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

BrihtwulfBrihtwulf Posts: 71
edited 06/11/2012 - 1:37 PM 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...



  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

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