but the description of being 'tinny' --- I know exactly what you mean... sometimes I get that particular kind of crackling at my atlanto-occipital joint, but I get it really often in my jaw when I chew in the morning... -> pretty sure I have TMJ, but I can still eat, and I don't even notice the pain unless I have a headache. So I don't see any point in seeing a doc about it.
  • After my lumbar fusion, I occasionally get a loud vibration zzzziittt, zzzziiiittt zap in my ears and head.
    Most of the time when it occurs, my pain level is pretty high. After I take a breakthru med, it usually goes away.

    It is not constant, just like I said--zzzziiittt, zzziiitt--two maybe three times, then nothing. It is sort of like a vibration, or electrical noise, but it is more of a noise than a feeling. A few minutes later, it may happen again. If I take the breakthru med, it usually does not return.

    I have the constant hearing loss/constant ringing genetic tinnitis. It is not like that.

    My neurosurgeon said it is stress. My primary care doc ignores it every time I mention. My pain management doc said he had never heard of such a thing.
  • I have experienced this after cervical surgery and over a period of a few months it stopped happening. It seemed to be tied to when I first got up in the morning or when I overexerted myself a bit. It always reminded me of sticking your tongue on a 9 volt battery as a kid.

    "C"
  • Briht, that's pretty interesting, I do have tinnitis, but like you mentioned, it's constant and not momentary. Maybe it's a different form of tinnitis?

    Out of Control, also interesting, I know exactly what you're talking about! I've had that since I was really young. I've now wondered, if it has something to do with my sinuses. I used to get really bad ear infections when I was little, and I remember asking my doctor once about it. Even at such a young age (like maybe 7-ish) I remember him looking at me like I was a big weirdo and seemingly thinking "silly little girl" lol. Now that I'm thinking about it, I usually only experience that when I'm having sinus issues, or have a "head cold". I can actually make it happen just normally too, it's like a low, deep rumbling/vibration in my ears. Don't ask me how I can make it happen, I can't explain it, it's kind of like being able to flex some kind of muscle in behind my jaw by my ear drums, or something. I know, it's weird, but that's the only way I can explain it.
    Kelly
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I have trouble with the lower part of my back and I can feel the the bones click not pop when every thing is relaxed. I've noticed it in the shower or after I'd had the moist heat and tens on my back. I've mentioned it to the doctor but he either doesn't hear me or doesn't feel it's a problem. As for things cracking my fingers and toes crack when I bend them. Sometimes I sound like a bag of egg shells.
  • They actually touched on this on the TV show "The Doctors" a while ago. They gave several reasons. Air accumulation around the joint - pops as it releases, another was mild movement of the ligaments, could be rubbing of spurs. If arthritis is causing it, mild or worse pain can be felt. I use to think it was just air trapped somehow. Dunno, but thought I'd toss it in as food for thought.

    For me, I am more inclined (for my neck) to go with ligament movement, since much of it increased after each surgery...

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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