Ever wonder what that sharp pain and crackling noise in your neck is when you move your head? It may feel a little like you’re cracking your knuckles, but the noise is actually more often caused by something that can lead to a more a serious issue. The cracking is generally a result of some sort of minor injury, which is why you often feel tension or pain associated with the noise. It isn’t necessarily a big deal, but it can evolve into something much more dangerous if not taken care of.
What you’re experiencing is actually called clicking neck, which is a clear cracking or clicking sound caused by an aberrant form of movement of the head or neck, and is usually accompanied with stiffness and discomfort. The clicking noise is the sound of your neck vertebrae rubbing together as a result of muscle tightness. Often, it is caused by muscle spasm, which makes the muscle tense causing the neck muscle to shorten and pull over the vertebrae. Tight muscles caused by injury produce the same result. Two adjacent vertebrae in the neck rubbing together can also produce a clicking neck.
But a much simpler form of injury can also cause clicking neck, like from looking down too long, resulting in muscle strain. Any form of neck strain no matter how trivial it may seem can cause clicking neck. Things like sitting down and looking at a laptop for too long can cause stiffness. Even dehydration can cause clicking neck. When your muscles lack water and nutrients they start to spasm, which could also tug at your vertebrae. In a similar sense, emotional stress can generate similar effects as stress takes an immense physical toll on the body. Overexerting yourself and extreme fatigue makes muscles weak and tired. As this happens, the way your dehydrated muscles start to spasm, exhausted muscles will do the same. With the causes of clicking neck being so diverse it is important to see a chiropractor, and make sure you get your neck checked out if you continuously hear that clicking noise.
Sometimes clicking neck isn’t accompanied by any other symptoms other than the actual audible noise. However, the most common symptom after the noise is stiffness and pain. Next comes a reduced range of motion as it becomes difficult to turn and move around with such tight muscles. Less common symptoms include redness of skin around the stiff area, and swelling. Another unusual symptom is stiff or tingling arms, but this symptom generally means the problems is more serious and you should consult a doctor immediately if this happens.
Chiropractic treatment is a great way to deal with clicking neck, especially if it’s been chronic and not going away. Natural muscle relaxants such as Relax Already are also great for helping to reduce the spasm and associated pain. There is no drowsiness and it uses completely plant-based ingredients to ensure safety and effectiveness. Clicking neck can also be caused by stress, poor posture, and migraines that result in neck strain. This can easily be helped by a chiropractor that can perform a series of adjustments to release tension. Often times this can result in almost immediate relief from the pain and stiffness.
If you have clicking in your neck, call my office at 860-583-4346 and I’d be more than happy to examine you and determine the best course of treatment.