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Hearing pop sound while moving head and have pain in upper back and neck. Looking for cure

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
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I have pain in my upper back and neck all the time and when I twist/shake my head with some force, I hear a decently loud sound. I consulted an orthopedist earlier and he said that one of the bones in my neck is a little longer that the other one. I usually feel fine for a week after I get a massage. How should I go about getting this resolved.
Posted Wed, 13 Mar 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 8 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.

I believe nothing is wrong in hearing unusual sounds from neck, but pain at your age is unfortunate. Your orthopedist must have suggested a congenital bony defect in your cervical spine, which is not uncommon. This means you have a malformation that must be affecting your spinal cord or the nerve roots. Unless the pressure over these structures is not physically relieved you will keep getting periodic pains. Its good to know that you find relief in massages, so there's a possibility that physiotherapy in form of traction, IFT and exercises might help.

The only way to confirm your condition is by getting an MRI done. That shall beyond doubt show structural defects and compression upon nerves or cord. Also it will help us decide either a conservative approach or an operative intervention. Operation such as decompression of nerves is usually undertaken after all conservative management is failed and exhausted in form of rest, lifestyle modification, medication and physiotherapy.

I suggest you get an MRI done. Meanwhile discontinue pillow, maintain a favorable posture if working on desktop, do not lift heavy objects, take frequent stretch breaks, and most important have a healthy diet XXXXXXX in minerals, vitamins and ample fluids.

Hope this was informative. For any further questions, I'm available for follow up.
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