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Neck pain and cracking sounds

Newcastle chiropractor explains neck pain and cracking sounds

My neck cracks when I turn my head, even when I don’t have neck pain is that normal?

Many people would be familiar with this experience, a cracking or grinding noise in their neck upon movement. It may occur with neck pain or without. These uncomfortable sounds, also called crepitus refers to the grating, cracking or popping sensation you hear coming from your spine.


A common example is reversing your car out of the drive way, as you turn your neck  to check your blind spot you hear a crack or pop sensation. Crepitus may occur in any moveable joint in the body and may also be accompanied by stiffness or  tightness in the area which will create the neck pain. Some people also find temporary relief in forcing a pop sound from their joints. So what are the possible causes?


* Dysfunctional / degenerative joints. If the cartilage has worn down in the joints, smooth surfaces may no longer exist and bone on bone surfaces create a grinding noise.

* Fluid changes in the joint. Synovial fluid between a joint provides lubrication for movement, when the pressure changes in the fluid it creates a gaseous bubble. The creation of these bubbles makes a cracking or popping sound.

* Ligament or tendon movement. When soft tissues move over a bone they can make a snapping sound that can be heard when your joints are moved.

If the crepitus is constant, or accompanied with neck pain it could indicate a joint function problem and you should consider seeking professional advice.


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