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Neck Cracking


Background: I am a 17 year old female and I've been diagnosed with CFS/ME/POTS since around this time last year (March, 2013) and I had symptoms since February 2013. I've also been on a coeliac diet since I was 8 and I currently take the pill, beta-blockers and ritalin to help manage symptoms of my illnesses. About 5 months ago, I began to get quite bad polymyalgia - pain spots that are always there, but don't hurt until I accidentally itch that spot and then it's this searing, stabbing pain. I've also had really bad lower back and neck pain and have been unintentionally losing weight by about a kilo or more a month. I am about 175cm tall and used to weigh 68kg and as of writing this am now 63. Last time I saw my paediatrition who specialises in CFS/ME rehabilitation, she said that any lower than 65kg for my height would not be good. oops!

Issue: More recently, I've had neck pain so bad that I've been getting terrible migraines. Furthermore, every time I turn my neck from side to side, I hear a terrible crack, almost like glass breaking. After the first crack, it's not so bad, but then every time I turn my neck after that, it's sounds like someone walking on gravel, right at the base of my neck and it hurts. About an hour later, the sound of glass breaking when I turn my neck returns. I feel like I'm constantly using heat packs (to no avail) and taking some pretty strong medication (Panafen) for migraines, which contains codeine, so I don't like using them too much, but pills like neurofen just don't work...

I guess I just get so worried with each new symptom I get - I'm 17 years old for goodness sake! I almost feel like when I tell people all of my symptoms, they think I'm a hypochondriac, hahahaha. Is this neck cracking common for people with CFS/ME, fibromyalgia, POTS, etc.? Is this an issue I should be speaking to a doctor about, if so, which one? The paediatrician, neurologist and physio I see are all very difficult to get into and I refuse to go to a chiropractor (went to one when I was 10 and now blame him for my terrible back). Whilst we're here, if you have any tips as to how to help with any of these illnesses or any kind of therapy you've found helpful, I'm happy to hear it! :)

2 Responses
351246 tn?1379682132
Hi Mitty
I am sorry to hear about your medical problems. Cracking and popping sound in joints is made when two bones rub against each other (due to arthritis or due to weak muscles around the joint) or due to fixated joints. Bones of a fixated joint are temporarily stuck together due to suction force because of a vacuum created between the joints. When this vacuum is broken, we hear a popping sound. This happens when a joint is more mobile than normal, dislocating the fluid between the joint and creating a vacuum. This has a tendency to recur, as is happening in your case. A number of times this happens due to some genetic problem like hypermobility joint syndrome.
The symptoms of cracking are more pronounced in an individual suffering from CFS. POTS also occurs secondary to diabetes, sarcoidosis, Lyme’s, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus etc. Symptoms often exacerbate after change in temperature, exercise, meals or during teenage. So, in your case since you are a teen, the symptoms are exacerbating. Also, other mentioned causes should be looked into.
Physiotherapy, healthy diet and counseling may help you manage your symptoms better.
Please discuss with your doctor. Take care!

The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
Avatar universal
I would go with Lyme disease. It's not easy to find a doctor who knows about treating lyme.
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