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Dr. Anil
Dr. Anil, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 9132
Experience:  M.B.B.S.M.D with over 30 years of experience in this medical field.
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Hi, I am inquiring about this crackling sound in the back

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I am inquiring about this crackling sound in the back of my head/ neck and can hear it in my ears too. Sometimes a mild pressure accompanies it. I also have a pinching, burning feeling that happens in various areas of my body: leg, shoulder and have been feeling my spine and head gets inflamed too. I struggled with OCD for several years and feel there may be a relation. I used to have a pressure that would happen in my head every time the OCD started. It really stressed me out until the point that I would get head squeezing and pressure. I have done all the tests, CT Scan, MRI which came out normal....though telling me there were mild degenerative changes, normal for my age. I was 32 then, am 34 now. Since July last year, I have been meditating and the pressure in my head has gone, though it went down to my ears and now I have the crackling that happens. This usually happens when I'm about to fall asleep and sometimes during the day. It also sometimes causes my head to jerk. I've been have head jerks and twitches for over a year now in my first stage of sleep. Sorry this is really long though I would really appreciate some help on who to go to. I was thinking to go to a chiropractor as they deal with the spine and nerves.
Thanks alot


Do you have neck stiffness?

Clogged ears,ringing in ears?


Stuffy nose?

Which medications are you taking?

What is your occupation?

Alcohol and smoking?



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't feel my neck is too stiff generally. Though at times it feels tired. I don't have clogged ears though I get popping sounds in my ears, like opening up. Even behind my nose. I have gotten popping sounds in my head too. I used to have dizziness issues though used too when I would get the head pressure. I still have a mild head pressure, along with an inflamed feeling. It's a lot less now since meditating though still there. The most noticeable inflammation has been along the spine and also in different areas of my shoulders as well.The crackling is involuntary and as mentioned, sometimes my head would jerk when I sleep or my arm, foot etc.

I'm wondering since my OCD was such a nightmare and so stressful, it got to a physical level even though the actual condition is not as severe as it used to be. I don't take any medication. I have been taking supplements for my OCD and it has been helping though I don't know who to go see as I already have seen a neurologist. I'm not very drawn to taking anti depressants as I've been seeking natural ways to deal with this.

I smoke occasionally though used to smoke a pack a day. I chew the nicorette gum now. I was a bartender for 5 yrs and would drink regularly. I don't do that anymore.

My occupation is a makeup artist though have been doing contract work, sound editing for a TV show.

I think this may be psychological though it has affected me physically.

I don't experience any headaches.

Thank you for your response!

Thanks for providing more information.


I understand your condition.

And in my opinion your symptoms can be related to Eustachian tube blockage.

As you feel popping sounds in ears,nose,pressure in head so when eustachian tube( tube that links the nasopharynx to the middle ear which maintains the air pressure between nose and ear) blocks then air cannot then get into the middle ear. Therefore, the air pressure on the outer side of the eardrum becomes greater than the air pressure in the middle ear resulting in popping sounds or noises.

So you need to be seen by an ENT specialist for a clinical examination for further evaluation.

If your ear examination'll be fine then most possible cause of your symptoms is psychological and you may require some anti-depressant in low dose.

Even your blood pressure should be monitored.

Otosclerosis (stiffening of the middle ear bones),Allergies,Thyroid problems,Certain foods such as soy, wheat, chocolate and red wine,Anemia are other possible causes.
So it is advised to undergo Complete Blood Count,ESR,Absolute Eosinophil count,Thyroid function test for further evaluation.

Try sleeping with your head propped up in an elevated position which lessens head congestion and noises may become less noticeable.
Take OTC Decongestant or Antihistamine tablets.
Try Valsalva manoeuvre.
-Take a breath in. Then, try to breathe out gently with your mouth closed and pinching your nose. In this way, no air is blown out but you are gently pushing air into the Eustachian tube. If you do this you may feel your ears go 'pop' as air is forced into the middle ear. This sometimes eases the problem.

Avoid alcohol, smoking, caffeine.
Do meditation and deep breathing exercises.
Avoid loud noise as well.

You can ask your doctor for masking devices (Tinnitus maskers )similar to hearing aids, these devices produce a continuous, low-level white noise that suppresses your symptoms while sleeping.


I hope this helps.

Please rate me highly (Star 5 Great Service), if you are satisfied with our conversation.

If you have any further query then feel free to ask.

Bonus and positive feedback are highly appreciated.

Good Luck.

Thank you.


Dr. Anil and 6 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do you think though that the crackling or burning neck/spine and also the burning sensation in various areas could be figured out by the ENT or should I go to someone else for that?



I greatly appreciate your advice....thank you so much!

I'll take a look at all of that and see what I can do!




Generalised Burning sensation can be caused due to vitamin B 12 deficiency,Diabetes,Thyroid dysfunction,Compression of nerves supplying the affected areas while passing through vertebral column due to degenerative changes in spine.

So you should start a multivitamin containing Vitamin B complex.

Also eat small frequent meals.

Avoid alcohol and smoking.

Physical therapy and regular exercises can be helpful.

These burning sensation are not related to ear.

So an Internist or your family doctor can give you proper evaluation and management.


I hope this helps.

Please rate me highly (Star 5 Great Service), if you are satisfied with our conversation.

If you have any further query then feel free to ask.

Bonus and positive feedback are highly appreciated.

Good Luck.

Thank you.