T Nation

Cracking and Popping Noises in Sternum or Back

About 3-4 months ago my PT (who was seeing me for hip pain for what later turned out to be a labral tear) wanted to try something he saw somewhere on me when rehabbing my hip. Some obscure exercise. It was essentially this twisting exercise where I would lie on a bed and try fall on my stomach and then my back using only my hip or my arm and NOTHING else. I noticed while doing these that it felt like the insides of my chest were being yanked around and this was very painful. I eventually told him that I needed to stop doing these. He was really insistent. I don’t know if this problem has anything to do with that.

Lifting does not bother it, I need to be clear. I don’t think the problem is muscular at all. Nothing shallow on the body, nothing painful to the touch. The pains come and go on their own, but certain movements do tend to aggravate them when the pain is around, such as twisting or breathing in deep.

I’m still trying to figure out where they are coming from. The last couple months I’ve been noticing these weird chest pains that seem to be aggravated by certain movements. The last month I’ve noticed these cracking and popping noises particularly when turning my torso.

When I get up in the morning and bend my torso backwards there is a bunch of cracking and popping that takes place. The actual popping and cracking isn’t painful. However, I have noticed pains in the areas of the cracking and popping. For instance, today during bench press when sitting up after pressing I noticed a moderate amount of pain in my chest (sternum region I’m guessing). Twisting and turning in bed and twisting in general can be painful.

There is little to no pain to the touch. About a year ago I had a scare where there was a part of my chest that was really painful to the touch and thought I had chostochondritis, but it was gone after a week. I think it was bruising from bouncing the bar. I stopped bouncing the bar after that scare. This is nothing like that.

I’m still trying to figure out of the popping is coming from the sternum or the spine, but my guess is the sternum, like the rib attachments?

My GP thinks I should go straight to the ER and get an MRI. The pain isn’t severe or anything like that. But I’m thinking what the hell?