Re: Popping and cracking in sternum & neck?
I can relate all too well. I'm a hairdresser, also I was a sign language interpreter. I had repetitive strain injury in my wrists, elbows and shoulders. I've had pain in my neck and headaches since a fall from tripping at 11. I can't actually remember being without pain. I've taken a lot of pain medication and aspirin over the years. I also had lung surgery for a collapsed lung in '75. The compensation my left side has done (also, I'm right handed) over the years has created incredible pain as you describe.
With pain and being in the same position over long periods of time, the muscles start to constrict and put pressure on nerves.
I see a chiropractor for my tune-up. I go when I need to go, not on a regular appointment basis. For the not so serious stuff, my husband or I can do some "adjusting" ourselves.
I also have gone for deep tissue release massage and cranio-sacral work. It has all helped, but I don't go on a regular basis.
So, here's some suggestions....
~see your doctor. He/she may send you to physio. Get x-rayed to make sure there's nothing seriously wrong with that part of your anatomy.
~ HUG a pillow when you sleep on your side. You'd want one that's thick enough to support your upper body to not create your shoulder to sink in forward when you lay on your side. I use one that's about half the size of a regular bed pillow.
~ invest in a shaped neck pillow. It's a crap-shoot and I have no suggestions. My pillow isn't made anymore. I'm on the search for a new one before mine falls apart. Those space-age foam ones are hard as rocks and stink. I prefer an egg-crate one.
~ get some stretch bands and use them to strengthen your muscles. There are books and tapes to guide you.
~ check out books on repetative strain injury. They should show o neck and shoulder and upper back stretch exercises.
~ check out books on self-massage or pain relief books.
~ reflexology (hand/foot) is amazing. Not for immediate pain relief, but for part of a routine to help keep you pain/stress free.
~ if it doesn't freak you out, see a chiropractor. If you're not having any trouble with your neck, an adjustment on the mid and upper back can be amazingly pain-freeing
~ take up Pilates or yoga or some form of stretching routine exercise
~ be conscious of your head/neck/body posture at work and how you use your body when tense.
~ Accupuncture could help...I haven't sought it out yet, but I'm seriously thinking about it.
~ try relaxation techniques to relax individual muscle groups during breaks. Take breaks to do some of these exercises.
~ When I get serious aches and no time to see the chiro..I use Robaxacet or generic brand. It does help to relieve some of the spasms.
I know the pain you're talking about..and it can literally drive me crazy. You described it well.
I hope you get some relief soon.
It's all a matter of perspective!
Last edited by quincy; 01-12-2004 at 02:07 AM.