Chronic headaches from neck cracking

  • i get major headaches from neck cracking and only major pain medicine takes it away….how do i solve this problem with out getting addicted to pain pills....??? does anyone else have this problem??

  • Community Lead

    Hi resak,

    Welcome at my site!
    I do crack my neck rather often, but do not experience chronic headaches from neck cracking.

    I do sometimes get headaches but I never have associated them with the cracking of my joints. Stress at work or heavy lifting of objects all lead to headaches for me.

  • Understand the neck is the worst plasce to crack.
    Your spinal cord runs through there, sure a few cracks will not hurt it but over time stuff can happen.
    your neck probaly gets inflamed on the inside and this causes the headaches, this happens to me.
    You can suffer a stroke by cracking your neck. Look it up.
    Neck crack stroke.

    The research does not tell us much. This is more of a bad habbit than a desease. Not a lot of people are chronic crackers. So I guess it not a big problem.

  • I get some headaches sometimes but it is usually just a throb and might ache for a few seconds then it goes.

    I often wonder what damage i am doing to my neck and back, especially when i put force turning my head to get a crack. I don't use my hands however so that might reduce damage.

  • someone else on here said that cracking helps lessen headache pain i think..

  • Yep, earlier thread on here in the section Causes.

  • Hey even though this was posted years ago I want to reply in hopes it might help someone who googles this topic (like I did). My dad started cracking my fingers & toes about the age of 9, then I started my back, wrists etc about 12 and neck at 14, getting progressively worse and more reliant on it until i was cracking my neck about 20+ times per day (each time in like 4 directions) and waking up in the night to crack my back.

    Ive been seeing a physio for years for bad neck and back pain, done everything imaginable to help it (strengthening exercises/stretches, posture, new pillows, new desk chair, exercise). The only thing I didn't try was quitting cracking.

    I started developing migraines (well, never diagnosed but that's what they felt like). Extreme pain radiating up from my neck into my skull and I would even feel nauseous. The only thing that would help was strong painkillers & sleep and sometimes they would still be there after sleeping through the night.

    At 22 I finally decided to quit cracking in case it was the cause of all my problems and even if not, it is very antisocial behavior.
    After 2 weeks I am so glad to say it is EASY to not do it anymore! I feel stronger and less stiff than I have in about 9 years! I never want to do it again- I don't even get tempted.

    The first 4 days were hard, i was constantly checking myself, and I got a migraine after 3 days of quitting. I have had 3 accidental ones (looking over my shoulder etc) but that is ok.

    I strongly recommend everyone to quit! Cracking might feel satisfying at the time but it is a downward spiral and you will feel better than ever ! Try it

    If you read all of that well done!
    And I am on the physio side of the physio vs chiropractor debate but this article was still very interesting;

  • I'm skeptical about the idea of cracking either causing or relieving headaches.

    How have other possible causes been ruled out?

    There is a logical fallacy known as "post hoc ergo propter hoc" which means "after this therefore because of this."

    Just because Y follows X, does not mean that X causes Y.

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