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Crunching sound in neck/ears

Just wondering if anyone can identify with a crunching /grinding sound when moving the head side to side the sound increases when elevating the chin (looking up) and looking side to side not sure if it is part of the VM but I’m sure it wasn’t happening before I had other symptoms of VM?

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I get this. Does it sometimes lead to a cracking sound followed sometimes by a squishing when you move your jaw?

I think it’s a clue to the true aetiology of MAV and suspect it is from dried mucus in the Eustachian Tube.

Yes I get a squishing sound in my jaw along with a clicking of the Jaw on one side only(I have long since suspected I have TMJ) along with occasional pitch changes in hearing and the occasional high pitched ringing in that side. Like you I suspect the ET is somehow involved.

The TMJ might come from the subtle additional effort required for the jaw to align properly. The dried mucus might be upsetting the homeostasis of muscle/brain memory to jaw alignment.

When the Eyes Move, the Eardrums Move Too

I’ve experienced that grinding sound as I turn my head too, many times. Most often when I first sit up in bed of a morning. Only on my left side though. Interestingly my SO gets the same sometimes. I don’t experience any fluid sensation or dripping just a grinding sound. No pain, discomfort. Occurs sometimes turning my head after watching TV. After the head has been in one position a while maybe.


That makes sense, some moths back I had a pain a deep aching that lasted about a week in my right side at the top of the Jaw near to the temple took about a week to feel better .

Also the first bout of dizziness I remember coincided with constant sneezing linked to a particulary bad bout of hayfever that must have effected maybe even damaged the ET??

I have several theories about this:

  1. VM/MAV is actually a result of a degree of Hydrops (over pressure) in the inner ear. This will itself cause some tinnitus but also put pressure on the stapes via the oval window and cause irritation leading to additional over production of mucus to lubricate and compensate

  2. The mucus comes from inflammation caused by enzymes from the stomach having got into the ET during acid reflux events.

  3. Chronic inflammation of the ET from any number of pathogens. It’s nice and cosy and warm in there!

Yeah I definitely hear it from inside my ear but my wife says she can hear it if she gets close enough I don’t experience pain either

I had a crack so loud the other day that my family noticed it!

I’m positive this is some kind of mucus bind breaking, freeing the ET.

Jaw movement has evolved as means of keeping the ET operating properly.

You might say this is a sign it’s doing its job.

The lack of explanation of this symptom more than any has convinced me the doctors do not understand the full aetiology of what is going on here.

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I’ve had jaw crack so loud I’ve ask my SO if he heard it but he’s deaf in one ear anyway so his answer doesn’t always help.

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I hear grinding when I turn my neck from side to side and snap crackle pop when I move my jaw.

I always thought it was my neck injury and TMJ.

I now have new information to ponder from this discussion. Thank you, as always, my dizzy friends…


I can’t speak to everyone’s experience but I can to mine.

I definitely do have TMJD on the left side. It popped and clicked and ground away the bone for thirty years. Several years ago I had a 360 degree dental X-ray that found a river delta of hairline cracks in my skull and a condyle (the jaw bone) so worn away it looked like a smooth spoon. Those fractures have since healed. The damage to the jaw bone is permanent but it doesn’t pop or click or grind anymore because there’s no contact now. My jaw is held together on that side by the soft tissues. I’m cool with that. Hurts less. It’s stiff, but no big deal. Better than it dislocating all the time, which was an issue for a while, too.

As to the neck. My neurologist sent me to an atlas orthogonal chiropractor. They found my atlas was subluxed and kept subluxing over and over again. We’d fix it, my migraines would cool down, it would fall out of place and we’d start over. That went on weekly for years. Early this year I underwent a series (30 sessions) of non-surgical spinal decompression for the cervical spine. It’s sort of a computer guided, motorized rack that stretches your neck and increases the spaces between the vertebra very slowly and gently over time. I haven’t had that constant grinding/crunching sensation or sound since. I don’t experience brainstem aura symptoms related to my neck anymore either. (Though sometimes with the application of enough stress over enough time I can generate that same aura without my neck having issues. Last week, for example. :frowning: )

My neck is not normal. Normal isn’t possible. I’ve had whiplash four times (once quite serious from a high speed car accident in my teens) and consequent arthritis. Plus we MAVericks are inflammation factories. My neck now is just sort of stiff most of the time up around the occipitals. Again, I’m cool with that. My quality of life has hugely improved.

With respect to the Eustachian Tubes. I had bilateral ear tubes placed in March 2016. That improved things a lot but came with a cost. My ears stopped feeling stuffy and they were finally able to equalize pressure. But the surgery resulted in permanent right side tinnitus and partial hearing loss. Also, it’s amazingly easy to get water in there and end up with painful ear infections. Once I started getting MAV better under control with meds, I had the tubes removed and let them heal over.

As long as we’re doing the tour, I started my migraine journey thinking I had constant sinusitis and doing the antibiotic rounds. That wasn’t it. A CAT scan revealed not only were my sinuses not infected, I was born with only 2.5 of the 4 sets to begin with! You can’t have a sinus infection when you don’t have sinuses. Migraine is just a chameleon of a problem. It mimics everything. Get it under control and most of the stuffy, inflammatory things calm down.

There’s my 2 cents, which for me always ends up being a quarter.


I have these same sounds when I move my head back and forth. I’d always wondered if it has to do with a problem with arthritis in the upper few vertebrae. Never thought about my migraines being involved.

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This can happen just due to muscular tension and imbalance of tension. Tight muscles roll over and snap too. For this I think its related to a leaky gut due to glutamine deficiency together this has caused my VM, cervogenic headache and so much tension. Vertigo the snapping popping cracking sounds for me began as a child. I have finally gotten this better too.

My inner ears crack, pop and crunch 24/7. Sometimes I feel draining after. I try not to think about it too much because the sound is quite annoying. This started about 40 years ago after a case of whiplash and many airplane rides. I’ve suffered from migraines since age 15 and they run in my family. I didn’t experience vertigo until about 10 years ago after a bad virus. It still comes and goes. The medical world says I don’t have anything serious and I take Antivert when needed. This community is very helpful and validates so many of my symptoms.


I get that crunching sound too and I was pretty sure I didn’t have it before I got this condition. I have TMJ also. I have an appointment with the ENT in a little over a week, so maybe she can clarify what is causing that. I have covid (yes, I was fully vaccinated), so I have to get a negative test before I can go and I am sweating it because my 2nd test was also still positive and it had been 14 days since my first symptoms appeared. I go tomorrow for the 3rd test, so praying it is negative. About a week before I got covid, I started getting dizzy/vertigo so I didn’t know if it was covid related or just having a relapse with my condition, but the BPPV is pretty bad when I roll over in the bed. I lost my job so my insurance runs out the end of the month, so praying I can get the crystals in my ear put back in the right place, otherwise I am screwed until I get approved for disability (applied in July) which could be years.