Anyone else's sternum crack?

For a few years now, I’ll feel my sternum crack or pop, much like a joint, like a knuckle or knee. It doesn’t hurt, kind of like if you’re a routine knuckles cracker. It doesn’t feel uncomfortable, nor is there pressure that I feel the need to crack free. I can’t crack it on command and it only happens maybe once every other week or so.

Since it doesn’t hurt, I’m not seeking medical attention or anything. I’m just curious if this happens to anyone else. It feels like it’s at the base of the manubrium. But I don’t recall there being a joint. Is it maybe where a rib meets the sternum?

Whatever it is, it’s pretty freakin’ weird!

It’s normal. There’s lots of cartilage/joints in and around the sternum; where the ribs meet the sternum, where the manubrium and the body meet, where the manubrium and clavicles meet, and where the body and the xiphoid meet. These areas can make a lot of noise.

It really pops and crackles a lot when CPR gets done on it.



But gross.

Yep. Mine’s done it. I’ll feel kind of kinked or crampy right there around my sternum, and if I stretch juuuuuuuust right - CRACK! It’s remarkably loud, but it feels so good!

Hm, never been able to crack my sternum, and I crack all manner of things on my body. In fact, I’ve been known to frighten some “special lady friends” by showing how to crack Mr Happy.

Anyone else crack their knuckles in two places, or get your pinky to crack by twisting it? How about the joint in your hand that connects your pinky to your wrist, and the corresponding one on your foot?

…I like crackin stuff, I guess. But not the sternum. I got scared off messin’ with that area after hearing about the xyphoid process sometimes breaking off during CPR and puncturing something important.

In a completely bizarre coincidence, my sternum popped for the very first time yesterday as I was taking a good yawn. Took me by complete surprise.

I guess I’ll just chalk it up to getting older.

BellRung - I crack my fingers like that. I also crack my wrists by pulling on them rather hard. I crack my shoulders by pulling my elbow behind my head. Elbows get cracked by swinging my forearm down quickly, with my other hand supporting the upper arm. Knee cracks by pulling even harder when its already straight. Toes get cracked by pulling on them between the big toe and number 2 of the opposite foot, except for number 2, which is cracked by pushing it down with the big toe. A good, hard rotation gets the ankle most times.

No luck so far on cracking the big toes, hip joints, and jaw.

I crack my sternum routinely. My co-workers think it’s my neck that makes the cracking noise, and it grosses them out so thoroughly that I’ve never bothered to correct them. :smiley:

This is weird. I’ve cracked a lot of my joins but never my sternum. I didn’t even know it was possible. (I crack fingers and toes all the time, in addition to elbows, hips, shoulders, and jutting out my heels to crack my ankles.)

For the big toe, try putting your thumb at the base of it (right hand, right foot) and your index finger up closer to the tip on the other side. Use your thumb as the pivot point around which to push your toe. I do this sideways, pushing the top of the toe to the left, rather than with the bend of the joint, as I do with my fingers (and with the rest of the toes).

Yep, mine cracks. I think I might have damaged it once when I took a bad fall in gymnastics training we were doing for improving diving form. I held on to the tuck too long and landed on my shoulders. Knocked my wind out and my chest hurt like hell for a few days. I didn’t break or separate anything, but I’ll bet that’s why it pops now.

I’ve never had my sternum crack but I’ve taken to cracking my coccyx and general pelvic area lately. I’ve been getting pains in my lower back, just below my kidneys, and a slow extended pelvic thrust delivers a nice crunchy multiple popping sound that relieves quite a bit of it.

In CPR classes though, we are told to expect some popping and crunching while doing chest compressions, these are normal and parts of the sternum and connecting bits and pieces popping. There is a chance of over compressing and cracking a rib but usually it’s better to be alive with a cracked rib than dead with a bad heart.

And for me, big toe popping means no gouty pains for a while. The more I can flex the toes, especially when I feel a gout attack coming on, the better off I am in the long run. If I don’t get them flexed enough in time to keep from having a full blown attack, well, I don’t want to say what I’d be willing to do to get my toe to bend and stop hurting but I assure you there is not much that I wouldn’t do to stop it.

I can sometimes crack my sternum by standing in a doorway and pushing straight up against the top of it.

I can crack quite a few joints, on a good day I can get a neck pop that draws a lot of attention. Sternun occasionally, but not on command. OTOH, I’ve done a lot of CPR and in my experience crunching and cracking is way over reported, it makes a great story, but I don’t see it happen all that often.

Mine does, but the most disturbing of all is when the back of my head pops :eek:
A good yawn can result in the very top of my spine, up in my skull cracking.

My sternum pops, and has ever since I badly strained the cartilage there when I was 15. I was very gung-ho to lift something that was much heavier than I had anticipated, and OW! My chest hurt for weeks after that, especially if I took a deep breath, and my sternum still gets a sharp pain every now and then. When it pops, it hurts.


I can’t seem to pop it voluntarily. I’ve noticed it happens when I’m in the bathroom, either brushing my hair or putting on deodorant, something that involves both arms being raised, but I always forget to pay attention to the motion that does it.

You know how you’re kind of hyperaware when a knuckle needs a good cracking, I don’t get that with the sternum, it just kid of goes when it wants to. And it’s also pretty loud.

I only crack the knuckle closest to my palm on my middle finger…guess it gets the most use on the road!

I’ll crack my knee by giving my leg a nice sharp rotation, almost like I’m throwing a Frisbee from my toes while keeping my leg straight.

I get a pain in my ankles, which is only relieved by a crack, achieved by the latter method.

The cool thing to do when I was in high school was to, while seated in your desk, turn your upper body so that you could almost grab the back of your seat, which you’d pull in order to crack your spine…or where you ribs meed your spine, I’m not really sure.

Then, I don’t know if any of you have had anyone give you that backwards bear hug where they kind of thrust their chest into your back while simultaneously lifting you off the ground. I’ve had that done once, and, although it felt amazing, was convinced that that can’t be good for you.

Toes are a free for all.

Other than that…

How on Earth do you crack your crack? I fell straight back on the edge of my sacrum in the spring and did a lot of exploring and massaging in the area and had no clue that any “joints” were crackable!

Do you kind of rock or do you have to apply direct manual pressure?

Still, the sternum remains the only joint on my body that is crackable, that I cannot crack on command!

I thought I was the only one!
Happened once to me, it felt sooo weird.

One of the long term effects of a long-ago car wreck is that very rarely my sternum cracks during a stretch. I don’t like it because I’ve always considered it “damage.” And sometimes it hurts to do it. It happened a lot for the first few years after the wreck but now it’s maybe once a year.

Beats me.

I figure it’s due to my bed. About six months ago my doctor recommended that I sleep on a 6 inch incline to help with the GERD so my wife stuffed a couple of old encyclopedia sets under the head of the bed. Although this has helped the GERD, I am now sleeping on a slightly concave surface (the wife sleeps at the other end of the bed so it doesn’t bother her).

At some point during the day I will get a stiffness and sharp pain in my lower back. If I do a slow pelvic thrust I can feel / hear it crunching around in there. It’s not my hip joints, I know what they feel like when they pop and it’s not my spine, it’s too low for that. I don’t know for sure if it’s my pelvis or my coccyx (the crunching seems to spread out so it might be my pelvis) but afterwards I can bend over again.

But yeah, the cracking is taking place between my lower kidney area and about the middle of my butt cheeks so I’m basically cracking my crack.

Am I the only one who, while reading this thread, absolutely had to crack every possible part of their body they could possibly crack?