Popping, Cracking, Clicking Sternum (Breastbone) Rib Joint

A popping or cracking noise emanating from the sternum (breastbone) is usually associated with the joints between the breastbone and ribs. These bones are connected to each other by a length of cartilage (costal cartilage) that extends from the rib and attaches to the sternum.

The cartilage of the first seven ribs articulate with the sternum at the sternocostal joints. These cartilages also articulate with the ribs at the costochondral joints. The clavicle also articulates with the sternum at the sternoclavicular joint although this is less likely to be associated with any audible clicking. The popping or cracking noise may be accompanied by breast bone pain, tenderness and/or joint swelling.

Popping, cracking, clicking of the breastbone and ribs

Why do the sternal or rib joints click?

The exact mechanism of popping or cracking of any joint is not known. It may be due to the ‘snapping’ of ligaments or tendons, gas bubbles released from the joint fluid (cavitation) or partial dislocation (sublaxation). At times a grating noise may be heard, like two rough surfaces scraping against each other. This may occur if there is erosion of the bone or joint lining which occurs as a consequence of certain types of arthritis that persist over a long period of time.

Popping joints are not usually considered to be a medical problem unless there is pain, swelling or limited mobility associated with the cracking or clicking. In these cases, inflammation of the joint is likely and the popping noise may settle, along with the pain and swelling, over time or with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

The popping may occur spontaneously but usually occurs with movement like when breathing deeply or stretching the arms wide. The popping may sometimes relieve the pain, if present. In some cases, stress may aggravate the popping sound and breast bone pain.

Causes of Popping, Cracking Sternum or Ribs

Some of the causes of the clicking of the sternum or rib may include :

  • Trauma. Injury to the chest area, example – assault, falls or car accident injuries where there is impact with the steering wheel.
  • Physical strain. This may be seen in excessive weight lifting (bench pressing) or other activities that put pressure on the chest wall, its muscles and bones. A person who supports their body weight on one hand or elbow over long periods may transfer the weight across the costal cartilage and thereby strain the joint possibly leading to inflammation or sublaxation.
  • Costochondritis is the inflammation of the costal cartilage and usually affects the fourth to sixth ribs. This may be caused by infections, postoperatively (like in cardiothoracic ‘open heart’ surgery) or after repeated minor trauma and/or physical strain. Pain and tenderness is usually present although swelling is not typically evident.
  • Tietze’s syndrome is similar to costochondritis but usually affects the second and third ribs and more commonly occurs in young girls. Apart from pain, there is also detectable swelling. It is usually caused by the repeated minor trauma or physical strain, including persistent coughing or repeated vomiting.
  • Muscle spasm may also cause sublaxation of the joint as the degree of flexibility is limited due to ‘tight’ muscles. This is usually accompanied by chest pain. Refer to the article on Muscle Chest Pain.
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. These types of arthritis do not commonly affect these joints or cause clicking but it may be possible in widespread cases of arthritis. Joint degeneration due to chronic arthritis could cause a grating sound.
  • Calcification of the costal cartilage.

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  • fred

    Hi thank for this article 😉 I hope you can help me. I have strong chest popping sounds in my chest and sometimes have strong electrical cramp in my mid chest. Many times my left chest side feel very tight and it goes up to neck and upper back to my left arm. I also have problem with Tachycardia fast heart rate 105-135bpm when I sit or stand (not when I sleep or swim then it goes down to 43-75bpm) In the last 4 years I went 6 hospital visits for full body checkup. They can not find anything. The problem persists do you have any advice? Thanks

  • Jacinta

    Fred my husband has the same thing. We just spent over 5 hours in the ER and they don’t know what is wrong. Have been diagnosed with anything yet?

  • Jacinta

    HealthHype – My husband is experiencing the same thing as Fred. We were at the ER for over 5hours last night and they don’t know what is wrong. EKG, lab work, and chest xray came back fine. I would like to know your opinion/advice. Is it Costochondritis or what? Fred have you had any luck?

  • Jacinta

    HealthHype – My husband has the same problem as Fred. We were in the ER or over 5 hours last night and they could not find out what was wrong. Fred -have you had any luck finding out what is wrong? Heathhype – Please respond. Thanks!

  • Brittany Dixon

    I have had this sense I was a kid and have been diagnosed with it but now its popping and crackling every time I take a breath not like how it would just pop and at least 2 times every 6 months or so it will put me in crippling pain and again my doctors look at me like I’m crazy and don’t have an answer how do I get them to actually look further into what is going on

  • Hi Jacinta. It is difficult to say with any certainty whether this is costochondritis or not. It’s good to know that they have excluded cardiac conditions for now because that would be the first concern. However, this is not to say that there is definitely no underlying heart issues. Costochondritis is a relatively common condition even though there may be no sign of a problem on the surface. It may be advisable for your husband to see an orthopedist at this point.

  • Allen

    Hi. I usually can pop it when i stretch but now im working out more and its been feeling like it needs to pop but i just cant stretch right to get it. Any suggestions because its getting really uncomfortable. …

  • Frederick Coene

    Hello, I am 21 years old and have noticed when I breath in, I always can crack my bones in my back, when I do this i don’t have any kind of pain. I also have a lot of troubles with my neck, i almost can constantly crack my neck. Every morning i need to crack my neck to relieve tension out of my neck. Mostly I need to push my fingers on the left/right side of my neck and move my head to the right side and then i can feel everything pop back in place. I also can crack my neck by moving my shoulders in an upwards direction. I play volleyball and I have also some kind of knee injury, I did some research and i think it’s called disease of osgood schlatter, because i have some bump under my knee. I like to do my own research, but neck problems are very hard to understand.
    I went once to a cracking specialist and he cracked everything in place and he said I had 3 back blockages and one neck blockage.
    I feeled really good after he did his job, but one day after i struggled with the same problems.
    Are these problems any kind of related with each other? Do i need to go to the doctor?

  • Hi Allen. Although there is no significant evidence to indicate that this stretching and popping does any damage, you should not make it a habit. If you are having problems like popping of the breastbone and ribs then you should have it checked up by a doctor. Workouts involving your arms in particular can worsen the condition. Make sure that you stretch and warm up sufficiently before working out.

  • Hi Frederick. We assume that the “cracking” doctor was a chiropractor. Yes, it is advisable that you see a doctor since these symptoms are persisting. Doing your own research is helpful in understanding a condition but you should never try to self-diagnosis. Many people delay a proper medical diagnosis but trying to do their own research and by the time they get to a doctor vital time has already been lost. Rather start by speaking to your family doctor and then once he/she isolates a possible cause you can research to learn more about the condition.

  • Renee Dixon

    I hope someone can answer this. My husband was in a car wreck nearly 9 years ago and steering wheel to the chest cracked his sternum in few places. 9 years later he has chest pains all the time and can pop his chest or sternum…and the doctors just keep giving him medicine and sending him on his way without checking it out. Any ideas what this could be. Seems like stress may be a trigger to the chest pains.

  • harrison

    Hello am only 24yrs old now and i have been feeling a serious pain in my upper back {center}, my spine and it do come and go and am also feeling a crack sound on my chest which is not painful,. it been 2yrs now, please healthhype what maybe the cause,..

  • Dustin

    Hey see with me its weird i feel short of breath i do have asthma but i take my puffers ass told to do so.. i feel short of breath sometimes but ive noticed that when i crack my sternum wither by stretching or turning my back it becomes eaiser for me to breath is it normal or okay for this to crack im worried and im only 18 i got my xrays and stuff but im kinda freaked out and hoping you could help me out

  • Dominique Clarque

    Hello, I’ve noticed that these threads are really old, but I am in desperate need of help, because something just does not feel right at all, and I don’t want to be in pain for the rest of my life for something I could have fixed earlier.

    I had a nasty fall about a month ago. I was doing pull ups at home and had got complacent and forgot to tighten back up the bar. As I lifted my legs to do an L sit, I came crashing down to the ground and landed clean on my back, I hit my head too, but I was more worried about my back, as I landed only one side of my ribs. It hurt like hell and winded me completely, but I got up quickly and brushed it off. I think I must have been in shock, because the next day, I went to start my first day of CrossFit and felt slight pain, everything seemed ok, but then the pain got worse and worse, and by the end of the one hour session I felt like my ribs had literally moved!

    By the time I arrived home, I was crying, because I couldn’t breath properly and every time I turned my body, I would get these sharp shooting pains which literally made be bowel over in pain. I knew something was very wrong, so I made an appointment to see my doctor. She told me that she didn’t think anything was broken, but I could possibly have fractured my bones with the fall, she told me, that even If I went to the hospital and had an X-ray, there would be nothing they would do to fix it, so I didn’t go. Instead, she gave me a prescription for co codamol to take with ibuprofen and Diazepam. I have taken the first two every day, but only took 2 of the diazepam as they are too strong and make me feel sick.

    Anyway, I am nowhere near in the pain that I was in a few weeks ago, but I am still in pain, and worst of all my back/ribs feel like gristle, I really don’t know how else to explain it and I do not want that on my back for the rest of my life if it can be fixed. I don’t know if my bones have move or something, but I know my body and it is not right at all. There is a part on my back that if I take my right hand press the palm on the back of my ribs, it moves/clicks in and out! I’m not exaggerating and it feels horrible.

    Sometimes I can lie down with no strain at all and other time it’s so painful i have to crawl on my bed hands first, lie on my front, then roll on my back. It’s really starting to jar me now because I have always healed very quckly. Do you think that my rib bone/s have popped out or do you think it’s cartilage floating around there, if so, does it ever heal and go away, or am I stuck with this for the rest of my life? I’m wondering whether or not I should go to see a chiropractor, or should I wait for the pain to fully subside. I may knock him out if he presses on the painful part (joke), but I’ll definitely hit the roof. Any advice from anyone at all would be so much apprieciated, I’m getting fed up now. I was hoping to start CrossFit again in a weeks time, but it’s not looking good at all.

    Least I can sneeze, cough and breath deeply without wincing in pain now, so I must be healing. Sometimes it feels like I’m carrying led on one side, it feels really heavy, I cannot explain it. Maybe I need more time. Feels very wrong though.

    By the way. I wanted to share something to help anyone still in pain. I learnt that when you go to sneeze, to stop yourself, all you have to do is press on your Philtrum, that’s the channel type part in between your nose and upper lip. As you go to sneeze, just press your finger on it and keep it there till the sneeze passes. Works every time. I had to Google how not to sneeze, because It felt like I slipped a disk, the pain was so excruciating, it was unbearable. Hope that helps your ribs ; )

  • Dominique Clarque

    Hello, I’ve noticed that these threads are really old, but I am in desperate need of help, because something just does not feel right at all, and I don’t want to be in pain for the rest of my life for something I could have fixed earlier.

    I had a nasty fall about a month ago. I was doing pull ups at home and had got complacent and forgot to tighten back up the bar. As I lifted my legs to do an L sit, I came crashing down to the ground and landed clean on my back, I hit my head too, but I was more worried about my back, as I landed only one side of my ribs. It hurt like hell and winded me completely, but I got up quickly and brushed it off. I think I must have been in shock, because the next day, I went to start my first day of CrossFit and felt slight pain, everything seemed ok, but then the pain got worse and worse, and by the end of the one hour session I felt like my ribs had literally moved!

    By the time I arrived home, I was crying, because I couldn’t breath properly and every time I turned my body, I would get these sharp shooting pains which literally made be bowel over in pain. I knew something was very wrong, so I made an appointment to see my doctor. She told me that she didn’t think anything was broken, but I could possibly have fractured my bones with the fall, she told me, that even If I went to the hospital and had an X-ray, there would be nothing they would do to fix it, so I didn’t go. Instead, she gave me a prescription for co codamol to take with ibuprofen and Diazepam. I have taken the first two every day, but only took 2 of the diazepam as they are too strong and make me feel sick.

    Anyway, I am nowhere near in the pain that I was in a few weeks ago, but I am still in pain, and worst of all my back/ribs feel like gristle, I really don’t know how else to explain it and I do not want that on my back for the rest of my life if it can be fixed. I don’t know if my bones have move or something, but I know my body and it is not right at all. There is a part on my back that if I take my right hand press the palm on the back of my ribs, it moves/clicks in and out! I’m not exaggerating and it feels horrible.

    Sometimes I can lie down with no strain at all and other time it’s so painful i have to crawl on my bed hands first, lie on my front, then roll on my back. It’s really starting to jar me now because I have always healed very quckly. Do you think that my rib bone/s have popped out or do you think it’s cartilage floating around there, if so, does it ever heal and go away, or am I stuck with this for the rest of my life? I’m wondering whether or not I should go to see a chiropractor, or should I wait for the pain to fully subside. I may knock him out if he presses on the painful part (joke), but I’ll definitely hit the roof. Any advice from anyone at all would be so much apprieciated, I’m getting fed up now. I was hoping to start CrossFit again in a weeks time, but it’s not looking good at all.

    Least I can sneeze, cough and breath deeply without wincing in pain now, so I must be healing. Sometimes it feels like I’m carrying led on one side, it feels really heavy, I cannot explain it. Maybe I need more time. Feels very wrong though.

    By the way. I wanted to share something to help anyone still in pain. I learnt that when you go to sneeze, to stop yourself, all you have to do is press on your Philtrum, that’s the channel type part in between your nose and upper lip. As you go to sneeze, just press your finger on it and keep it there till the sneeze passes. Works every time. I had to Google how not to sneeze, because It felt like I slipped a disk, the pain was so excruciating, it was unbearable. Hope that helps your ribs ; )

  • Hi Harrison. The fact that it is persisting for 2 years and quite severe from what you describe means that it requires medical attention. We cannot tell you the cause for sure. It has to be assessed by a doctor.You may need further tests like an x-ray and need to consult with an orthopedist. Start with your family doctor and then see what he/she has to say.

  • Hi Renee. Conditions like costochondritis can arise with trauma to the chest wall like with a motor vehicle accident when the chest strikes the steering wheel. Costochondritis may explain the persistent popping. It is also important to note that there were fractures and many people experience pain for years after when thin bones like the sternum fracture. Unfortunately there is little that can be done in this regard apart from pain medication. However, there are some treatment options for costochondritis if this is one of the problems. Separately stress and chest pain can occur without any history of a fracture. Rapid breathing with stress can strain the chest wall. However, at times there may be no clearly identifiable explanation. This stress and chest pain link should be discussed with your doctor as well.

  • susan johnston

    My son sustained a chest/ rib injury during football. An xray ruled out broken ribs but he still has pain and a popping/ cracking sensation, what could this be caused by?
    It has been 2 weeks.

  • ElinuNoArcher

    Dude do you still have that problem? I feel like i have the same problem as you becuase i start to feel pressure and a little bit of pain until i pop it then it will go away but it doesnt last as long as yours and it comes back like really quickly…( next day or even hrs ) I went to the hospital plenty of times already (about 6 times).

  • Jennifer B.

    Hello. This is actually the first day this happened. While stretching today I noticed some chest pain in the middle of my chest in between the breast. I did notice some discomfort last night while sleeping, like I felt gas in my chest and abdominal area. I have also had a cough lately. So I am not sure what is causing this pain. Can you give me some leads?

  • Morgan Hartle

    Okay. I’m a healthy 22-year-old female. I don’t go to the gym regularly and I don’t suffer from any serious medical conditions… With that said, lately (the last couple of months) I feel as though my sternum needs to be cracked… Throughout the entire day I feel the need to stretch & try to relieve this sensation. The only relief I get, however brief it is, is when my chest gives in to my relentless stretching and finally cracks… The actual “cracking” can be compared to the feeling of cracking your knuckles. Even the near-compulsion to crack your knuckles in order to relieve the uncomfortable feeling is similar, just more severe in this case. I’m not exactly sure what the uncomfortable feeling is from a medical standpoint. Evidently, it seems that the more I crack it, the more frequent my need to crack it (and the uncomfortableness in my chest) gets.

    I’m not too alarmed by this, but I really would like some feedback on what could possibly be going on as the feeling is pretty constant, and consequently very uncomfortable and distracting. I just took the time to read about other people’s experiences with this strange condition, however they were typically men that work out regularly, fell victim to a traumatic event and/or deal with a lot of pain/arthritis. Since I suffer from none of the above, I’m curious to know if any other young women have dealt with this as well. I’ll add that there is nothing abnormal in my medical history that gives any indication at all.

    Thank you for your time,
    Morgan

  • Hi Jennifer. It sounds more like it is related to the chest wall. Persistent coughing can strain the joints between the ribs and breastbone (sternum) and sometimes give rise to a condition known as costochondritis. Always worth having it checked up by a doctor in case it is a deeper lying problem with the heart or esophagus (food pipe).

  • DarkQTR

    This is exactly what I have. It has been around for like 5 months or so.. I started to put some theories and here what I “think” is causing the problem.
    When I get this unpleasant feeling in my chest and I pop it.. it goes away for the rest of the day.. until I wake up for the next day and I start feeling it again

    I think it’s all about how you sleep (on your belly or back), the height of the pillow(s) and how cold your room is (If you got an A/C working or somethin’)… it may sounds silly…. but if you noticed that as well, one of these factors is causing the problem.

    I’m a 22 soccer player, being active all week didn’t solve a thing.

  • Daniel

    Hi I have been have been experiencing a weird event now note this happens about 6 – 10 times a day I fell off a porch about 3 years ago and landed on a cinder block it was about a four foot drop. I was able to work all day and it happened in the morning granite I’m a pretty tough guy but I had no existing pain afterwards ever since then when I’m looking down or when I bend over to pick something up or even if I breathe abnormally say I’m holding my breath my chest near my sternum will feel like its locking up so I push my shoulder blades together and lean back and it feels like there’s a large pop and it sounds like a tear and this happens from 6 to 10 times every day and has been happening for a long time over a period Of years I guess to keep myself from beating around the bush my question is what is it?
    Here’s another thing to keep in mind it’s almost painless every time it happens except for the times when it’s really resistant to pop then it pops really hard and sort of hurts

  • Fellios

    Can scoliosis cause clicking of chest?

  • Rozz

    Already Went to the doctor and he said that I have PVC or premature ventricular contractions. Nothing to worry coz it happens to healthy hearts. Its just that my heart generates too much electricity. I have normal cholesterol level, not highblood. Then Im now experiencing this sudden popping or this bubble feels in my chest once in a while. Its really painful! As if my heart is tearing apart for a few seconds. I most of the time experience this when I try to breathe deeply. Inhale exhale thing before i go to sleep. I just freaks me out. I hope its nothing serious. Any advice about this!?

  • Guest

    -Partial Diagnosis-

    I have the same popping/cracking thing with my sternum. I went to the doctor and after a year they finally ran an mri on my sternum. They said that there is a lot of inflammation and edema on the manubrium but aren’t sure why. They want to start me on prednisone and test for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankolosing spondylitis etc. Just thought some people here might benefit from what I’ve been told personally so far.

  • Guy Daniel

    This happens to me constantly

  • ElinuNoArcher

    For me the pain have gone almost completely and also the problem with the chest cracking… this was all after going with a chiropractor. It seems it was related with the down part of my back. Now i still feel a little bit of pressure on my chest but it is nothing compared to how it was 4 months ago.

  • ABIGAIL

    Hello Health…
    I got kicked by my miniature horse in my stomach and when I press down on my left side it pops in and pops out with a thud? What can I do about that? I noticed 34hrs after getting kicked.. I never want to get a check up after the accident because I never felt like I need to! ?

  • ABIGAIL

    Hello Health…
    I got kicked by my miniature horse in my stomach and when I press down on my left side it pops in and pops out with a thud? What can I do about that? I noticed 34hrs after getting kicked.. I never want to get a check up after the accident because I never felt like I need to! ?

  • janeydot

    I think you need to go and see a doctor, honey. Please don’t worry about it all alone. Have you a parent or teacher you can talk to, or an extra good friend or sibling? I have exactly the same symptoms as you (but I’m quite a bit older!) and it is a lot worse at bedtime so I have to half sit up.
    Please don’t worry about seeing a doctor or a nurse. if you see a doctor they might not be able to tell you what it is, but they can definitely try and help make the pain go away; but if you don’t see one, then you might never know how to make it better.
    Stay strong kiddo 🙂 xxx

  • deepthi

    Hello, i do have this problem, i feel pain or sometimes like inflammation. i manually pop it by turning left or right or by stretching my arms up, then the pain goes away, but comes does comes in return after 5 to 10 mins. this i am facing from one week. which doctor should i consult? i mean the specialization?

  • LISA VAN DE WEGHE

    this has been happening since the birth of my youngest who is ovee the age of 10. i also have several chronic back issus like arachniditis 5 slipped discs sclerosis scoliosis right sided weakness fibro arthritis … i could go on… point is there is always strain and excrutuating pain until it pops and then i can feel anywhere from one to six places popping. im fine for a couple hours then the pain starts again… no its not misplaced gas. i bring it up and it gets ignored … kind of like me pointing out my right leg is three inches thicker in the calf than the left… the doctors and staff dont care people … its a sad but true story. i wished i could say it were otherwise. please just be careful if this happens to you. also please ignore any and all typos.

  • minda

    My chest has been cracking since late June. The first time it happen I was sitting in the passenger seat of my husbands truck. I was going to lay my head on his shoulder… when I leaned to my left side this excruciating pain shot through my heart I felt and I couldn’t move at all! I felt as if I was having a heart attack or someone had just stabbed me and I started crying because it was just unbearable. After about 1 minute passes by, it goes away. And it happen again later that night when I was getting into bed. For 2 almost 3 weeks my chest felt bruised and I couldn’t touch it without feeling pain, and I couldn’t lift my arms up all the way without feeling like it was going to snap inside of me. I never got into an accident or injured myself in any way what so ever, and I hate to bust my own bubble but I don’t work out either. So I really want to know why this is happening to me and what it is. Its November 18th now and this has been happening since late June!:( and it still hurts very bad every time it cracks. It doesn’t feel bruised anymore and I can move my arms normal again and I can even sleep like I normally do but when it cracks Its very painful. I’m only 20 I need help please.

  • Hi Minda. It could be costochondritis or Tietze syndrome. This means that the problem is related to the rib cartilages and joints. It can occur even if you don’t strain the area too much. Due to your age the risk of more serious causes like severe coronary artery disease is low but this does mean that it is not a possibility. There are also other heart diseases and related conditions like pericarditis which could affect you even though you are young. It is advisable that you see a doctor. It may not be anything serious but the only way to know for sure is to have your doctor exclude the more serious diseases.

  • slrj

    hi, my concern is on December 10th 2015 I had to have CPR cuz I was given a medication that in a couple of hours after taking it it caused my asthma to get so bad that I started to to a breathing treatment and within a few seconds I KNEW I was going to die and I yelled for my husband to call 911, I looked at him and said asthma, I am dying and I am so sorry and I love you and then poof I stopped breathing and my heart then stopped, but I had some xrays done and they said nothing was broken and in a couple of days was sent home, BUT the pain keeps getting worse and now I have this popping right under my left breast and tonight it popped so hard and loud and the pain was so bad I almost dropped to my knees and now I can not move my arm without screaming in pain, oh and I am taking oxycodone and MS Contin which is a time release morphine so with that much pain medication and I am STILL screaming in pain if I move my arm there HAS to be something very bad wrong. of course luck would have it today is Christmas so I can’t see my doctor till after the 1st so I don’t know what to do. I have DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE AND SPINAL STENOSIS PLUS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS so that is why I am on the strong pain meds, but I’m just saying if I hurt THIS BAD even on THOSE KIDS OF MEDS,, wow it must be awful! since the CPR I first had tenderness but after a week I developed this popping in my sternum and it was pretty bad but tolerable, then now this happened three times now the first two were bad but I could still use my arm but tonight I can not use it without such pain that I scream and it pops if I move it at all! thanks for letting me share this and for feedback and Merry Christmas everyone. Mine WAS good until this UGH

  • slrj

    thanks, cuz I have had pain in my sternum for years with no answer and have had MRI’s done but of my spine cuz of DDD, STENOSIS, AND MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS but I can now tell my doctor to look at this as a possibility as to why the sternum pain the last two years. now I have severe pain there cuz I had CPR done on me Dec. 10th cuz of an asthma attack where I quit breathing from an asthma reaction to a medication then my heart stopped from lack of oxygen. I got on here to find out what may be the problem and while ur answer may be an answer to my previous pain n popping problem I doubt its the answer to my new issue,, this CPR saved my life and am forever grateful BUT I have got to find out why I have had popping the last few days and it was so bad tonight that I can’t use my arm now without screaming and it has radiated to my middle back so bad that I’m tempted to go to the ER. thank you so much and God Bless you, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

  • Kong

    hi i am having problems with my chest as well. i can pop my chest like how you pop your fingers.. i can pop it like every 30 mins or 1 hour.. when i stretch my back, my chest pops and you can actually hear the sound like a bone cracking or something. sometimes i feel sharp pain in my chest when i bend my neck downwards or when i flex my chest. also, whenever i pop it, it kinda relieves the pain slightly. i’ve been to the doctor and he said its some kind of inflammation and prescribed some anti-inflammation medicines. i can feel that it helped reduce the pain but it did not really cure or heal it.. can someone help ? i’ve been having this problem for almost a year and a half now..

  • Brittany

    Hi, so sometimes I get a real sharp deep pain in the left side of my spine and the whole underneath of my boobs, it normally isn’t relieved until I have someone step on my back and crack it but until then I’m in a lot of pain to where it almost hurts to take deep breaths and just need to lay flat on my back, if someone could just kind of give me an idea on what’s going on or ways to maybe relieve it on my own would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  • Sonu Tamang

    Hi! Sonu here it’s been 6 to 7 months that I’m having pain and cracking sound in my chest whenever I’m stretching it. I’m really not getting rid of it. Please help me out….

  • Adyn

    Hello. Whenever I breathe in I can hear two pops just below my breast and when I breathe out they pop again. It’s very painful when this happens and somehow it only occurs when I sit down for a while. I am only thirteen so I’m not sure if this is normal or what I should do??

  • Ib4N8R

    I see many people with comments about needing help. Boy do I feel your pain. I am in the same position but have been given some information and helpful treatment.

    Please pay specific attention to the beginning of the article which states: “usually associated with the joints between the breastbone and ribs”. This could be the key to identifying your injury and beginning recovery.

    The popping is often the movement between the ribs and the sternum. There are several ribs attached to the sternum. One or more, on one or both sides, can be pulled out of alignment. This may be a reflection of a misalignment in the back or forward leaning / computer desk posture.

    I found a very sensitive and well trained chiropractor who showed me how misalignment of the ribs at the sternum are causing the stress and pain. The big thing is he can help me get out of that searing pain situation (for a while). It can be painful, not necessarily, but always a big relief. Of course, I prefer if I can find a way to release the problem myself, and often do, but sometimes the joints get too twisted and locked up. I do lots of ice / hot water, easy stretching.

    Once a connection is injured it becomes sore, and the ache seems to just go on for a very long time, and it is very easy to injure again. I’m trying to locate some specific Physical Therapy or pilates /therapy help to try and improve the structural support in the chest, ribs, and back, but its go slow, slow, slow, and then slower.

    Best of luck to all of you in your health.

  • Eve

    Last Friday, March 25, I fell off a ladder. I went to urgent care where I got an x-ray. The Doctor said there were no breaks. She said I had bruised ribs. Very painful the first three days. It was very hard to cough, sneeze or take deep breath in. I was put on pain/anti-inflamatory medication. The past two days I have felt a lot better. The only new issue is that when I take a deep breath in, I feel a popping in my right front rib. Not every time. Usually when I haven’t taken a deep breath in awhile. However, after the initial deep breath the popping will continue for the next 5 to 6 deep breaths. No pain, just weird. Is this normal?

  • Hi Ib4N8R. Thank you for your input.

  • dave

    hi i have popping sternum and grating and loud clicking in both sc joints but is pain free. can i do strength training with this ?

  • Hi Dave. You may want to speak to a physical therapist. The fact that there is no pain at the moment does not mean that pain may not arise in the future especially with further strain on those joints. The clicking and popping may already be an indication of a joint problem so be cautious before starting with strength training. Your doctor and physical therapist will be able to advise you further.