Back Cracking in Young Children

(2 discussions)

I was wondering if it was normal for a young child’s back to crack frequently. My younger son’s back cracks (not a single pop, but a whole series) several times a day when I pick him up. It has done this his entire life (he’s just over 2 right now). Since I have rarely heard my older son’s back crack the frequency of my younger son’s concerns me. He is otherwise in perfect health and is actually very advanced in his motor skills. He is also large for his age, at the 100th percentile for stature. I appreciate any insight that you can give me on this.



    9 10

    This is a good question and one I have not been asked before. I wouldn’t be concerned. The child’s spine is continuing to grow and won’t mature until he is in his late teens. During this process the spine will move on its own and yes, pops typically are heard and its harmless. Even picking them up can cause the spine to release and my kids were like that too. The sound you hear (the pop) is actually nitrogen gas exiting the spinal joints as the vertebra move. Popping all the time can be a sign of hypermobility but at his age thats normal. Think about how flexible infants and kids are. In an adult this may be cause for concern but typically its not. You could bring it up to your Pediatrician on his next visit to see what he/she thinks. I’m pretty confident they will tell you not to worry about it.


      9 10

      Hi! My daughter has the same issue. She barely moves and her back cracks over and over in a series of cracks as well as her neck. She is my youngest and my older children do not crack anything! She goes to a chiropracter and this helps. I have been told since she is VERY limber and flexible due to being double jointed, this causes more cracking. She is in cheerleading dance and gymnastics because she is so limber and athletic…Even when she is inactive for long periods of time, she still cracks due to being born with such flexibility! Maybe your son will be a great gymnist or other sport!!!


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