crunching sound in neck when turning head

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1 day at a time
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 1/12/2014 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I noticed another post about neck/shoulder problems, but didn't want to hijack the thread. I have similar problems with my neck and shoulder which have been a problem for over 15 years. Lately, I've noticed that my neck makes a really loud crunchy sound when I turn it to the left. I also get very dizzy and sick to my stomach. The pain has also increased and shoots down my arm.

When it comes to my neck, I'm terrified to let anyone try to manipulate it (like a chiropractor) or perform surgery as it is so close to my head/brain. MRIs and XRays from years past showed bulging discs and no curve in the neck, which was consistent with whiplash (injury occurred from a very stupid accident).

My insurance has changed this year so coverage may not be as good as it was last year. I've been a chronic pain patient for over 15 years and have been stable enough to work full time. My work duties also changed that force me to stare at a computer for extended periods of time which I think are making it worse. I know I should be re evaluated, but given my insurance issues, it may take a long time. Any suggestions for short term relief until I can get a referral? Also who do u folks think I should get referred to?

Thank you for listening and hope everyone is having a good day.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16384
   Posted 1/12/2014 3:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello 1 day at a time. I too have a long history of neck problems which started as a result of a car accident many years ago. Combine that with other incidents over the years and like you when I worked some days I spent a lot of time on the computer. I have done everything except surgery. Something that helps me when I start having a lot of problems is moist heat & a massages. It gets a little expensive paying for the massages out of pocket but they are worth it.

You would be wise to not let someone manipulate your neck, sometimes that can lead to making the situation a whole lot worse in the long run. I am not against chiropractic care & have had more than my fair share of it over the years, but a couple of very good friends were & are chiropractors and both said they would not touch my neck except to have massage therapy.

It sort of sounds like you have a pinched nerve when speak of the pain shooting down your arm. My son not long ago lifted our dog that is huge & immediately he began having the symptoms you are describing. His primary care dr referred him to a board certified, fellowship trained neurosurgeon. He reviewed the MRI & showed us exactly where the problem was on the MRI, he has a lot of arthritis in his neck, some spinal stenosis and along with an osteophyte that was pinching a nerve. He said obviously I make my money doing surgery but I believe in trying conservative measures before ever recommending surgery if at all possible. He scheduled him for an epidural steroid injection done with sedation. They injected him with a steroid & some other meds for all of the inflammation. The radiologist also did this with guided imaging to make sure he injected the correct level where the problem was. The dr then put him in physical therapy and he did very well. He works as an electrician & alot of his work is over head which he is doing again with no problem. Sometimes they will do these injections in a series of 3, but because he responded so well to the 1st one there was no need to do more.

Since its the weekend you know it can be slow, but others will pop on with some ideas I am sure.

Take care......Susie
Straydog
Moderator for Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

BigSexC
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/12/2014 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi.. I am having the same issues as you. I was rear ended 4 mos ago. Long with the neck pain , I also gets the WORSE migraines!!!!!! MY ears has been ringing since the accident. My MRI shows that i have pinches nerves. The muscle spasms are KILLERS too. My elbow BURNS all the time and my pinky finger become numb often:{
I WANT the surgery so i can get my life back.
I tried meds and PT( which included a LOT of traction.) No help:( I dont want the shots... too much can go wrong.
Hope WE find some relief real soon.
Stay well....
BigSexC

1 day at a time
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 1/13/2014 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank u for the replies. I'm mainly concerned about the dizziness because it really knocks me for a loop when I twist my neck a certain way. Massage sounds great. Think I'll give that a try for the time being. Has anyone tried hot stone massage?

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3696
   Posted 1/13/2014 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
1 day at a time, just be careful with any type of massage or any thing that might manipulate your cervical spine. Personally I have had very good luck with surgery on my cervical spine. Most Neurosurgeons will tell you, that for spinal surgery, the cervical spine is the easiest for them to do surgery on. It is the most accessible of all the areas of the spine, anteriorly and posteriorly! Surgery always has its risk, but this is not an area of the spine that you want to have any permanently damage occur to either! From the symptoms that you describe, it sounds like it is definitely time to have an up to date MRI done, to find out what is currently going on with your cervical spine. If there is worse or increasing damage, as in herniated or bulging disc, and major nerve impingement, then maybe a consult with a neurosurgeon might be in order. I would definitely be talking with your doctor and thoroughly explain your symptoms and how it is affecting you. I would not let it continue to go on and possibly get worse, nor do anything that could possible make the situation worse, i.e. deep tissue massage or spinal manipulation of the neck without a doctors approval.

Just my thoughts on the matter I do wish you well!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
I retired from the USAF, in Sept, 1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg , I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD, herniated Disk at T12, L3/4; C3/4 Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF Mar 1985; Ulcerative colitis; Chronic Pain; Complex Sleep Apnea; and host of other things! I am White Beard with a White Beard!

scorpio-girl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 1/13/2014 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I also have had a cervical fusion - my surgeon said my neck was a train wreck and he basically gave me a new neck....very successfully and I was cut front and back. I have no idea how my neck got messed up.

If I were you, I'd get referred to a neurosurgeon who specializes in neck problems and get an appt ASAP.
Your crunching sound in your neck sounds similar to my problem and you may or may not have an issue so I'd for sure get it checked, just for peace of mind. Something may have jumped out of place.

1 day at a time
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 1/14/2014 1:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm waiting to hear back regarding getting a referral. This may take awhile. Thank u for the advice to stay away from anything that could tweak my neck. I'm still getting dizzy & the crunchy sound is kind of gross sounding. Any thoughts as to what is causing that scary sound?

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3696
   Posted 1/14/2014 3:38 PM (GMT -6)   
1 day at a time It is really hard to say what is going on in your neck, it could be allot of things making you hear that crunching sound! I have it all the time, and I have quite a bit of hardware in my neck so who knows what it is?? But I did have it before and my doctor said it was caused by the arthritis in my vertebra, My articular joints at C3/4 were destroyed by arthritis and the surgeon had to fuse them and use rods and pins to stabilize it. It is a creeping unsettling sound that is for sure! Hopefully you can get a referral and get some current pictures done i.e. x-rays and MRI and find out what is going on in your neck. Be extremely careful if it causing you to get dizzy and lightheaded or sick, and make sure your doctor is aware of these problems. Have you had any problems with passing out, when you get dizzy? Just be careful OK?

Please keep us informed of how your doing!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
I retired from the USAF, in Sept, 1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg , I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD, herniated Disk at T12, L3/4; C3/4 Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF Mar 1985; Ulcerative colitis; Chronic Pain; Complex Sleep Apnea; and host of other things! I am White Beard with a White Beard!
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