NetWellness is a global, community service providing quality, unbiased health information from our partner university faculty. NetWellness is commercial-free and does not accept advertising.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Spine and Back Health
Crackling noises in base of skull
For the past year, I have been hearing crackling or snapping noises when I turn my head to left. These noises appear to be located behind my left ear towards the base of my skull. Occasionally, maybe once or twice a week when I bend my head down towards my chest, I hear a popping noise at the base of my skull or top of my neck. There is no pain and no limitation of movement. I have no history of arthritis or injury. Should this be a concern or is it possibly just a sign of aging..I am 46 years old.
There is no research that indicates that cracking without pain is harmful.
If you are concerned about arthritis, visit a physical therapist. Physical therapists can address any strength and flexibility deficits in your neck that can lead to further wear and tear on your neck.
Tammy S Wadsworth, PT MS OCS
Sports Medicine Team Member
Clinical Instructor at The School of Allied Medical Professions
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University