Headaches from cracking neck

  • I've been cracking my neck for at least 10 years and the last few years I've developed migraines. MRI shows no tumors or anything. When I came across this site I realized I could finally ask some other people who crack their necks if they get headaches. So, does anyone out there who crack their necks get headaches/migraines??

    The migraines are bad and occur 2-5 times a week and my fear is that I have done this to myself with my neck cracking. I've tried to stop due to that fear but I can't, anyone out there knows what it's like if you let it go for too long. That pressure builds up and it's actually painful to not crack your neck (or whatever your cracking) but then I crack my neck and I feel relief and then the headaches will start.

    I have to suggest to people who have not been cracking their necks too long, quit while you can. My case may be singular in origin but maybe not. Maybe I hurt myself and that's what's causing the pain, but if I can so can anyone else. It's one thing to crack your nuckles, wrists, toes, but I wish I had never started cracking my neck.

    I look forward to anyone's helpful information.

  • It sounds like you are giving yourself tension headaches by overstretching your neck muscles.

    The migraines are probably for an entirely different reason. You should talk to a doctor about your migraines.

  • Thank you for responding. I had not thought that I could be overextending myself. I'll have to watch that and see if I notice a difference. But my doctor's know about my neck cracking and don't attribute my headaches to them, but it just seems strange to me that they start right after I crack my neck.

    So far, my doctor's believe I'm just one of those unlucky souls who suffer from migraine's. I guess that cracking my neck could be aggrevating the same nerve's that my migraine's affect.

    Well that gives me something to think about.

    Thanks for the input,

  • Community Lead

    I crack my neck quite a lot, too. :roll: I find these cracks to be most addicting.
    It's good advice to stop while you can. 😉

    While I do of course get headaches, I never associated those with neck cracking. To be sure I never noticed headaches popping up shortly after a good neck crack to make this correlation.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you could get in trouble from ill neck cracking. Maybe you pinched a nerve and do pinch it again and again when cracking?

    The hypermobile neck tendons / liagments make sure you keep overstretching them.

  • I have always had migraines and they haven't gotten any worse since I started cracking.

  • Community Lead

    I found two testomonials linking neck cracking to headaches today on ask.metafilter.com:

    I used to do this a lot as well. Especially at one point while I was growing (11-14 years old?). It's probably the cause of my frequent headaches. I quit after a chiropractor told me that it was very bad (that was when I was 18 or so) […]


    Like redteam, I used to habitually crack my neck in my teens, had a problem with headaches, and eventually stopped doing it because I thought it must be an horrible, horrible thing.

    Then, many years later, during a yoga class of all things, I noticed the instructor (a published author of yoga books) reach up, grab her head, and pop, pop. So I approached her after the class and asked her about it. She told me that every once in a while, pressure builds up, and it's not harmful to alleviate it, especially if you're going to do some yoga afterward.

    I haven't done it in years, though I used to be so addicted to the feeling, that I'd have dreams about it, and try to get my neck to pop when it really wasn't ready to, and test the limits of my neck. Luckily, I never pulled my head off.

  • Yes, i get a brief headache for a few seconds after the morning neck cracks. These only ache and i have to just grasp it for a few seconds.

  • sometimes I get senile and get a case of amnesia after my morning neck cracks. Oh well the side effects are well worth the feeling 😮

  • Senile?

    Well i feel bad sometimes after doing it which makes me ponder and think about neckcracking.

  • Maybe your headaches come from the WAY you are cracking your neck. Are you jolting it fast and hard? Do you use your hands to twist it past its normal limit. obviously that could cause pain and maybe headaches. DON'T "quit" neck cracking learn how too do so better and easier and stretch your neck muscles also in the process. Be gentle the joints will still crack.

  • i just move my head to the side - no hands…or legs :lol:

    Sometimes i put my hands on both sides of my head so i have turned it to the side so when i move my head to the other side, i get new cracks.

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