Chiropractor Questions Chiropractor

Why does my back crack when I turn over in bed?

I am a 43 year old male. I want to know why does my back crack when I turn over in bed?

10 Answers

A chiropractor can perform an examination and help you with that answer. Without a physical exam, there is no way to answer your question.
Back cracking can occur whenever the spine’s facet joints are manipulated out of or into their normal position, such as when twisting the lower back or neck. When the facet joints move like this, they can produce an audible crack or pop along with a grinding sensation or sudden relief of pressure.
The mechanisms that cause joints to crack or grind can differ from person to person. There are three primary theories about why facet joints crack, pop, or grind:

Cavitation. Surrounding each facet joint is a capsule of liquid, called synovial fluid, that lubricates the joints and allows for smooth, comfortable movements. One theory on crepitus suggests that air pressure within the joint is suddenly altered when the joint is cracked, resulting in the formation or collapse of an air cavity in the synovial fluid that produces a popping sound.1
Ligament or tendon snapping. When a tight or tense ligament is pulled across a surface of bone, cartilage, or another tendon or ligament, it can create a snapping noise similar to a joint crack or pop.
Bone grinding. Deteriorated cartilage surrounding a spinal joint can cause popping, cracking, or grinding. Cartilage may wear down from overuse and/or age, causing the bones of the joint to rub together and produce a grinding sensation and a sound similar to a crack or pop.
Abnormal pressure.
The cracking can be a result of several things. It is more than likely a simple release of pressure from your spinal joints. This is totally normal, so long as you are not forcing it to crack.


Dr. Brandon Buttry
Cracking of the back while turning over is mostly normal as we age. It’s basically the spine being mobilized and possibly even self correcting itself. Nothing wrong with it as long as you don’t get pain from the crack that happens. That could indicate injury or other strain.

Vishal K. Verma, DC, CCSP

You need to be examined to be sure, but it sounds like some of your joints are hypermobile (moving too much). This means other joints are probably stuck. Go to a good chiropractor.

Dr. Jonathan Donath, DC, MS
Twisting of the spine like that can cause releasing of spine and it can ‘crack.’ As long as it’s not creating pain, it’s ok.
Cracking or popping on movement is not necessarily a concern if it is not causing additional symptom such as: pain, discomfort, numbness, tingling and/or other problems. It is important to get appropriate evaluation of your condition and this can be done by a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic (DC).
The cracking occurs when a synovial joint, like the ones in our spines, move and the pressure inside of the fluid filled joint changes. This is nothing to be alarmed by, and is normal, as long as there is not pain associated with the cracking.
Typically, patients will report that they hear a crack every time they turn over in bed or stretch out their back. This can be a tell-tale sign of spinal instability. With regular movements such as these, it isn't normal for vertebrae to shift enough to make a cracking sound, also known as crepitation. See a professional.