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Can neck cracking/tics cause permanent damage?
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Can neck cracking/tics cause permanent damage?

For years, in response to my headaches, I have felt an overpowering urge to crack my neck, which sometimes will very temporarily relieve a little bit of the pressure.  At times though it gets out of control and is probably appropriately classified as a tic.  My question is, can this repetitive motion cause any permanent harm to neck muslces or ligaments?  Also, any advice how to resist the urge?  Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
There should not be any permament harm to your muscles or ligaments that I have heard of

Perhaps if you are not able to control the urge yourself, seeking the help of a clinical psychologist might be helpful.

Good luck
7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I really think that this is something serious.....I do it all the time and now it is to relieve pain and or pressure and I also Have pain and pressure in my shoulders.  It is really bad and I am always popping my neck constantly....There has to be more to this!
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Avatar_n_tn
wow that sounds just like me.i havnt been to any drs yet about it.but i plan too.i crack my neck alot.and yes it is a sudden urge.i also get alot of neck discomfort.and sometimes neck pain.also my neck feels very hot at times.its weird to me.i dont get it.i suffer from chronic migranes (migraines) so maybe that has something to do with it.well good luck to you.i hope u find out exactly what the problem is.i know ill be seeing my dr about it.b/c its getting pretty severe ):
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had the same problem for years. I used to do it all the time until some of my friends thought it wasn't a good idea. Then I worked on stopping it after that and now I don't do it anymore. It is an abnormal thing to do; so I think it might have bad effects down the line.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also found I was always very tense in the neck.  Cracking the neck always helped and relieved the pressure.  As I have gotten older, the tendency to need to crack my neck has diminished substantially.  As a teen and into my 20s, it always helped.
Now I am in my 40s and rarely feel the need to do it.  I don't think it was psychological--more just a way to relieve the physical pain I had in my neck.  I associate long hours at a desk--studying, working, etc.--with the stiff out of alignment neck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Lately I have been cracking my neck a lot, especially during sex, (which really has nothing to do with what happened, but I just had to add it...)=) , and one morning,  I felt the urge to crack my neck to one side and I heard a loud "pop", and it kind of hurt a little after. It began to tense up throughout the day. Last night I literally had to pick my head up with my hands so I could change my position. Today I woke up with a stiff neck, so I put hot compresses on it, and it feels better now; just very "stiff". I will obviously stop cracking my neck, but I
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey I hope you read this although your comment was posted months ago.  Okay long story short I got in a bike accident and landed on my head.  I was left with headaches and neck & back pain.  I went to see my doctor (in north carolina) and they took x-rays and I got a CT scan.  They said everything looked fine and sent me home with 2 different types of pain medicine.  I didn't use them and started "self-correcting" my neck, cracking my neck to relieve headaches and my neck pain.  When I cracked my neck it seemed to help.  I didn't have time to pursue this problem (another long story) but one year later around the time you posted your comment I went to see my doctor here in az and they gave me a referal to go see a chiropractor.  It took the chiropractor about 5 min to find out what was wrong.  I had 2 ribs out of place, part of my neck, and lower back.  Then he promptly put it back into place.  Through visits with him and theraputic exercises I am being healed.
I wish I hadn't cracked my neck for so long and gotten help sooner.  My case was servere but perhaps all you need is to go see a chiropractor and have some adjustments.  I didn't know I could feel this great you forget when you are in so much pain.  I hope this helps.  Good luck!
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