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  • JJSS
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    I am looking for some help mostly to understand what is going on in my neck. I have read your website where you mention to not give neck crepitus much attn. However…

    I would like your opinion on a couple things and help. I also thank you for the website and the help you offer here. Believe me, I am reading many posts and all over the web about neck noises.

    I have neck and low back issues. I am 62 female. I found out after massive pain at 55 that I had 3 herniations, osteoarthritis, and spondolylisthesis at L3-L4.

    End of last year, I started to back spasm more frequently -every month. I needed to take a flight to Mexico for my daughter’s wedding so went to drs for help. I generally have back pain for a week or so then I am ok. I ended up seeing a chiropractor as the drs wanted to do injections which to me were not necessary.

    The dr used the Cox Flexion Distraction table. I did PT with them. Also deep tissue on the back each visit 3x a wk. I went there for 3 mos.

    Now, in my neck I have DDD, moderate foraminal stenosis, mild and moderate central canal stenosis, bone spurs etc. in most of my lower disks.

    I have had pain down my arms before and 1 neck injection. So I had a PT stir up pain in my neck/shoulder area. I spoke to the dr I was seeing and he said he would do some “light” stretching and massage. I really was on the back end of this hurting and should have waited to see him. When I went in, he did not exam me or talk about my neck condition. I never ever would have wanted manipulation as it caused me horrific pain in my neck yrs ago. which I told him about months prior. I never would have wanted to repeat that again.

    I did not say “don’t manipulate me” as thought he was going to do what he mentioned the day before. I wish I had!! I know my neck and usually don’t let anyone touch it but trusted him to “not make anything worse.” My neck is very tight as well.

    Any way, I was face down on the table and he ran out of the room to get something. He said he wanted to get some movement in my neck. I did not know this was an adjustment tool. The Activator. I did not look up or see what he was doing. He hit me 3x down the back of my neck. He also stretched my neck right and left. I have not been the same since.

    Later in the day, I had tingling in my upper neck, then a sensation went down my whole neck, I was sweating and face flushed. I was on fire. I continued with burning pain in many areas for months. I had a lot of nerve sensations and actually now have myoclonic jerking when I wake up. I had an MRI 2 mos after this (in Nov.) there were no changes to my neck from an MRI 2 yrs ago. I did do an open MRI.

    The questions I have pertain to what I have now that I did not have before. Soon after this, I began to have crunching and could feel on my neck with my fingers movement like popping at a disk. Then the cracking/crackling started.

    I now have crackling in the back of my skull when I roll or turn. Almost feels like a tearing/shredding. I get high pitch cracks that are so loud (like breaking a stick). Usually these, put me into a sweat. These are hard cracks I feel and very scary. Tingling is back in my skull area again.

    I can turn my head back and forth over and over and get the same high pitch crackle/snap in one area of my neck 3-4x in a row. I get little crickles and other noises and feeling of movement in my neck with the cracks. I can even get little crickle/cracks when I am not even moving. I have cracked on the side of my head and other head areas. There is a gritty sound s well. Sometimes I just crack with movement sometimes with turning my head.

    I can breathe and hear cracking/ disks moving. I even get like triple cracks. (Actually my shoulder has started doing that as well.) There is so much cracking going on I just don’t know how to adjust to this. It is almost with every move either small high pitch crickle noises or cracks. Noises are just always there.

    All this is constant all day. It is worse in bed -crackling along as I am rolling my head and then can feel the disk area pop or crunch especially if have had my head turned for a bit.

    Now my questions: Could the chiropractic treatment I had move structures to cause all this?
    Could the Activator have done damage of some sort?
    Could Over- Stretching or the Activator have moved things to now rub or fit incorrectly etc ? I don’t know if my ligaments or something is now lax.

    Does all this noise mean conditions in my neck will get worse?

    Is there anything I can do to lessen this or help get rid of this?

    Will this turn into pain with the cracks?

    Where is all this coming from and why? Why so often and so much of this everywhere in my neck?

    I so regret going this direction for help. I broke my own rule of never having anyone touch my neck. I can’t believe I let this happen to my neck again!! Everyone tells me to stop beating myself up for this -I just did not know this would turn out so badly and did not speak up when I should have. This is all I think about or hear and feel all day long! It has me so worried.

    I hope you can calm some of my fears and offer some solutions

    Also I hope the Cox Flexion table was ok for my back condition?? I hope you can respond to that as well. I sure hope I don’t have problems there and then wonder if I ruined my back as well.

    Thank you so much. By the way, I have spent a long time on this email on what to say and how to say it and had my neck crack several times in the disks.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    The “activator” tool for chiropractic is a benign device that imparts a very small force impact to the targeted area. It generally cannot cause injury and is benign.

    The “noises” in your neck are most likely from arthritic facets. Normally, facet surfaces are perfectly smooth and glide on each other without any resistance. When these surfaces develop pits and ridges, the noise generated is right next to your ear and bone transmission is very good. These noises sound like gunshots on occasion. If these noises are not painful, in general there is noting to worry about.

    Pain associated with these noises is a different story. The facets are made of bone at their base and bone pain can be uncomfortable to quite substantial. The surrounding tissue (called a capsule) can also generate pain.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    JJSS
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Thanks for the information and reply.
    I get a crunch noise around C5-C6. I can feel something move when this happens with my fingers? like a pop on the right side of the vetebrae

    Would that just be ligaments moving? What would cause that?

    I just can’t help but feel this HAD to have something to do with the activator and cold stretching. I had burning/inflammation for 3 months. The noise in my neck started soon after and escalated. I just wish I could understand why.

    The cracks are like snapping a stick. I can feel hard cracks and most times always with movement the crackling gritty sounds.

    It is bad enough to have problems in the neck but low back too and neuropathy all makes for PAIN. I think the neuropathy is spinal related myself. Thanks for a bit more info

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    The “snaps, crackles and pops” in your neck are due to the irregular joint surfaces. When degeneration occurs to the facets, the normally glassy smooth joint surfaces develop ridges (peaks and valleys).

    These ridges “catch” on each other and create the noises that you are so familiar with. Rarely, a ligament or capsule might catch and pop which could make a large sound.

    Stretching can induce increased motion which in turn can cause more neck noise. If I use my imagination, the activator tool could under very unusual circumstances cause these noises but as I noted before, it is a very benign tool.

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
    JJSS
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Thanks for the reply.

    The sounds are like they are in my head and neck tissues. So gritty/crackling constantly. Even my shoulder is cracking now. Lying in one position will generate lots of cracking when I move. Turning my head back and forth multiple times to the right creates a constant crack/pop.

    I went to an orthopedic dr last week, who would not even let me talk.
    I turned down an xray since I have an enlarged thyroid.

    Does everyone with degeneration/stenosis develop all this crackling/cracking and movement in the neck?

    Can ligaments move in the neck by the vetebrae?
    This scares me when something gives in there and crunches. What would that be that you can feel move out of place?

    You have helped me more than any dr I have seen. It is too bad a dr, does not feel that every person is important and just take a few minutes to answer questions. This dr was more interested in getting back on schedule.

    I sure wish I knew why so much of my body is arthritic. Why this had to start and escalate I sure would like to know.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Moderator
    Post count: 8409

    Just about everyone develops cracking or grinding noises in the neck with degeneration. Most of us do not pay attention to these noises but they can become quite maddening if you really pay attention to them. You need to ignore these noises.

    Ligaments (joint capsules and tendons) can also “flick” over a bone spur and cause similar noises.

    Arthritis is generated by genetics, injury, occupation, advocation and metabolics. Don’t worry about the arthritis unless it is painful as there is nothing you can do about it and many times, arthritis is not symptomatic (noises don’t count).

    Dr. Corenman

    PLEASE REMEMBER, THIS FORUM IS MEANT TO PROVIDE GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPINE ANATOMY, CONDITIONS AND TREATMENTS. TO GET AN ACCURATE DIAGNOSIS, YOU MUST VISIT A QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL IN PERSON.
     
    Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.
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