Cracked for 13 Yr and developed migraines

  • I just joined so I could post this in reply to the headache thread but I'll post it again in hopes someone will read it

    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;

  • Community Lead

    K8kate, thanks for sharing your success story. Congratulations. How long ago have you stopped? How many days, months, years has it been?

    Could you elaborate what you did that helped you to stop? Was it sheer will power or did you do anything to help ease the transition?

    Personally, besides obvious will power, I learned the following helps:

    • If a day is messed up a day is messed up, start anew with "stopping" when you get out of bed in the morning. It is easier to continue not to crack if you have not done so for a while. 8 hours or so is a start!
    • Relaxation of any sort, do stuff you really like which help you relax.
    • Physical exercise which doesn't induce cracking. For ankles and toes e.g. jogging helps. I recommend fitness clubs for otherwise hard to train muscles / tendons.
    • If you feel a very strong cracking desire in a specific joint, try to wiggle the joint a little bit. Not enough to get it to crack! Just a little bit to get the tendons to loosen up a little.
    • Warmth: Hot shower, bath, sauna.

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