Crackling, crunching sound at base of skull?

Does anyone else have crackling noise at the base of the skull, back of the head when you move your head?


started this year----used to get many muscle spasm per year - as have had many people hit me in my car over the years.... = much whiplash + bad posture

Recent MRI is osteoarthritis / stenosis / spondelosis / alphabet soup of the first 5 cervical vertebre --- I'm terrrrrrified of having nerve block for the pain --- but it isn't the pain that is freaking me out

its the snap crackle pop that now hits me when I lay on the pillow..... or my neck gets stuck in some weird position.

Supposed to be going to physical therapy so they can show me McKenzie Method -- there is a book -- well proven called "fix your neck"-- you can do it without therapist but I don't think some of the exercise for the neck should be done by me right now.

I just haven't dedicated 10 min a day x 2 for doing the exercises --- + yoga, yoga, yoga has been suggested to me several times and I just need to git r done!

I believe chiropractor was probably part of the problem --- not supposed to have your neck twisted like they do ---

If I ever go to a chiropractor again , it will be like surgeon said - NUCCA certified only..... and that is 7 hour drive!

When I had MRI that gave me the report recently of all this stuff --- I knew my discs are going to give out on me before the rest of my body...... just buying time!

I sleep on heating pad and that keeps everything more lose -- take muscle relaxer small dose sometimes -- and if needed I take Tylenol 3 with codine...... I'm trying to at least remember to keep my slumping over to a minimum when sitting - bad posture is huge component! Have to retrain it!!

Yes. It started around the same time as my TN but its not constant. It comes and goes. It drives me insane. I went to see a physio and osteopath. I really dislike that feeling and hearing it!!! Do u know what the cause is???

Betty, The only thing I have ever found that talks about this is mercury poisoning. Of course it is another one of those things not really recognized by mainstream medicine. But it is gaining more attention as information gets out. This is the path I am on now, I think it was the initial cause of my TN. My very first symptoms(which i dismissed at first as not important or really having anything to do with my TN) were I woke up with swollen lymph nodes and feeling like my jaw joint was "loose" and my teeth didn't fit together right. Then the pain went to under my back molars and I thought I must have a toothache. A couple of days later was my first TN attack.

I want to find out( because so many people start out with TN thinking it is a dental issue) how many of us have some funny little symptoms that no doctor ever addresses like the crackling noise.

You might find it interesting if you google mercury poisoning and your other weird symptoms. If you do and have any thoughts on it, I would love to hear.


Yes, yes I do!

Thx Shawna. I will google it and certainly touch base if I find out anything. I’m seeing a neurosurgeon on Tuesday so might even address it with him.

Betty, I am very interested in what the neurosurgeon says. I think most doctors in mainstream medicine in the U.S. think mercury poisoning doesn't exists and they pretty much shoot you down without even considering it and they just think you are crazy. Maybe where you live they will be more open minded. Good luck and let me know how it goes.


Kimberly, If you don't mind my asking, where is your TN pain located? is it shocks or 24/7. Do you have mercury fillings? Have you ever been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder? Sorry for all the questions, I'm still just trying to figure this whole thing out.

Mine creaks badly at the bottom of the base of my spine/top of my neck. When I had the head MRI for the TN they wrote in the report that my c-spine shows a lot of wear and tear (which isn't good for someone who is 35) ... they said it looks like the sort of wear an elderly person has and I will no doubt run into trouble sometime.

Porcelina, do you have silver amalgam fillings? Did the creaking start along with the TN pain? where is your TN pain? When your TN pain started did you think it was dental related or had you had a whiplash injury?

I get the crackling noise as well. I have noticed during mild attacks if I put my head back and turn it left to right I can find spots where the pain subsides. I have also noticed before attacks and during my jaw isn’t in line. The bottom is to the left.

I don't have that, but I have had sudden sharp popping sensations in my jaw. But any time I sleep odd and have a bit of a kink on my neck, i can be sure of having day long pain in my face.

yep-- snap, crackle, pop!! My neck started that after I slipped backward over an excercise ball and snapped my neck. TN also started after that.... hmmmm....

I do and have sought relief from massage. It helped me hugely. When we get tense we typically carry our tension in our shoulders and neck. The popping sound you hear is not coming from the bones but the space between the bones. Similar to when you pop your finger knuckles. There is no danger being signalled by the sound other than that you need a really good massage. My advice is to get a massage asap.

Hi Patty I was told the same: A gas bubble being release in the fluid surrounding any joint or vertebra in the body when moved a certain way. Think "crackling your knuckles". We tend to hear the ones in our neck more as it near our hearing. For the most part harmless according to my doctor.


On occasion, yes! Never really paid attention to it or even thought it was connected to this. thought it was the remains of an accident many years ago where a sheet of plywood was dropped 15 feet onto my head. Come to think of it my TN symptoms started after that......wonder if there may be a connection

So scary: I just joined this site a couple of weeks ago, but have been checking it almost everyday to find out what else is out there and how it is affected by this crazy ATN. Every time I log into this I find something else I have been experiencing for years, and just chalked it up at growing old. I too have had for many years the creaking in my neck, thought it was part of a neck problem, that I have experienced in the past... My ATN started out with the feeling that my teeth didn't fit in my mouth. It appears to me there needs to be some real data gathered, to list all they symptoms that we all seem to experience. Just to name a few that I have experienced in the past, creaking neck, change in vision, teeth too big for my mouth or jaw not lining up, ear sensation, headaches, dizziness, etc, all leading to emotional stress. There is so much awareness out there for Cancer, Aids, etc, and yet this TN seems to effect more people that we know, and with more unexplainable symptoms. Perhaps an TN Awareness Campaign. PDIBBS IN NEW York

Brian, I think it is very likely there is a connection. PDibbs, I'm glad you are doing research, you are your best advocate when it comes to TN. I am confident you will learn a lot here and elsewhere on the internet. Leave no stone unturned. Just an update, I believe the crackling noise is a result of disc degeneration or inflammation in the discs or disc injury. I think when we have inflammation in our necks(discs)and/or possibly have some kind of injury(mine was whiplash) or we have poor posture, the disc bulges and presses on the nerves in the neck and refers the pain to the face. Much like a person with low back injury feels it in their toe. I think whatever happens to us just kinda causes a misalignment (still trying to figure this part out) and that is why our teeth and jaw seem to be out of place. I think when it is caused only by an accident people don't feel the misalignment stuff. I am not a doctor nor am I anyone of consequence that you should believe me, Please do your own research and come to your own conclusions. I am going to be bold with this, but after my experience it is what I believe, I do not believe that TN pain is caused by a blood vessel around the trigeminal nerve. I believe they have been looking too closely in that spot for too long and by doing so are missing the real problem. I went to a mckenzie therapist who was the most inexpensive of anything I had tried. I learned a simple noninvasive neck exercise, the therapist didn't touch me( I could not handle anyone to touch my face). In two days I could tell the exercise was helping, In 4 weeks I had no more TN pain and have not had any since, that was Dec. 2012. I was also able to "fix" my ear pain.