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Old 04-02-2008, 02:12 PM   #1
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Lenaraelee HB User
Back popping

Does anyone else have a lower back that pops? I mean, when I twist at the waist (if I don't consciously tighten my abdominal muscles), it feels/sounds like a string of firecrackers is going off in my lower back.
There is no pain associated with it. But my concern is this - I have some osteoporosis (dx'd from a bone scan last year), & I have lost 1 inch in height in the past few years - could this be worse osteoporosis? Do you think my spine might be in danger of fracturing? I'm having a scan next week, but am very anxious about what it might show.

And thoughts would be appreciated.

 
Old 04-02-2008, 04:21 PM   #2
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Re: Back popping

Do you have hardware in your back?

 
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:17 AM   #3
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Re: Back popping

I was having some similar popping in my lower back, but much more in my upper back after lying on my stomach for a facet injection. Being fused from mid-chest to my sacrum, it was very painful to lie like that. My neck felt like it was being wrenched. When I finally got back up, it was such a relief that I didn't feel the lasting pain until that night. Every time I turned, my upper back went popping and cracking like crazy, and my lower back less so but it was doing the same thing. It did cause me a lot more pain than I usually had. I have osteoporosis, too, and was very concerned that I had gotten multiple mini-fractures. No one is telling me what exactly happened. They may be afraid of a lawsuit, but I'm not thinking like that. I'd just like to know what's going on. The doctors are brushing it aside. The popping has gradually gotten less and less, but the time span, about 2 months, is what I'd expect for fractures to heal. Curious, huh? Makes me just continue to wonder.

I'd be interested in hearing what you find out.

Emily

 
Old 04-03-2008, 12:53 PM   #4
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Re: Back popping

Hi, I feel something maybe similar to what you wrote. I do a pt exercise where you lay down, bend your knees, and put your lower legs on top of one of those exercise balls. Then I grab onto the top of the ball w/ my lower legs and use my pelvis area to move the ball with my legs from side to side. Every time I move to either side I feel this sort of popping that starts in my low spine and moves upward as I move the ball to the side. It's a dull popping, reminds me more of a bubble underwater grating popping sound, and I can feel where each pop is...it's like something in there is almost rubbing on my bones maybe and making me feel this popping. I hope you can understand what I tried to say here. This used to happen when I bend forward, and also while coming back up....but now I'm having a hard time bending in most directions. I am even having a hard time now with the exercise I described above. Oh I know...I just thought - it's as if something in my spine area (like maybe a ligament) is catching on something else in there in each level. And it's not a loud crack, like when one sits and twists to crack their back on purpose...I also get loud cracking with any movement, but the other thing I described is something else going on.

I have no idea what it is, though. I had severe lumbar stenosis, for which I had multi-level laminectomies in '06; I have spondylosis, ddd, scar tissue, and facet arthritis. I know my scar tissue has nothing to do with it, b/c I had this happen before I ever had surgery. But perhaps one of these things might have something to do with it, I really don't know. But I am curious as to what your test results show and what your doctor thinks. Make sure to tell your doctor about this as well! Let us know what happens....

 
Old 04-04-2008, 08:34 AM   #5
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Re: Back popping

I had the same question years ago, and asked my orthopedic surgeon about it. He told me it's harmless, and it doesn't increase arthritis. It's like popping the knuckles on your fingers. I was told this over fifteen years ago, and the current thinking may be different, so you might want to get a doctors opinion.
I had a bad rupture last September, and I've been unable to get my left side to pop since...and I've been in constant pain. Usually when I do my back exercises, I would get a nice pop on both sides, and my pain would diminish.

 
Old 04-04-2008, 06:55 PM   #6
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Re: Back popping

I had my scan today, but I won't know the results until next week sometime.

123dietdrpepper - no hardware in my back, but bilateral total hip replacements (12 years ago).

BlueAtlas - that is curious, and the whole fracture possibility is what I'm most concerned about. Why was your back fused?


Baybreeze (love that name!) - I've wondered about it being some tendons or ligaments sliding over . . . something, making the sound. I don't know enough about anatomy to know if that's even a possibility. But if you're in such pain, you should talk to someone.

Sunset56 - I hope you/your orthodoc are right! I pop my knuckles & toes on a regular basis & no problems there. If it's the same with my back - Yaaayy.

Thanks for all of your thoughts. I will post back when I get the results.

Luck to all!

 
Old 04-05-2008, 05:49 AM   #7
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Re: Back popping

Lenaraelee, I had a severe scoliosis that started at age 13 or 14. When I asked my parents to take me to a doctor because my back hurt so much by the time I was 15, they said no. So I didn't get treated until I was 18. The technology back then couldn't repair the damage because I was finished growing. So they fused me with the curve still severe. Then in my early 40's, I developed osteoporosis. After a few years, it took its toll on my spine. My old fusion started breaking down, my curve got worse, and the pain was excrutiating. I lost 3 inches in height before I found a doctor who figured out a plan for me. He re-fused part of the old fusion and continued it the rest of the way down, shoring me up with a ton of hardware. That helped immensely with the horrible pain I was having, but of course, having so many segments fused has caused its own problems. I have other pain now that I didn't have before, but it's manageable with pain meds, TENS unit, etc. This is much better than before, and I'm no longer headed for a wheelchair!

Emily

 
Old 04-05-2008, 06:03 AM   #8
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Re: Back popping

Thanks, Lenarealee! I am not sure if it's tendons or ligaments doing that, it's just my guess, but I'm going to ask my surgeon about it, if I remember LOL. But it does feel a bit similar to the way my right hip kind of snaps when I walk and that I was told was probably due to a ligament in there rubbing over bone as I move my leg. What happens in my spine kinda feels & sounds like that, but of course I can't be sure. WHen it happens in my spine, that doesn't cause pain, though I do have alot of other pain in there. I have been seeing a PM and was seeing a rheumy for a long time. ESI's help me alot ,but I've already had my 3 injections so I guess I'm out of luck with that.

 
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