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Chronic back pain, have to pop/crack dozens of times a day

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  • @crackit I am happy I have finally found a group with the same problem as me. I have exactly what you have described in your first post. I’m 25 years old, 6’5, bee suffering for  probably around 10 years.  I have mild scoliosis as well as the anterior pelvic tilt. I describe it as if the body were wrapped in chicken wire and one area has a “twist” in it which then pulls on other parts of the body, and when I pop or try to twist to make it feel better makes it better but brings a mother twist in the chicken wire. I have been to to massage and chiropractors to specialists to a back decompression doctor you can see the treatment at atlas33.com this is the only remedy I have found. I feel like I have the rib thing as I always push on my left or right ribs to pot it in to place. Or laying in bed have to shift my torso to a side with my shoulders flat to make it right. Also have everything to the t that you listed in the first post. Every days is a 4-6 On discomfort slash pain some days a 10 it’s like an itch you can’t scratch and it drives me nuts. I agree with another poster one cannot live with this. As far as cracking goes it can go from leaning back on something for the main spine crack or just slightly rubbing or touching certain areas of my body not even near the back to make something in the back crack to feel ok. But anyone that know me is I am 24-7 touching my upper body to feel ok. Have yet to try dry needling (do you mean acupuncture?) sleeping ground helps. I probably forgot some stuff but will remember soon. I am soo happy tho I’m not alone and found this forum. 

  • @mason_the_mason hello there! Yep sounds exactly the same as my issues. Day needling is the medical science backed version of Chinese acupuncture. It helps relieve my muscular tension, spasms etc. But only temporary relief. 

    I'm still not making any progress, and in fact getting worse. 

    I'm going to look at genetic testing, intolerances and autoimmune issues next, with an orthopaedic surgeon as a last resort.


    Do you have hypermobility syndrome also? 

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  • Hey everyone, 

    I can’t believe there’s other people going through this. I would never wish this on anyone. 

    I’ve struggled with this need to pop, in my upper-mid back region for a few years now(I’m only 22 years). Sometimes I’m able to ignore it, sometimes I’d need a quick pop and be good for the rest of the day but recently it’s gotten so much worse. 

    I find myself bending over hard edges just to get a deep pop. This definitely can’t be good for my back and it’s caused me to seriously worry about my spine health (hence this forum). 

     To describe,  I feel like I have a “pressure point” in my thoracic region a few inches below my right shoulder blade, I’ve tried everything to pop this area and have only managed to do so a handful of times. What helped the most was using a foam roller, gave me a very deep pop and completely loosened me up. Though this didn’t last very long and soon enough I needed it again  

    Planning to try out chiropractor, and massage therapy as I haven’t done before. Honestly at this point I’ve started thinking surgery is the best bet. I’ll definitely need to look into this more, Apologies for the unhelpful post anyway, I hope we can find a solution to this. 

  • @timisenpai I'm sorry you're experiencing this at such a young age! Did anything happen to start it occurring? Coincidence or not, my thoracic issues started after a snowboarding accident left me with a partially dislocated shoulder that I didn't rehab properly. I've often wondered if that's related. Foam rolling provides a lot of temp relief for me. 


    Just an update on my situation: I recently had an urge to crack a spot on the left side of my thoracic spine this time (usually it's my right side that bothers me). No matter what I tried I could not do a self manipulation to relieve the tension. The muscle has been spasming constantly. I tried osteopath, chiropractor, physiotherapy, massage, dry needling, stretching, foam rolling, exercise, hydrotherapy pool and Valium - all within a few days. No relief whatsoever. In fact it has gotten worse. I saw my doc and he suspects I've done something to a costovertabrel joint and it is now inflamed. I'm convinced I have slipping rib syndrome and suspect it could even be subluxated currently. I reckon my forceful manipulations have caused some trauma to the joint and Osteo and Chiro made it worse.  Now it's a waiting game to see how long it will take to heal. I have some muscle relaxers and opiods to hopefully get me through the worst of it. 

    I haven't been able to bend to my left side past neutral! It's completely locked up. I'm going to try sleeping on the floor tonight in the hope that it puts itself "back" into place ;)

    I've been told by some medical professionals not to crack my joints as it may damage them. I've been told by others to go for it as its the on our way to loosen up. I don't know what to think. 

    I'm going to see a sports physician next. 

  • Twitch13TTwitch13 Posts: 1
    edited 07/29/2019 - 11:27 AM

    *Queue DJ Khaled yelling "another one"*

    I've been dealing with this pain and the wild exorcist-esque twisting of my spine that's caused it for well over 10 years I'd say. I'm 33 and I've always had motor tics and my neck twitches have definitely not helped my back pain but I think I've been headed in the right direction? I don't take any medication and haven't been to a doctor in a very long time which is where we're going next in my post.

    Let me begin my history by saying that while I was in the Navy I had an MRI done and was told I had Schmorl's Nodes. Could they be right? Maybe? Idk but they say those aren't supposed to cause pain and should eventually not be a problem; well, here we are and it's still a problem. Fast forward to present-day and I'm really beginning to see some changes in my pain levels. My back isn't hurting so bad, I'm not trying to touch my shoulder to my hip the way I used to and the pain in my knee has even seemed to subside. I don't think either will ever be 100% again but until I stop seeing results I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm doing. 

    I still crack my back so much.... so very much. I really wish I didn't feel like I had to do it, but lately it almost feels like I've been correcting the alignment of my spine? It's weird to explain but I've been focusing on proper posture and using some resistance cables at home to correct all of the muscle imbalances that I feel like are hindering me being pain free. [edit]. I keep telling myself the key here is to be consistent. I didn't get myself in this predicament overnight so this won't be healed so quickly either.

    I feel your pain everyone. I hope we can all get through this life with a little less torture than it already is and win this battle against back pain. 

    Instead of editing my post allow me to clarify it to be what I'm doing instead of it being a suggestion. I'm taking fish oil for my joints, turmeric for my inflammation, and magnesium for my bone health. Thanks for the edit but I feel it was unwarranted. 

    Edited by Liz Veritas-Health Forum Moderator To remove medical suggestions which is not permitted

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  • Signed up to follow this thread. 30 y/o female with hyper mobility, chronic neck pain, shoulder tightness, pain in right side mid-back (when twisting, but still need to pop it to feel relief). And I can pop every joint many times a day. I thought it was a tick or anxiety until I learned about hyper mobility. I’ve been to many chiropractors and PTs. Just got on muscle relaxer. Love massage but nothing provides permanent relief. I’ve been working on posture and not looking down/texting so much for several months now, which helps. My mattress is too soft so in the market for a new one but not sure that will help much with the neck. Have tried every type of pillow out there and switched to sleeping on my side which helps. I had an MRI and they found a slight disc bulge but didn’t think that’s the culprit. I often feel quite hopeless about the neck pain. I may ask about injections, but curious to hear others’ experience. I have to pop to feel comfortable but am trying less with my back because of the pain on the right side, which only started a few months ago. 

  • This may seem like a random question, but does anyone experiencing these issues use a steroidal nasal spray for allergies? 

  • Hello. I have many of the same pains as the other posts. It's nice to know i'm not making it up in my head. I haven't tried half as many of the things you all have, but I am seeing my PCP today. I have the upper back pain/need to pop, lower back pain, even the wrist pain one commenter mentioned. I just want to feel better :( Does anyone have any ankle pain/swelling?

  • @bb095880 no ankle swelling from me

  • Just jumping in after lurking this thread and others and experiencing this pain for over a year. 

    I started feeling the need to pop my upper back constantly about a year and a half ago. I've had multiple tests done, an Xray and MRI of the thoracic area only detected some mild lumbar scoliosis, but if I apply pressure on a particular disc I can feel a lot of pain. An MRI of my lower back found loss of signal on a lumbar disc, but it shouldn't be enough of a concern or a cause of my upper back pain. An MRI of my cervical spine found nothing strange, but it did find some cysts in my sinuses that could be a cause of my headaches (although probably unrelated). 

    I too have joint Hypermobility like @crackit that I've had diagnosed since I was a kid, although my pain didn't start until last year when I was 21 or 22. I've noticed that another area I constantly crack is my left wrist, and I have a constant pain there as well. I tend to crack my fingers and other areas of my body as well, but that's mostly to relieve a very small tension that I would not call pain. 

    So far the only thing I've done that slightly relieves the pain is doing daily press ups as described in the McKenzie method. Although those are mostly for lower back pain, I find that if I focus on stretching my upper back as well WITHOUT cracking, the constant urge to crack diminishes and I can go on with my day without cracking as much, but the day I stop doing them, the urge comes back just like before. 

    I also feel like crazy trying to explain my doctors about the pain and urge to pop my spine. I've been to 2 GPs and one neurologist and none of them know anything about the symptoms I describe to them. 

    I'm getting frustrated about this situation to the point that I want to propose a researcher to do a study on this condition. I majored in Biochemistry, and even though I'm not pre-med, I'm sure there's someone out there interested in studying something as strange as this. 

    Does anyone know what the procedure for proposing a multiple case study looks like? I'm sure there's more people in the world suffering from this that haven't found this forum yet.


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