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Crackling sound in spine or ribs while bending, no pain. Feel pricks in back of foot. Told to loose weight. Advise?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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Hello. I have noticed over the past few months that when I bend forward or bend down I sometimes feel a crackling sound in my spine or ribs. I have no pain or discomfort, but I wonder why this has developed. Could it be related to muscles or some injury related to falling. It doesn't happen all the time, but it is there frequently. Thanks.
I forgot to also mention that occasionally I feel little pin pricks in my back or the top of my right foot (sometimes the ones on my foot feel like a small electric shock). My GP told me to lose weight and it would be solved. But I need to understand also what is causing these things, i.e. posture causing compression or whatever.
Posted Thu, 23 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 4 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,

The crackling sound you experience without any pain should not a major issue. But if it just started recently , it would be interesting to know why. A lateral Chest X XXXXXXX to show the junction between the ribs and ribs would be interesting to be visualized. This could easy to identify a degenerative disease which could be at its earlier stages.

The pricks or electric shock like sensations are indications of nerve irritation, probably due to compression. I would totally agree with your Doctor ' s suggestion of you losing weight for it really shall be of help in alleviating the compression consequences. In case symptoms continue even after losing weight, it shall be very appropriate to have an appointment with a neurologist or neurosurgeon for a proper clinical evaluation. For now, I suggest weight loss should be sufficient to minimize symptoms.

Thanks and hope this helps. Do not hesitate asking any further questions if need be.

Best regards,
Dr Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Crackling sound in spine or ribs while bending, no pain. Feel pricks in back of foot. Told to loose weight. Advise? 1 hour later
Thankyou, Dr. Bain. Do you mean that crackling feeling when bending with no pain would it be suddenly but intermittently? Coul muscles also produce that crackling?I
And could the pin pricks or shocks simply be alleviated by improved posture rather than a problem of arthritis? Sometimes I think that the shocks stop if I pull up my back.
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 5 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query.

It is very true that changes or inappropriate postures of the spine could affect or provoke pain or pin prick sensation. It would be appropriate however to exclude organic causes of disease like degenerative diseases of the spine and arthritis. Losing weight is certainly very appropriate, which shall not only help to reduce these symptoms, but also prevent complications from other metabolic diseases like diabetes and lipid (fat) related disease.

In case symptoms persist after trying weight loss recommendations, to me it shall be appropriate to consult your neurosurgeon/spine surgeon.

Should you have any further questions for clarification, do not hesitate asking.

Wishing you the best of health and best regards.

Thanks and best regards,
Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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