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Cracking and popping my neck...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
does it do more damage?

I mean, for me to crack my neck I either have to tilt my neck and/or I have to have done it for quite some time.

The sound it makes has changed too. It used to be a deep, pop sound. Now it sounds like a shallow crack sometimes with the pop mixed in.

I started doing it because I was stretching my neck out one day and I heard a pop and it felt better for a few minutes. I've been doing it ever since maybe 20-30 times a day. After the sound changed and the fact that pain follows now I figured I better do a little research.

Also, sometimes it feels like my neck is stuck in a certain position after it cracks.

As far as I know the only issues I have with my neck are the two herniated discs, two compressed discs and pinched nerves.

I recall reading something on here, an article someone posted maybe, that said cracking/popping your neck/back is not very good at all.

Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks.


  • I think you should leave it up to a chiropractor! I have the same problem popping/cracking my neck. I see a chiro who says "DO NOT DO THAT." It is a hard habit to break and I still do it occasionally. And then I pay for it. My neck is out again from my doing. So i am back to seeing him to fix it again! Best of luck to you!
  • My NS says if I go to a Chiro to never come back to him. :(

    And to be honest with you I'd be scared to death to lead Chiro "adjust" my neck.
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  • Thanks Paul, great article. I'm one of those terrible people that crack my joints all the time or they crack me. I don't remember a time in my life where my joints and spine have't cracked or popped.

    I can understand you not ever wanting to crack or pop your neck or back ever again. I tried to be that way, but I just couldn't not pop my back. I asked my NS one day (after my last lumbar surgery) what would happen and he said go right ahead and find out. Of course he was smiling the entire time and he about fell out of his chair laughing when he heard my back pop and saw my reaction the first time. Instead of what I had been used to, there was this huge "thud" and then complete relief. It scared the daylights out of me and then "cracked me up" to see him laughing. I guess I had the look of utter panic on my face when it happened.

    That was three years ago and I still get that wonderful pressure releiving thud when I go to pop my lower back.

    I just recently started moving my neck again after not being able to for several months. Now I'm scared because I don't want to break a lead or extension wire.

    Bottom line though is talk to your doc.


    Sorry I got off on a bit of a tangent.
  • lol at the above. i had snap crackle pop in my neck 3 weeks after my c1 c2 posterior fusion. i still hear it since i am onlt four weeks post op. i was so worried about this that i ran to doc for x ray. apparently it is all part of the healing process after surgery. all makes sense to me now after reading the above article. awesome thanks
  • I get the deep pop whenever I turn my head to the right or when I'm trying to do my neck stretches. It makes tiny little clicking sounds all of the time. No surgery though, it's just what it does.
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  • Have you noticed this could possibly be related to a medication you take? I have been taking adderoll for years, but now taking vyvanse. I have noticed that they both seem to make the popping easier to do, and seems like I need to do it more often to relieve pressure. Any experiences with this? Comments? Should I be worried about doing long term damage?
  • Hi .
    I had a C3 to C7 fusion 15 years ago , ever since , my neck cracks for no apparent reason , sometimes it hurts for a couple of days , and usually it goes away with heat therapy and Advil ..
    Hope this helps.
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