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Constant clicking sound when turning my head in one direction - NO PAIN

 For the last 3-4 months my neck/lower skull has been clicking every time i look left (doesn't happen when i look right). I'm not entirely sure when it first happened, I think after doing yoga, I did a forearm stand and felt my head almost change pressure (but no pain) and since then the click has been here. 

It is always there and I can make the sound anytime.

It is not a grinding sound like bone or the vertebrae. It feels a little like it could be a ligament getting caught / air popping. Almost like a grinding pop. There is no pain, but the noise is annoying and I can kind of feel the pop. 


I've been to the doctors, massage, physio, Osteopath, Acupuncture and chiropractor. I'm 30, no pain, but super worrying hearing a loud crack every time i look left. The sound seems to move and hasn't gotten any worse or better in 3 months.

When i lie down it sometimes disappears and if someone lifts my head (stretches neck).

THe noise also seems to change and move where its coming from, but mainly feels deep within my skull / neck. According to my own research it could be to do with Atla / axis. 



  • @nutcase007 I haven't. I have been to the doctors 3 times they just suggest physio even though its deep inside not muscle. 

  • It's only been 2 days since your last post but I was wondering if you have any updates? I have noticed everyone is saying it's normal to have these kind of sounds as long as they are painless and as long as their are no neurological deficits. 

    I had a similar sound that started around one month ago following a trip to the mountains, no obvious whiplashes but I had a few gentle fall, a few days later I noticed this grinding sound ( 2 exact clicks) that come as I turn my head right and I can repeat the sound every time I turn right. Cervical X-rays were done and they were fine but I continue to worry coz it followed a fall or an injury of some kind, it sounds like your sounds were preceded by an injury too. 

    I am 32 and yes it's not normal to have these harsh sounds when turning your head every time. Any thoughts anyone?

    Thank you

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  • I am also currently going through this. Can anyone share some insight as to what this could be???

  • Hi all. Unfortunately it’s not good news! I have no answer and still clicking. It’s been over 7 months now!

    I’ve seen so many people, no one can help. I think it’s a torn or inflamed tiny ligament/ tissue right up where my neck and skull meet but there isn’t much that can be done. I’m currently working on stretching a strengthening my neck which a physio recommended but it’s not changed much yet.

    People I spoke with got bone scans but here in the UK it’s super pricey I think that can determine and show up this tiny injury which mri cannot. They then had fusing surgery but it not sure that is necessary as I have no pain.
  • no solutions and very limited causes in that article! 

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  • Like everyone else here, i have been getting constant 2-click sounds everytime I turn my head from left to right. No pain, just annoying. It's been going on year 3 now and doctors are pretty much stumped. 

    The hardest part for me is sleeping because out seems the only way I can sleep without clicks is on my back but then I wake up with a dry mouth /soar throat.

    One chiro I visited took a special set off xrays and suggested it may be ligament laxity of the alar ligament. Yet, was unable to give me any type of treatment options other than to just live with it.

    Has anyone tried kinesiology taping or any type of bracing for support? 

  • I have the exact same problem. For 3 months now I have a permanent crunching sound when I spin my head to the left and again when I rotate it back. It's really annoying and can even be audible for the people around me. I went to the doctor and fysio (stretching), no result. All they say is if it doesn't hurt it's not a big deal just don't focus on it. I am 39 years and can't imagine having this crunch happening in my neck (and my mind) for the rest of the days of my life. 

    Has anybody found a solution? It's really at the core of my neck and audible as I type this and slightly take a look to my left. 

  • Hi! I am wondering if anyone has any update on this?

    I have what sounds very similar...

    I lift weights and felt like i did something to my neck while lifting above my head. It wasnt painful but I felt a twinge and immediately reduced the weight. Next day, I was fine the next day and continued on with my life, workouts as normal

    3 weeks after this happened (so it could be related, pr could not be) the dreaded clicking started. 1,2 or sometimes 3 clicks when i turn my head or even rotate my arms. I read up online that clicking isnt something to worry about and is common.. but its bizarre how i have never heard a such click before and now it is ALL the time. It doesnt hurt, but it doesnt feel good and I am really hoping I dont have to live with this forever!

    The only difference to the comments above is about 2 weeks after the clicking started, I have been getting both neck and upper back pain. My back feels super tight, I have been seeing a physio now and she confirms my muscles are tight. I have stopped working out upper body and 4 weeks on and I am still suffering with neck and back pain and the clicking

  • Anyone have any update???

  • I have stupid clicking for 3 weeks... We all should do a conference for people with clicking necks. Maybe it's a talent?

    But seriously reading these doesn't bring much optimism.. 

    I've been to one doctor, they said clicking is nothing to worry about. Visiting physio. No trauma no nothing for me. Just started clicking one day... 

    Thinking about trying to strengthen frontal neck muscles and taking some gelatine or similar supplements.

    Good luck to all us....

  • I have had the clicking and popping for 7 months. About 5 months ago it became very painful to turn my head to the left. I also get a grinding sound sometimes. The pain causes headaches and constant neck pain when I move. I had a pinched nerve in the other side of my neck several years ago. I have been waiting for 5 months for my insurance to approve an mri. At my age 58 it is disc degeneration. Hopefully with rest and time yours will get better. If it gets painful or stiff talk to dr. 

  • Did anyone figure out what’s causing the click noise when turning your head to the left? I have developed this and it worries me. Wondering if I should go to the doctor or will it go away on it’s own???

  • I have exactly the same symptoms with the clicking and crunching sounds while turning or bending the head since 3 weeks. There is no pain but it causes so much discomfort! Like Emiliou, I suspect it may have started after I did a yoga shoulder stand. I will get it checked in another 2 weeks if this doesn't go away and update here.  Curious to know the diagnosis and treatment for all of you!

  • Anyone please tell if it has gotten any better as am suffering from same problem. No pain just click. 

  • So i went to an orthopedic and he said as long as the clicking doesnt hurt or hinder movement of the neck, its fine

  • Also i know a person who developed the same click and a  prolotherapy healed it so if you could get that. I unfortunately cant. 

  • I had clicking in my neck that started after severe whiplash over 40 years ago.  The doctors ignored me because I didn't pain for 19 years.  It took another 17 years until I was diagnosed of the cause of clicking sound.  I had a ripped facet joint in my mid-neck on the right side.  By then, the bony part of the two vertabra where the facet synovial joint once existed were hitting each other causing the clicking sound.  Once I had an ACDF at that level, the clicking sound went away.  Given all that movement caused by the ripped facet joint and spinal cord impingement for all those years, I now have permanent spinal cord injury. 

    I'm sure I'm an extreme case, but the point of my story is that I would NOT ignore the clicking sound.  The cause could be caused by many things.

  • Ouch that sounds serious, how did you finally get diagnosed? Need to know what specialist to go to

  • I finally got access to a neurosurgeon that specializes in complex spine issues that thinks outside of standard protocol and actually listens to patients' stories.  I think he was the 5th neurosurgeon I had tried.  His own support staff had refused to book an appointment with him after my trying for 18 years, because my case "did not justify his time".  An earlier neurosurgeon had black listed me and wrote in my medical records that I was a mental case.  I was finally allowed to see this neurosurgeon that fused the cervical level after I was referred to him by a highly respected rehab and pain management doctor that I had worked with for five years. 

    Over those many years, I had more cervical MRIs than I have fingers.  I had four neurologists, lost count of the number of orthopedic doctors.  I was under the care of a pain psychologist that kept writing letters to doctors that I had been multiple times been evaluated by mental professionals and was found to be mentally healthy every time.

    My point is, if you hurt, there is likely a reason.  Please don't give up.  For years, I had left several doctors "get into my head", so I brute forced myself through the pain.  The pain got so bad, I was forced into disability.  

    From experience, I think I would have received treatment years earlier if I had gone to a regional hospital/center that has spine care as one of their specialties.  I had even tried one of the nationally respected centers known for neurosurgery and that diagnosis was incorrect.

    You got to keep trying..............

  • An update. 3 months of clicking, 2 doctors visited, 3 months of physio therapy. Still trying to find a cause. Some people say its salt build up in the neck, some say muscles are tensed. I'll try more exercises and not sure about salt thing... drinking random herbs is too much hustle...

  • I have exactly the same symptoms with the clicking and crunching sounds while turning or bending the head since 3 weeks. There is no pain but it causes so much discomfort! Like Emiliou, I suspect it may have started after I did a yoga shoulder stand. I will get it checked in another 2 weeks if this doesn't go away and update here.  Curious to know the diagnosis and cute

  • My doctor (Ortho) diagnosed it as harmless as there was just clicking and crunching without pain. He said it is a mild neck sprain and gave some supplements, anti-inflammatory meds and ayurvedic oil to apply for a hot pack on the back of neck / lower head every night. The clicking has reduced since then but hasn't gone and still keeps me uncomfortable. It has been a month since I have been taking this treatment and 2 months since this started.

  • I have clicking on the center of the neck of my head. It feel like my head is moving in the inside even when I'm not turning it and it is always constantly clicking and  sufferepopping.

    I suffer with tinnitus or rining in both ears. I have been suffering for 2 years. I am certain that the sounds is induced from the cracking, but doctors have no explanations for either. 

    Don't give up. I'm 35 and this all started one day at the age of 33. Do not let a chiropractor manipulate your neck. I'm still afraid that my life has been damage possibly from allowing this to be performed. Your neck and you head are so fragile. 

    I'm scared often and sleep is very hard not including the day to day. The enjoyment of life passes me by often from suffering with constant fear and pain. 

    My symptoms are:

    Left neck pain

    Tinnitus primary on left 

    Unknown neck creptis and pain

    High fatigue 

    Spinal and skull cracking at base 

    Pressure in center of head

    Ear pain and popping

    Skull and neck bones shifting

    Please comment if you have answers or expressing

  • I didn't notice it until something was said during therapy while I was trying to un-stiffen my neck after a prescribed stretch, but my neck sounds like Rice Krispies when I move it around, lots of little pops and crunches.  My MRI and x-rays show mild disc degenerative disease, but two bulging discs were the only thing of concern right now.

    If there's pain involved or there's mobility issues or an injury preceded it, then yeah be very concerned.  If it's just an oddity and there's nothing that's impairing life, it's not worsening and there's no past injury, it's certainly worth waiting to see if and how it changes.

  • I am experiencing the same issue and it has given me major anxiety, I don’t know why this is happening but when i’m looking down and turn my head to the right i get two click then another click once returning my head back to the center. it feels like a ligament clicking i guess but even though there is no pain, it is very worrying and annoying. Any updates?

  • Someone else messaged and said there’s went away when they repositioned their desk. I’ve now had my click for 16 months, no change, sometimes worse if I sleep badly. I just want it to go now 

  • So glad I thought it was just me..whewww lil glad I read through comments...going to have to contact new doctor...thank you


  • Thank you I will try. My muscles feel tight when I look both directions. Did you just work on your posture yourself?

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,703


    It is always best to get advice from a trained PT or your doctor when it comes to exercises or changing your posture. What works for one is not always best for someone else. The same goes for vitamins and OTC remedies.

    Take care and keep us posted

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