Something in my neck is popping out of place
Over the past, i’d say 4 years i’ve had a very odd thing happen in my neck and it happens when I swallow or move my neck (no specific way). It doesn’t happen often, it could be 3 times a week or once in 3 months. Basically there is something that feels like a tube popping out of place and i have to use my hand to push it back in place. It’s like something is bending. It sounds really odd but it’s really really painful and when it happens a panic feels my body and i have to push it back in right away. It happens just under my left jaw and a bit over from my adam’s apple, sort of where you would check your pulse. I can’t find anything on the internet about this and haven’t decided to go to the doctor because it’s something that happens randomly.
If anyone knows anything on this, that would be great!!
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@devonmwhite Hi Devon. This is Jennifer. I am a cervical spine surgery patient, and my dad had some issues with swallowing. Can you tell me more about how this condition started for you? Did you have an injury that may have caused it? Swallowing is a very complex sequence of events that must happen with precision. It sounds like you are describing the cartilage structures in your throat called the larynx. There are also some bones that run crossways through the throat called the hyoid bones and they can become displaced.
You may want to consult your doctor or possibly a physical therapist. My physical therapist has said to be very careful and not press on anything in the throat when I get tightness in my neck because you don't want to damage something. They can order a swallowing study to see if you are doing that properly. If not, you could be as risk of aspiration or swallowing food or liquid into your lungs which can be very serious for anyone who does not have adequate gag reflexes to stop it. I know my gag reflex seems a bit weaker since my spine surgery because the surgical path was from the front side of my neck, and during the procedure, my trachea and throat was retracted and moved to the side so the surgeon could access my spine behind it. It causes a bad sore throat for a while, and a possible complication of this surgery is dysphagia or the inability to swallow properly. I have to be more careful and not do dumb stuff like drink the last bit of a soda from a can by tilting my head backward. That opens up the pathway to the lungs and I've choked trying to do that. I was a lifeguard, and this is the first thing you do to position a person's head when you need to do CPR.
My dad had a lot of trouble with swallowing because of a head injury when he was in his 60's, and he had to relearn how to do it with a therapist. The swallowing problems returned when he was in his 80's. He was a heart patient, and this did contribute to his death because of aspiration. That was a while ago, and I am OK to talk about it. I'm mentioning it because aspiration is serious particularly for an older person. It leads to aspiration pneumonia or can lead to a fatality when suddenly lung air volume is lost, and the heart tries to compensate. My dad had end stage heart failure and was even aspirating his own saliva. This is what you want to prevent, and to find out if this could be a risk for you. A speech therapist is usually involved in the studies and therapy involving swallowing.
Do you have a physician that you can discuss this with? You have to be proactive about these discussions because you doctor will not know about this unless you ask. Can you tell me more about how this condition started for you? Did you have an injury that may have caused it?
I have had this happen for over a decade. I remember my dad taking me to an ear nose and throat specialist, but they weren't able to identify what it could be. I've thought maybe it was connected to stress but I honestly have no idea. I gotta say, it was crazy seeing someone else talk about this because I have never managed to find anything on this. I had times where I couldn't push it back into place and it would last a good 10/15 minutes. When that happened it hurt to talk or swallow. I had times where I would just go to a bathroom and let the saliva fall out of my mouth because it built up too much.
@jinivha My physical therapist told me that if the C3 neck vertebra is misaligned or rotated, it can cause trouble swallowing. You also have a hyoid bone that sits there across the neck that can be misaligned. The hyoid is needed to have something to pull on during swallowing. It is quite an elegant procedure. A speech pathologist can order a swallowing study to see if a person is doing this correctly.
I have the same thing. Sometimes when I'm sleeping if my neck is bent funny it pops out of place or if I cough really hard when I'm sick. But when they do imaging everything looks normal because it's not popped out at the time of imaging. I used to get it in place super easy and now it's getting harder and happens more often. Going on 8-10 years of this. It feels like I'm popping cartilage back into place that pops out. Also make swallowing unbearably painful
My neck gets a "tight" feeling until I throw my neck back & I feel a "pop" and I can also hear it pop. Sometimes it is so loud that my husband can actually hear it. It is like when I was young, the nuckles of my hand would feel tight until I "popped" them. It was instant relief. My neck feels the same way. My fear is that one of these days, the neck will "pop" and won't go back to normal. My Dr. xrayed it and said it was in terrible shape & she didn't think anything could be done for it. I haven't followed up about it. At my age, I figure it's just one more thing to deal with, but reading other comments, I'm wondering if I should. I don't have any trouble swallowing, thank goodness. If I did, I would I would certainly be seeing a specialist.
I could have written your exact post myself. And I have found very little information to help. At times when it happens it feels like a knife is stuck in the side of my throat. Lately it has become more frequent and I have mini panic attacks inside fearing it won’t pop back.
I’ve never found a dr that knew what it was. One of two ents did a scope and found nothing and guessed it could be the hyoid bone dislocating and perhaps that is due to stress. If anyone ever gets answered please share!
Are you familiar with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS)? Summarizing isn’t my strong suit but it’s a joint/muscular connectivity disorder. One of the symptoms is dislocations, among a list of others. There’s quite a few subtypes and it doesn’t seem to be well known by doctors. Might be worth looking into
Hey all – I have this exact same situation. I’m curious, do any of you also have TMJ or stomach sleep? Has anyone had any updates in a diagnosis or solution?
I have had this problem for a while as well, it happens from time to time although mine isn't as painful as yalls sound and I dont panic but it's quite unpleasant and it has lasted for a day now.. :/ I think it was because i slept on my side/stomach. I can't pop it back and I dont really know what to do, maybe search for help if it lasts for a couple more days? Any update regarding this problem? is it worth searching help for?
I have this happen to me too. I've found it usually occurs if I yawn with my head turned to the left or sometimes when swollowing, otherwise sometimes randomly. It comes as a severe pain in my neck that usually radiates up to just under my jawbone. I actually believed it was something with my jaw for the longest time until I figured out that something in my neck had popped out of place. I realized I could push with two fingers on this ring-type-thing to pop it back into place and the pain stops immediately. I actually can't talk or swallow when the pain is there because it's so bad. When I do pop it back in, there is an audible 'pop' that happens. My significant other can hear it when I pop it back into place.
The only thing I can think of this stemming from is a car crash where I was T-Boned. The doctor checked me out and said I was fine with a minor case of whiplash, but I wonder if that jerk/bend of my neck could have caused it?