Neck Cracking and Grinding
Neck Cracking and Grinding: What does it mean?
We have all at some time in our life heard cracking or grinding noises in their neck upon movement. These sounds, also called crepitus, are usually painless and typically do not represent anything serious. However, if the neck cracking noise is accompanied by pain, swelling, or some other concerning symptoms, then it may represent a problem that should be checked by a qualified health professional such as a Physiotherapist in Parramatta, Sydney or a GP.
Possible Causes of Neck Cracking
Crepitus, refers to any type of noise or sensation such as a cracking, popping, snapping, or grinding sound that is heard during neck movement. Such as, feeling a cracking sensation in the neck when turning to look over your shoulder. Crepitus can occur in any moveable joint in the body, and there are many moveable joints in the neck. The neck joints are bathed in an oily-like substance call synovial fluid, which allows motion to freely occur in between the bones. Another possible factor in neck cracking could be the snapping sound of ligaments and/or tendons as they move over bones or other muscles or tendons located in the neck region.
It’s possible for bone to grind against bone if the cartilage has worn down. This condition is called osteoarthritis. It occurs gradually with the normal aging process, or it can be accelerated if there has been a traumatic injury such as whiplash or a sports-related injury.
This type of crepitation is typically accompanied by pain, limited neck motion, and the cracking sound is usually repeated over and over with each movement. This experience is in contrast to the typical gas bubble formation crack, where it typically takes about 20 minutes before cavitation, or the cracking, can again occur.
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