Saturday, January 31, 2009 terrie, Community Member, asks

Q: i hear a sizzling or crackling sound in the backside of my neck when i tilt my head back?

I am 36yr old female this has only happened about 5 or 6 times within the last 3 months and it only lasts about 10 to 15 min. and then it seems to just go away on it's own. It sounds like it comming from underside of my skull line (if that makes aney since).

I just want to know if this is something i should be worried about and if theres aneything i should do the next time it happens. Theres no real pain from it it just scares me when it happens cauze i dont know what is cauzing it. Thanks in advance for aney help/advice.

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Answers (1)
2/ 1/09 3:55pm

Many people experience a cracking sensation when the neck is extended, rotated or flexed. It is perfectly normal. The spine is really just a series of joints where bones come together. At any area where there is a joint, cracking may occur because the bones adjust relative to each other from time to time like realigning. Some people experience cracking in their finger knuckles, some people experience cracking in the knees, anlkes or shoulder. As one gets older, there is even more cracking because bones start the shift more with aging. Kinda of like an old car. It starts out quiet and tightly fitted. But, as the miles add up, a few more rattles, pops, and cracks tend to be heard.


Don't be scared. Just keeping moving your neck naturally, the bones will work themselves out on their own. If you would like to read more about taking care of your neck, I reccommend the books by Robin Mckenzie one of which is titled "Treat Your Own Neck". Continue educating yourself. Education will serve you well as you travel down the highway of life and put some miles on.


Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

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By terrie, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/01/14, First Published: 01/31/09