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Why Does My Back Crack So Much?

Many people can crack their back, either on purpose, or just during normal every day movements. But what does it mean? Read on to learn when cracking your back is something to be concerned about, and when it's no big deal.

What is the Cracking Sound?

The cracking sound is something that medical professionals call crepitus. It usually comes from your joints, but it can also come from soft tissue in your body such as tendons, ligaments, or bursae. There are two types of crepitus depending on what causes it. The two types of crepitus include:

  • Cavitation crepitus: Can occur during regular movement or when the spine moves towards the end of its range of motion, causing a pop or cracking noise. This form of crepitus is normally painless and should generally not cause concern.
  • Arthritic crepitus: This type of crepitus is usually caused by wear and tear within joints, the result of osteoarthritis. It is normally accompanied by a click or snapping noise, or you may feel a grinding sensation.

Where Does the Cracking Sound Come From?

The cracking sound that your back makes usually comes from one of the following sources?

  • Facet joint: This is the joint between your vertebrae. When the surfaces of the facet joint develop rough edges, they can make a grinding noise when rubbing together. The grinding noise is indicative of deteriorated cartilage, likely from arthritis. In severe cases, the deterioration of the facet joint can cause bone to grind on bone.
  • Facet joint capsule: This is where cavitation usually occurs, causing the crack or popping noise. Cavitation is when the bubbles form and collapse within the joint fluid.
  • Connective tissue: If the vertebral muscles experience spasms, if the tendons become rough, it can produce a cracking noise.
  • Disc: A cracking noise can be made if a fragment of one of your discs moves.

When is the Cracking Noise Normal and When is it Harmful?

If the cracking noise isn't painful, and if it can be repeated in a few minutes, it's usually not harmful. Conversely, if there is pain associated when your back cracks, it's potentially something to be concerned about. The sounds associated with painful back cracking are sometimes the result of damage to soft tissue, arthritis, or deterioration.

If pain accompanies your back cracking, you should seek out medical attention. A spine specialist can help to diagnose and treat the underlying problem that may be causing your back to crack.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.

Slow Cooker Caribbean Pot Roast

A comfort food staple, with a few unique ingredients, makes for a warm dish with outstanding flavors.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (2-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking cocoa
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Add potatoes, carrots, and celery to a 5-quart slow cooker. Heat canola oil in a skillet. Add meat and brown on each side. Place meat in the slow cooker.
  2. Using the same skillet, cook onions in leftover meat juices until tender. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. In a separate bowl, mix flour, both sugars, seasonings, orange zest, and baking cocoa. Mix in tomato sauce. Add the onion mixture and heat throughout. Pour over meat.
  3. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until meat and vegetables are tender.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.

Potato Curry Soup with Roasted Cauliflower

Potato Curry Soup with Roasted Cauliflower

A creamy, healthy soup, perfect for colder weather, integrates roasted cauliflower to add a depth flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh red chile pepper, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups diced peeled russet potatoes ( 1/2-inch)
  • 3 cups diced peeled sweet potatoes ( 1/2-inch)
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. In a separate bowl, add cauliflower and 1 tablespoon of oil and toss until coated. Add 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture and toss until coated. Spread out on a baking sheet. Roast cauliflower for 15-20 minutes, until edges have browned.
  3. While cauliflower is roasting, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Cook the onion and carrot, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce to medium heat and cook until onion is soft, about 3-4 minutes. Mix in garlic, ginger, chile pepper, and last of spice mixture. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Mix in tomato sauce and simmer for 1 minute, scraping any browned bits stuck to pan. Mix in broth, both types of potatoes, lime zest, and lime juice. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Partially cover pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  5. Mix in coconut milk and cauliflower. Simmer until heated throughout. Garnish with cilantro and remaining chile peppers.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.

Pumpkin-Poblano Casserole
Pumpkin-Poblano Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup thinly vertically sliced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 3/4 pounds sugar pumpkin or kabocha squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1/3-in.-thick wedges
  • 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 lb.), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated low-fat milk
  • 2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Broil poblano and bell peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet on top rack of oven for 12 minutes, turning midway through cooking time or as needed. Peppers should be charred and blackened. Make a foil packet by folding sheet of foil in half. Place peppers into packet and fold edges to seal in peppers. Let peppers cool for 5-10 minutes. Peel and seed foil, taking care not to touch eyes. Nitrile cooking gloves are recommended. Remove to a cutting surface and slice peppers into 1/2-inch-wide strips.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Toss onion, oil, pumpkin, potato, and garlic together. Sprinkle with flour, oregano, cumin, salt, and ground red pepper. Toss and coat thoroughly. Assemble casserole by alternating layers of pumpkin mixture and peppers in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour evaporated milk over vegetables. Spray casserole with cooking spray and over with foil. Bake at 400°F for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese, baking 10 minutes or until potatoes and pumpkin are tender.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2019 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.