Creepy Creaking Neck

Creepy Creaking Neck

“Did you hear that?” I ask my husband.

“What?”

“That creepy creaking in my neck—like an old door in a haunted house.”

“Um, no,” he says. Then he leans his ear towards my neck. “Ah! That’s terrible!”

It’s the attack of the creepy creaking neck and I hate it. Not only does it make cracking and popping noises, I have been getting headaches.

Other than my rheumatoid arthritis, I wish I knew the causes. I don’t have these neck issues all the time. They seem to come and go with no rhyme or reason.


I’m pretty fussy about my pillows and making sure my head and neck are properly supported while I sleep. I try to sit up straight, though I probably could do better. I have gentle neck exercises I do to stretch without aggravating the joints.

But there are these days when I have terrible neck pain that seems to radiate into my head, making it want to explode with throbbing. On these days when my neck and head have joined forces in a league of evil pain, I find it hard to keep my eyes open and think clear thoughts. Tylenol usually helps with the headache, but nothing cuts the neck aching.

Today was a relatively better day for my neck ache, because while it has lingered all day, the headache wasn’t as bad. Tonight I will try to pamper my heavy head and see if I can rest away some of my neck problems.

I know that my shoulder problems must be related to my neck. I don’t have a lot of motion in any of these joints, but my shoulders are pretty restricted. Perhaps because I carry tension in my shoulders, it pinches my neck?

Still, I can’t figure out why recently I have more neck pain and problems.

I recently read an article about how our modern fixation with our smartphones is horrible for our necks because we spend a lot of time bending our heads down to read texts, emails, and browsing the web on our tiny screens. This could definitely be me!

In this case, perhaps the prescription is more time away from gadgets. I think rest also helps, as it does with many of my RA-related challenges.

Another treatment that I find helpful is gentle neck massage. I don’t think the chiropractor is for me, but heat or massage do help my neck to relax and feel better.

Still, if I listen to the creaks, I feel that my neck problems are more than a relaxation issue and really have to do with my unhappy RA bones. Last year I asked my doctor to check my neck with an X-ray and was relieved when he reported there was nothing more serious than some signs of RA wear.

While I am not a neck expert, it’s probably about time that I get more educated about the long-term effects of RA on this area. Even if there’s not a lot I can do, perhaps knowing more would set my mind a little at ease from unnecessary worry.

And as much as I love my pillow, perhaps I should look into a new one that is constructed for neck support or joint issues. I should take a deeper look at how I treat my neck throughout the day, and how I may be contributing to my neck aggravation.

I don’t need any more creaking, thank you very much. And that rubbing, cracking in the neck just sounds scary as it reverberates up my spine and into my head. Time to show the creepy creak out the door.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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