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Old 01-08-2006, 02:36 AM   #1
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DanSM HB User
Question Stiff back, loud cracks.

First of all Im 20 years old a little underweight but otherwise healthy. Since I was about 17 Ive had really clicky joints especially in my neck, back, fingers and toes. Anyway, the last 6 months my back seems to be getting very stiff especially when Im sleeping or sitting around. To make this stiff feeling go away I lay flat and move my right knee across my body and kinda twist my spine. This causes a large crack and the stiffness goes away. Im not sure why but the left leg doesnt seem to work. I wanted to know what is causing this, how I can stop it and does is this stretching good or bad for my back?

 
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Old 01-08-2006, 09:14 AM   #2
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Stiff back, loud cracks.

Dan,

Have you seen a good ortho or spoken to your primary doc about this? Loud cracks may not be your spine, but can very easily be extremely short or tightened tendons. So glad you don't say that you are having back problems, but if you will discuss this with the right doctor, you may be able to avoid having major problems down the road. Tendons can also cause us some big problems, so whatever is causing your cracking sound does need to be addressed. It could be as simple as you needing a particular element added to your diet, or it might mean that you need specific PT exercises to get those tendons caught up to where they need to be in relation to the rest of your body. It certainly isn't unheard of that some parts of a younger body didn't grow at the same rate as the rest of it, so sometimes we have to either have injections or medications or exercises to help it all level out.

Hope that the cracking is something that simple, and hope you will let us know what you learn when you speak to a doctor about it. Best wishes.

 
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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Re: Stiff back, loud cracks.

Thanks for the advice but Im not able to visit a doctor right now. Im currently traveling in another country and my health insurance ran out. Thats kind of the reason I came on here. I know its not ideal but is there anyway to find out what the cause of this is by my self and work things out that way? I might be able to go to a doctor in a few months when I go back home for a few weeks but that could be 3 or 4 months away. Also, I was still wondering. Is stretching to make my back crack making this better or worse? Or neither?

 
Old 01-09-2006, 02:17 AM   #4
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paul r HB User
Re: Stiff back, loud cracks.

I am not an expert but I have had (for many years) similar experiences with trying to relieve mild discomfort in my lower back by doing the manuver you describe. It always felt so good to hear that crack and feel the spine seem to align. The trouble is, recently I have had some fairly painful lower back injuries while playing tennis. After the injury, I tried various twisting and stretching manuvers to bring my spine back into alignment, including the knee over the body manuver. Even though I heard the same crack as before, it did not take care of my pain in any way.

I have a sister who is a physical therapist and I discussed it with her on the phone (she is out of state). Listening to my situation she thinks it is muscle spasms rather than nerve or spine damage I am now experiencing. She told me to stop trying to twist and fix the problem- that I am not doing myself any good.

I don't know if the years of the "knee over the torso" manuver has any relationship to my new lower back prblem but I can tell you one thing. After my back has healed I am not going to do that manuver again.

My sister thinks I will have to lose weight (I am about 30 lbs overweight), do some stretching exercises that she is going to mail me, but she thinks I need to get in much better shape in order to keep my back from hurting. She says the stomach muscles are really important for supporting the spine, and she thinks I should do exercises to strengthen these muscles (I assume sit-ups and light weight lifting).

I realize your weight is good, but only you know how strong you are. If I were you I would get into good shape, do sit-ups, learn to stretch correctly and stop trying to fix it with the self-chiropractic treatments. I bet your back will feel a lot better after physical conditioning.

One more thing. My sister told me a great trick that might help you too. My back hurts on the right side, close to the spine. To relive the muscle spasm she recommended that I can try lying on my back and place a tennis ball under the back right on the spot where it seems to hurt the most. She said I would know the correct spot because it will be very uncomfortable with pressure on the tense muscle. You need to lay there awhile and relax. After some minutes the pain in the area lessens. I have found this helpful and you might try it too. I don't think it would hurt, but like I said at the beginning, I am no expert. Hope it helps and good luck on your travels.

Paul

Last edited by paul r; 01-09-2006 at 02:49 AM.

 
Old 01-10-2006, 10:44 AM   #5
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Re: Stiff back, loud cracks.

Hmm well I dont exactly have any back pain, it just feels stiff and uncomfortable untill I stretch. I also have similar problems with my neck, wrists, fingers, knees, and sometimes my shoulders. I used to think it was a lack of calsium but now I drink at least 1 glass or milk a day and take multi vitimins but it doesnt seem to matter. I also used to take glucosamine which did seem to help up to a point but never completely cured it. Does anyone else have any advice for me?

 
Old 01-10-2006, 11:16 AM   #6
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smblkc HB User
Re: Stiff back, loud cracks.

Sounds like the start of arthritis to me... The cracking could be crepitation. I am 29 yo and have had similar symptoms for several years (family history of arthritis in addition to a traumatic injury).

Do you have a history of osteoarthritis in your family?

If it is arthritis, then you will probably be told to take an OTC anti-inflammatory as needed and to properly stretch and exercise (such as walk or swim etc).

Good luck

 
Old 01-12-2006, 07:14 AM   #7
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Re: Stiff back, loud cracks.

Well my family is very small but my grandmother has it and her sister too I know Im gonna need to go to a doctor once Im back in the UK. Just wondering though, what should I expect in the long term? Am I gonna be on medication for the rest of my life and if I do take medication is it actually gonna cure me or will I still end up getting bad when Im older?
Also, is my stretching to make my back (and other parts of my body) crack making things worse?

Last edited by DanSM; 01-12-2006 at 07:42 AM.

 
Old 01-14-2006, 12:29 AM   #8
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Re: Stiff back, loud cracks.

Anyone?

 
Old 01-19-2006, 04:05 AM   #9
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Re: Stiff back, loud cracks.

DanSM, can you not go to outpatient's (emerency) at a local hospital??? I am talking from Canada and here we use outpatient's if cannot see our own doctor but I suppose it is to due with not having medical coverage where you are travelling??? My own thoughts are you need to go and see a doctor somewhere and stop trying to fix it yourself. I would not do the things you are doing to try and fix your spine. A spine is very touchy thing to try and fix yourself, believe me I know what I am saying. To me this sounds impt. enough to get home and have it seen to. You have been given very good advice from other people posting and I know that you seem to want an answer you can live with while travelling and not getting medical attention where you are at but the bottom line is your back and health is very impt. and valuable, no price tag on that so why not at least ask at some medical clinic because sometimes and perhaps in other countries besides Canada there are places you can seek out when it is a minor or major emergency and you are an emergency of sorts. Wish I could add more but my thoughts are with you and hope it works out wonderfully well for you
Peggysusan

 
Old 01-19-2006, 05:17 AM   #10
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Re: Stiff back, loud cracks.

DanSM, can you not go to outpatient's (emerency) at a local hospital??? I am talking from Canada and here we use outpatient's if cannot see our own doctor but I suppose it is to due with not having medical coverage where you are travelling??? My own thoughts are you need to go and see a doctor somewhere and stop trying to fix it yourself. I would not do the things you are doing to try and fix your spine. A spine is very touchy thing to try and fix yourself, believe me I know what I am saying. To me this sounds impt. enough to get home and have it seen to. You have been given very good advice from other people posting and I know that you seem to want an answer you can live with while travelling and not getting medical attention where you are at but the bottom line is your back and health is very impt. and valuable, no price tag on that so why not at least ask at some medical clinic because sometimes and perhaps in other countries besides Canada there are places you can seek out when it is a minor or major emergency and you are an emergency of sorts. Wish I could add more but my thoughts are with you and hope it works out wonderfully well for you
Peggysusan

 
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