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ask: What causes a clicking sound in the neck?

By Michelle King Robson Expert HERWriter

Hi everyone,

I was having lunch today with a good friend of mine and she was telling me how she's been having this really weird clicking sound in her neck that she notices when she turns her head from side to side.

I asked her more about it and she said as far as she can tell she is the only one who can hear it, it came on suddenly, and she does not have pain or numbness or anything.

She spends a lot of time on the computer and I'm voting for poor posture contributing to a neck issue of some type. She said that lately when she kind of rolls her head around she can make her neck kind of do a popping thing. She said she's also under a lot of stress lately so she's wondering if that's part of it.

Does anyone else here have a clicking neck when you turn your head? If so, did it go away on its own or did you need to see a doctor and or a chiropractor? I want to try to help my friend if we can. Thanks everyone! Michelle

Add a Comment70 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

A lot of fibromyalgia sufferers have pain the the neck and the back of the head. They also experience cracking/popping sounds when they move the neck around. It is always wise to seek medical assistance with anything that is ' out of the normal for you'

April 6, 2014 - 5:16pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have had my neck clicking for about 6 years now ( I'm 22).
It first happened when I was playing man hunt with friends when I was about 15. As I turned my head to look behind me, my head felt like it dislocated and I got a burning sensation up the back of my neck. Since then when ever I played netball the same thing would happen occasionally until it started to happen every time I played so I stopped. Now I have been left with this click in my neck. I though it went away but I think I just learnt to ignore it. Every time I move my head left to right.
I have never been to the doctors due to being a bit of a scaredy cat and every time I told my mum she was never inclined to take me so I just never went.
I do have bad posture and if I have been shopping for a while and have lots of bags then the top of my back ( just at the base of my neck) I start to get a sharp pain and it starts to go abit numb. This is the first time I have googled it ( I have been to scared to learn the results ) lol

December 19, 2013 - 3:16am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi guys, it's good to see some positive feedback coming into this thread, I think we are actually getting to the bottom of this which is that this is posture/ muscle and stress related. The more we stress the tighter we get and the more pressure we put on our bodies. I have now had the clicking from 1 year, always hope deep down that I can one day get rid of it so I try to focus on my posture though it's hard. I have signed up for soccer and I want to become stronger I think this mixed with some physio and time hopefully I can start to see results.

Mine all started randomly and I'm sure it will go away for all of us in time.

October 8, 2013 - 12:13am
tessalyn also have the clicking on my neck when I turn to the right and the left.I went to orthopedics doctor and he said my neck is flaming..and he prescribed me with some inflammation medicines and cream to apply to my neck,he also told me to take physical therapy twice a week,since I cant afford physical therapy..i do my own therapy at home..i do hot packs first and then my husband massage my whole neck and back for 30 minutes..then after I used a cold pack on my neck is very tight and stiff,and the clicking sound annoys me and taken all my energy..i feel tired and very irritated due to the stress level that I have over my clicking neck..i too want to quit my job to get all the rest that I hopefully my way of doing my therapy work because im tired of this clicking neck..

September 22, 2013 - 7:53pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to tessalyn)

I just wanted to wright you back because I know what you are going though. The doctors I went to just kinda did the same thing and I didn't have my deductible to paid to cover the therapy so it caused me to do some deep digging to get to the root of the problem. Doctors just try to heal your symptomatic problem to make it go away. I suggest getting a 250volt read light from any hardware store and a lamp clamp and shine it on your back for 20 minutes a day. The color frequency and the heat goes 3 inches into your tissue. Also I asked my doctor what she though caused this and she told me my posture. Make sure you are conscious about your posture...and honestly It is much deep the cause of this... I've recentely learned I have been nutrient defficent pretty much my whole life... I never at protein every meal with cooked vegetables... So I learned I had biounavailable calcium and magnesium which are sedative minerals and The nutritional plan I'm on now slowwwwwly puts back all these vitamins and minerals in balance plus remove toxic minerals/metals that were working in place of these. The doctor never got this deep with me... and honestly I wanted real answers... So if you anyone else wants real answers I have a program I studies I can help you with but it takes dedication, will and time. Good luck all.

September 23, 2013 - 12:51pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hey guys, I'm a 19 year old MALE.
It appears that I've had a similar issue for about 2-3 years now, and I've tried ignoring it here and there and it worked only halfway. Even now I feel like the cracking sound is still there. For my age it seemed to make me nervous at first. Whenever I move my neck back and forth, up and down is okay with slow movement, but with left to right side movements, there's a cracking sound that hits near my Adam's Apple. I don't know which joint is causing that reaction, but I am assuming it's a part of the thyroid that's having a problem. I am a big time computer user and sit on the chair a whole lot of the day, and I know for sure that I achieve little to no exercise here and there, rarely a lot of exercise at once. I am guilty of that, but I do want to figure out why at a young age I'm still experiencing cracks in the neck, especially when I move my neck to the left side. My Adam's Apple is quite large as well.
There's also a cracking sound that is made when I move my neck upward and to the left (northwest directions). If it's bad posture, what steps should I take?

June 30, 2013 - 9:13am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

To the individual with the enlarged Adam's apple,
You may be having a thyroid problem. Please go to your doctor as soon as possible, as an enlarged thyroid could be an indicator of a problem with your thyroid or even thyroid cancer. It is definitely something to have looked at.

All the best and God bless you!

- JesusSaves09

November 21, 2013 - 4:24pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I did take Thyroid tests, and they came back 100% normal. Adolescence would be the only factor taken into account but that's me being my age of 19. I'm pretty sure I didn't find anything wrong with me, nor did the doctors.

November 21, 2013 - 6:03pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

It is your computer use. I am on the computer 10 hours a day. My neck is shot. If you wear glasses you should have computer glasses. Also if you have bifocals this will really mess your neck up. Your eyes keep trying to adjust to far away and close and your head it bobbin up and down. If you are young you need to make sure your at eye level not looking down.
I am in the process of trying to get my neck back to where it was. I was fitted for a pair of computer glasses.
Hope this will help someone.

November 14, 2013 - 4:50pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I sit frequent times throughout the day on the laptop desk, because I am a college student, so it's bound to happen. My neck isn't considerably "shot" but I do have glasses and those are specifically night-time uses daily. That is due to vision being high in power, but that is beside the point. I have weird feelings with moving neck up and down (like a rubbing cartilage feeling) and it scares me. Otherwise, I try my best to keep eye level maintained to laptop setting. All my MRI results came back completely normal, as did my physician's report from every department I visited. I am not sure where this is all coming from; recently I developed neck muscle twitches from the back of neck, but I am not sure if that comes from me now going to the gym frequently per week or not. I have started exercising for a while at gym at school to enhance my neck fat and what not.

November 21, 2013 - 6:01pm
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