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Crack and Pop

Hey all I was helping my seven year old shower and all of a sudden I felt and heard my neck crack and pop, I was just doing something normal. Has anyone else experienced this before, the pain just increased a lot of course it's 9:00 pm so another crappy night of sleep. Is this "normal" for spineys, my entire spine "cracks" pretty easy. Thanks, Joe
ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.


  • My neck is always making cracking noises. I find that stretching will reduce the cracking. Make sure you stretch daily so that the muscles are not too tight. Stretching and more stretching and try to do some "gentle" core strengthening exercises. Doing yoga, pilates, etc. left me in more pain than I started out with. Good luck!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Thanks Lili here it is 2:30 am and still not able to sleep can't get comfortable, no matter if I sit up in bed or lay down on back or sides my neck still hurts. I had to take another Vicodin ES which doesn't help much, hopefully I will get so tired I can sleep for a few hours. Not sleeping since surgery is starting to take a toll on me. Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • Do you take something to help with sleep, like valium or flexeril?
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Ativan and elavil for past four years I have PTSD with depression and anxiety from 9/11. Ever since I have had trouble sleeping at least I haven't had a ground zero related dream in awhile. Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • Hey buddy,
    How are you feeling today? I'm sure like Lili said that thats normal. I am pretty stiff in my neck today but its manageable as long as I keep up with my meds. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers,hope today is a good one : )
    Missy, 1 level ACDF C6/C7 Monday July 16th 2012.

  • My neck hurts and have had shooting nerve pain all day from neck to both arms, also some tingling in legs and feet. My wife is at work and I need to feed my kids but don't feel like doing anything. My 14 yr old daughter is alter serving at 430 pm mass I had to call my brother who is going to same Mass and picked her up. I can barely turn my head. Just sitting here watching the Olympics, Good Luck to all our Countries and may all athletes perform at their best and not be injured. I hate too see an athlete get hurt or fall after four years of hard training and have it affect the outcome. Of course I am cheering on the USA but rather see good competition then an easy "win". God Bless, Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • sunshinebry2000ssunshinebry2000 Posts: 81
    edited 07/28/2012 - 11:04 PM
    Joe, I had those same pains in the neck shooting down both arms, I do not know if it is normal but i thought it might help to know that I felt it and it subsided. I cannot emphasize enough how you need to really not over do it I did and paid the price. I remember being in the shower and bending my neck back to wash my hair and It felt like I snapped my neck but I didnt and I lived through it. You will start to learn your limitations through trial and errors unfortunatley. Just because you can stretch that far does not mean that you should. The muscle relaxers helped alot, I wish you a pain free night my fellow spiney. Blessings Kim
    Kimberly Martin
  • my neck is cracking/popping a lot. My Dr. says it's ok as long as I don't force it. I have noticed that it pops more when I'm relaxed (ie., when my muscles aren't tight). i start PT today, and I will discuss the issue with the therapist. Here's to a pain free day.
    - Vin

    3 level ACDF, c3/4, c5/6/7 in May 2012
  • There is oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen in synovial fluid. When you turn your neck, pressure against the synovial fluid drops and a bubble of the carbon dioxide forms and pops as it comes off the synovial fluid. It pops too when it bursts causing a popping sound when you turn your neck.

    A cracking sound may be heard as the ligaments move over uneven bone surface.

    People think that their actual bones are cracking or there is something serious going on but it's just the same when people "crack" their knuckles or their knees make noise when getting up...Your ankles...etc.

    As mentioned....don't try to force this or try to do it often....but it happening on it's own should be no problem.
  • that is alot of popping, my knuckles only pop onece, never every time I move
  • My physical therapist told me yesterday that it's just gases being released at the joints that has been built up due to lack of movement. Nothing to worry about unless it is accompanied by pain. My ankles and knees crack in the morning when I first wake up. Hope you are sleeping better!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • turned my neck too far the other day and when I turned it back my neck popped and about sent me through the roof, I try not to do that anymore. I have know about built up gasses for a long time, but to ride in a car and when hitting bumps and pot holes is a lot of built up gasses in one place, thats all I am saying
  • islandstylistiislandstylist Posts: 307
    edited 07/31/2012 - 9:18 AM
    I just had a shower today and turned my face into the shower to wash it and felt something pop in the front of my neck like maybe I popped a stitch!? Damnit, I was being so careful too. I don't see anything on the outside of my incision though so maybe thats good. I meant to ask if you're showering without a bandage on your incision? How are you feeling today?
    Missy, 1 level ACDF C6/C7 Monday July 16th 2012.

  • Lili_InuLLili_Inu Posts: 633
    edited 07/31/2012 - 10:15 AM
    Just checking in to see how you are doing. Are you getting enough rest? Rest is very important for your recovery and I know that the summer months are the hardest when you have children. I find myself often in more pain due to the constant bickering and fights my girls get into. Wishing you a good day! :-)
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Hello my friends, Missy my surgeon used glue so I didn't have any stitches and was able to shower. I called my doctors office and they phoned in flexeril for me, hope it helps me to sleep have been up to 3-5am every night. Missy I hope your pop was not a bad one. Isn't this great now I have to worry about emitting gas from somewhere else. Lili I have two girls a 14 yr old hormonally challenged and a 7 yr old that doesn't have a stop button, let alone pause. I hope all us spineys can have a few pain free moments. God Bless, Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • susabellssusabell Posts: 238
    edited 08/02/2012 - 11:13 AM
    I have been thinking of you, and Missy, and all the rest of the members who have just had surgery. It takes a long time. I am 2 years post op with a 3 level. I have finally found a PM Dr. thru my primary care who has injected me in c7 & t1. I have not had this much relief in over 3 years!!! I can go out and do things I was not able to do before. I still Do Not Lift anything heavy. My neck gets tired I put my soft collar on. When I lay down I find laying on my back with a roll pillow very helpful. I cannot sleep on my stomach and never will. I can lay on my side. I have not been on the sight because I have been looking for my own place. I have lived with family member's ever since I started having all the horrible symptoms, and after surgery. They want their life back, and I don't blame them, but this is very hard. I still have my pain meds available, and muscle relaxers, and anti-anxiety medication. I hope you all feel better with the coming days, and months. I say a prayer every night for all of you. As we are all in this together. NO ONE ELSE UNDERSTANDS! or they get SICK of Hearing about it.

    God Bless

    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
  • Joe241JJoe241 Posts: 185
    edited 08/02/2012 - 4:19 PM
    I also pray for you Susie and all others because only us spineys know the true pain we feel and what it feels like to be thought of as a drug seeker. Unless you have been through it you CAN NOT understand the pain, frustration, anxiety and sometimes depression we go through. When I'm told "you shouldn't be in that much pain" or "you had surgery you should be better" I wish I could but that person in my body for three days so they will have an understanding of how we have to live our lives. We cannot take anything for granted anymore, like Missy said "I turned my head in the shower and felt and heard a pop even though I'm trying to be real careful." Just because the popping is from gases escaping doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Good luck and God Bless all of my spiney friends, you are all my cyber space family. Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • Hi buddy,

    I also thought I would post in your neck of the woods. I have been sleeping until very early morning, but if I sleep too long without my pain meds my neck feels like its broken. Scary feeling but it must be normal this early on. My incision looks like its healed okay now. Was very red at first.

    You know its funny I dont feel bad for myself but lately have been feeling bad for my family. They keep wanting me to "get out of the house and do something". Lol! I am not able to yet but they dont understand. I go for my checkup with the neuro on the 16th and hope I can do more by then.

    How have you been sleeping now? Better I hope. I hope the flexeril is working for you. Hang in there Joe,we will get through this together. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Missy, 1 level ACDF C6/C7 Monday July 16th 2012.

  • Hi Missy the flexeril is helping some I'm still up close to three am and wake up groggy. My dad is starting to have health issues and the past two days I have gone to his house and today he exploded on me because I didn't get him the right dish for his food. Basically he said I'm mad because you don't think, before mom died it was I always look pissed today he told me to get the fuck out of his face, I was six feet away. Now my siblings are mad at me because it's all my fault and now they have to do more, but when I said I can't go over everyday they said you have to. I said I shouldn't even be driving but it didn't matter, I know they are lashing out at me because they won't to my dad. Tired of being the scape goat every time he gets mad at me, they all say it's just the way he is but still blame me. I know family is important but when I'm always blamed it hurts, I'm a human being, if I could I would move far away from here. I was told to stop stop feeling sorry for myself when all I did was give my side. Sorry Missy for taking your post but I have nowhere else to turn to. People here know the pain and frustration we feel every day so you all can understand. I am not posting so everyone feels sorry and I get five hundred post telling me it's not my fault, I just needed to get it out. Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • I am so sorry you have to deal with this
    right now when your trying to heal from
    A major operation. I know how you feel
    I've been a similar situation. Especially
    when we don't get the sleep we need.

    Hopefully soon the family issues will ease
    Up for you. It just causes do much stress
    and we need to be very positive during the
    healing process. Keep your chin up! All of
    us here at SH r family. We understand each
    others pains that's for sure!

    Tall Hugs!
    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
  • islandstylistiislandstylist Posts: 307
    edited 08/07/2012 - 5:59 AM
    Joe, I am sorry that you are going through this! You need to do whats good for YOU right now. You just had major surgery and your siblings will just have to pick up the slack. Concentrate on healing. I know it's hard when all this is going on around you but keep coming here and posting to us. We're here for you.

    Hugs and I hope today is a better one.
    Missy, 1 level ACDF C6/C7 Monday July 16th 2012.

  • Thank you Susie and Missy I choked up reading your reply's it's nice having "family" that cares about each other on a daily basis. Unfortunately I am used to being treated this way, my last job I spent the last 8-9 years operating equipment out of the 22 years I worked there. I always pick things up quickly and when you operate heavy equipment on and off road with people inches from you you have to be confident or you won't be a good operator. I think operating equipment for so long was a huge factor in having neck and back problems because you are constantly looking around and you also are bounced around all of the time. Even though I was confident I was never cocky or looking for trouble, at least 50% of my co-workers started shit and wanted to fight me, I never fought with any of them. For whatever reason they all wanted me to fail and if I met a coworkers wife they hated me more after that. Actually several of my co-workers were gay or went both ways and they hated me more. Sorry for rambling all I ever do is treat people the way I want to be treated and volunteered over 25 years of my life as a firefighter and EMT because helping people is ingrained in me. All I ever wanted was to be treated with respect, I was told by a supervisor when I was 21 that I am a natural and can pick up anything, I almost wish I wasn't good with everything I did and don't want to sound conceded. Thanks, Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • Your life is tough and complicated right now, and problems are coming at you from all directions.
    Try to stay strong, but what you must do is to look after yourself. Your body and emotions are recovery from a major surgery and you need to take care of them both and do everything that you can to reduce the load.
    It sounds like that may mean taking a break from your Dad for a little while. You have other members of the family that can step in. They may not like it, but it is what you need. Once you are fully over this surgery and able to function normally again, then you will feel stronger emotionally as well as physically to cope with negative reactions.

    You have a lot of people here who care about you and we will support you through this. Here is a place where you can come and open up about how you are feeling. Please do give yourself enough time to get strong again. Now is the time to look after yourself. You are worth it.

    Hoping that you have a comfortable and peaceful day.

  • Hello everyone, I just found and joined here at Spine health. I've been reading your posts, and as sorry as I am that there are so many suffering from this problem, I think it is nice that there is someplace to meet and talk with others.

    I had a posterior C1-C2 fusion 9 years ago. I just read about Joe's family not understanding about the mobility problems involved with neck surgery. People definitely take their neck movements for granted. Before we had our surgeries, I suppose we also did not "feel" our necks either. Not that I want anyone to have neck pain, but I have to smile inwardly when someone says "I woke up with a stiff neck this morning" because they walk that mile in our shoes for a day.

    I just wanted to say "hi" and introduce myself. I just checked "chat" and no one was there. I will try to check between 7 - 9 pm like some one mentioned. I'm from the west coast of USA.

    I see these posts were mainly in March, so I'm hoping everyone is a little better by now (August).


    C1 - C2 PCDF 2003
  • islandstylistiislandstylist Posts: 307
    edited 08/09/2012 - 11:57 AM
    Wow you have been through so much! Were you in an accident to have needed a fusion that high up? I hope you are doing well now and you are so right "normal" people really don't understand. I find that everyone in my family keeps saying things like "you will be totally better soon" They really don't understand how major an operation like this is. I am starting to realize that I have to be ok with my new normal. I am sure you have gone through something similar.

    This forum is a really good support system and Im glad you found us. Welcome to you.

    Missy, 1 level ACDF C6/C7 Monday July 16th 2012.

  • You have had to endure a lot in your life.That's really shitty to deal with but you are tough buddy and will overcome all these obstacles. Just wanted to let you know that we are all here for you and that you can come here for support whenever you need to.

    As far as recovery,I am really slow going when I wake up. My neck is still super stiff and painful. I am trying not to do anything to F this fusion up. My biggest fear is not fusing. I haven't been able to get a lot of nutrients in either beause my dilaudid makeS me feel sick. Damnit! LOL. Enough about me... How are you feeling?

    Hope today is a good one.

    Baby hugs for you and me cause we're both healing. Lol!
    Missy, 1 level ACDF C6/C7 Monday July 16th 2012.

  • Thanks for the message. This is such a large board, I wasn't sure if I was posting in the right place.

    I see you are just now recuperating from your surgery. I still wear a soft collar when I sleep so my neck stays aligned and doesn't get in any positions to strain anything. And I usually sleep in my recliner. Laying down is not comfortable anymore. Are you in a brace of some kind? I also use the Therma-care heat pads when I know I'll be out all day with others. It is possibly too early for you to start doing some neck strengthening exercises, but after you start PT, you might get some relief from the stiffness. Be sure to give yourself some time to take it easy. This is not an easy or fast surgery to recuperate from. During the day be sure to sit down and rest your neck muscles so they don't spasm. It is slow going, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as they say. ;)

    I'll keep checking back to see how you are doing.


    C1 - C2 PCDF 2003
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 08/09/2012 - 12:03 PM
    I have heard that C1/2 fusion is a horrible one to recover from. How are you now 9 years later?
    I assume that you are still having problems as you are here. Did you get any years without pain?

    There is a place on the forum for new members to introduce themselves. If you click on the Pain Forums button at the top of the page, you will see it and you can introduce yourself to us all there. This is a great place to find others who truly understand the 'pain' of having spinal problems. There are always friendly people to listen and offer support. I expect you can offer many of us support as you have already walked this road of recovery.

    I also sometimes go into the 'chat' but no-one ever seems to be there. I am in the UK so the time difference probably means that I am there at the wrong time for most others.

    I am looking forward to getting to know you better.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 08/09/2012 - 9:52 AM
    How are you sleeping? In a bed, or a recliner? Lots of pillows? Do you wear your collar while you sleep?
    It worries me that I will move my head into an unsuitable position and hurt myself. I move around a lot in my sleep!

    I am asking so many questions. Can you tell I am trying to come to terms with needing this ACDF?

    Take good care of yourself and keep healing.

    Gentle hugs >:D< >:-D< :hug:

  • Thanks for the welcome. I'll check out the introduction postings.

    Are you scheduled for surgery or still thinking about it? The best part of the surgery, is there isn't as much pain as before. At least that is how it was for me. I left the hospital after 4 days on Tylenol. A little discomfort from the incision on the back of my neck, but that was nothing in comparison. I wore a hard plastic type brace for 3 months. Ate mostly through swivel straws because I couldn't open my mouth all the way because of the chin holder. I was feeling pretty good so I thought I might try going back to work part time (against the Drs orders) and do some substitute work for people on vacation. I was a school secretary. My neck spasmed up so bad from looking down and around so much that I had to go back into the brace for a few weeks. After that what used to be my "not so good days" became my good days and I wish I had listened. My Orthopedic surgeon really did know what he was talking about.

    Please let us know when you are scheduled so we can be here for you when you get home.

    Take care......................

    C1 - C2 PCDF 2003
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