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About 7 months ago, I went to stretch and heard a pop sound in my chest area, around my sternum. Ever since then, I have felt a pain in my sternum area. If I sneeze and dont brace myself I hear a pop sound and it kind of hurts, also if I sit for awhile and then stretch it hurts. If i pulled a muscle it should have gone away by now. But I have been thinking that maybe I somehow injured it before and never realized it. Do you know what this could be? And is it serious?

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Me too! The exact same thing happens to me. When I sneeze now, I have to press against my sternum with my hand. It will still pop when I sneeze, but if I don't hold it to brace it, the pop is accompanied with quite a bit of pain. It started a couple of years ago when I was in college. I would often be at the computer for many many hours on end studying or writing a paper. I would stretch sometimes by reaching back with both arms which stretched/expanded my rib cage. Sometimes my sternum would pop when I did this, very unusual feeling at first as I had never experienced it before, but it felt good. Now, when I do a pushup or stretch or sneeze, it pops but it hurts. Should I see a Doc?
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Hi,

I have the same condition - did a massive strech at work and it popped. That was probably a year or two ago. I sneezed the other day while my torso was twisted to the right, and it popped again. I do have pretty violent sneezes. That day I began having pretty bad pain in the area but it got better after 3 days....minor at least. Now I sneezed again the other day and it's happened again - although not as bad.
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i suppose i should mention that the first time i did it, it didn't really hurt. I would advise against ever trying to crack your sternum again as I am now *sorely* ;-) regretting it. It got to the point where breathing deeply was painful and looking to my sides while driving was impossible. I really notice it when i turn my head from side to side...the muscles tug at my chest and...youch. There are many other sternum problems mentioned in the links below - take a look.
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I busted either the front of a couple ribs where they connect to the sternum, or a chunk of my sternum on that side, two weeks ago, snowboarding. This was confirmed by a doctor. You are describing EXACTLY what I have experienced for the last two weeks, so I can guess what's wrong with you guys...
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I hope this doesn't cause us problems later on.
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I am a 24 year old male who suffers from the same discomfort in my
sternum, i use to pop my sternum but this only offers tempoary releif and it causes the pain to increase over time
i noticed that when i sleep with out a pillow in the nights the pressure is less during the days also the bed that you sleep in must be firm, avoid sleeping on your belly and sides as this will contribute to the pain aviod poping aviod lifting heavy loads and it should offer some releif. if you slouch when using the computer this will contribute to the pressure sit in a upright position rand relax your shoulders. this is not a cure but i belive that the problem is stress reated so the less stress you put you body under the better you will feel.
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I have exactly the same symptoms! Did the same backward stretch with my arms while sitting at my desk and felt (and heard) a pop. Since the (about 14months now) sneezing is a painful experience. Fine if you can feel one coming on and you can brace yourself but the surprise ones can be bloody sore. Found a few sites on Costochondritis which is the inflammation of the cartilage that joins the ribs to the chest bone and can cause these same pains we are having.
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Same thing here. I sneeze and my sternum pops. It hurts but the pain goes away pretty quickly. Consecutive sneezes don't pop it though. The pain is almost like it starts in my back and moves to my sternum. I also had been having some upper back pain. I took physical therapy to help with the back pain, but I still have pain across my sternum and of course the popping during sneezes still hurts. Wish I knew what to do about it.
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I am 30 year old who use to go to the gym regularily, however four months ago I was doing alot of chest work with weights to build up this my weakest body area and felt one work out like something in my upper chest failed. The next day I did two different kind of dips to work my tri's and one area on the upper left side of my chest had sharp pain. Even when I did shoulder work the same day - that area was very weak and caused my left arm to become quite painful. Since that time I stopped going to the gym and every time I sneeze - just like the rest of you report - I to have sharp pain, some times a cracking or popping sound. If I am on my tummy in and up on my elbows reading or something, it also hurts in the same place. This pain sometimes radiates in my upper back too. When the injury first happened the pain was not as localized as it is now. Now I can push on the rib in my upper chest right where it connects to my sternum and the pain is very sharp. I have decided to talk to my doctor about it and if he tries to send me home I will push to have an x-ray done simply to cover the bases. In the health care system you sometimes have to be your own advocate to be taken care of properly. Good luck all.
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Hello All,

I am in the same boat as all of you. I'll start from the beginning because reading posts like this really has eased my concerns.

I began getting pains in my sternum senior year of HS when I took a large hit to my ribs in a lacrosse game. The pain after wards was very sharp and felt very confined. There was a pressure always on my sternum and at the beginning of when it happened it was difficult to pop and would hurt tremendously. It needed to be popped to remove the pain.

As time progressed and the symptoms worried me more and more. My sternum began to pop on a regular basis without as much pain and difficulty in popping. I found that in college playing lacrosse stopped it from popping as much. I believe physical activity maybe helped strengthen the joints. Towards my later years of college it came back full fledge. This time more chronic but without as much pain.

I find that now it pops maybe 2 times a day but feels like cracking my nuckles. I can sneeze and it pops, I can move a certain way and it pops. All I know is the pain isn't there anymore and my anxiety for it has subsided.

I have met with trainers, doctors, anyone who is anyone that will listen on this. They informed me after x-rays, tests, etc. that nothing was wrong and everything is fine. My trainer once told me that joints are made to pop, if they get out of line or change in position they pop back to their original posture. I believe this statement is correct. I mean I stand up sometimes and my knee pops or ankle, and that is normal. Your sternum carries are large load of pressure and is one of the strongest bones in your body. If you have ever been hit or taken a large blow to that area, then i am sure you have experience what I have and will continue to have pops and cracks. As disgusting as the pops and cracks may sound and worry you I am sure it is your bones going back to their original posture and position.

If your pain gets worse and it does not subside, I do recommend seeing a doctor. Please do not take my advice to heart for everything is different for everyone.

I wish you the best in discovering a cure.

Lee
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I've gone to see a doctor about it. He said that people of my height, about 6ft; and age group, 19-25; get this sort of thing. He attributed it to growing pains.

I didn't stop there, though. After doing more searching, as well as thinking and what not, I think another big cause of it is weak back muscles, with rather stronger chest and abs. So do some exorcise to strengthen your back, even if that just means sitting up really straight in your chair for a while. Your back will burn after a bit, but it did help me out a bit.
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Hey guys, I'm 25 and I've had this condition for over a year now and it has gotten worse and worse. Today was by far my least favorite. I can barely, make full arm movements across my chest, look and extend toward my toes with my chin down, while popping in the morning only increases the pain for later in the day. My doctor said that it was much the same as popping your knuckles and that I should avoid doing it as much as possible. This seems to be an oversimplification. This popping is unavoidable as most of you know, while I do believe it is brought on by stress and bad sleeping habits. I have also had some bruised ribs and possibly a cracked one or three in the past which I think accelerated the condition. Adjusting to dull these symptoms is only a lukewarm start to cure or relief. We need help! Has anyone overcome this or at least gotten relief? Oh I also find massaging helps. Good luck guys!
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Wow, well its nice to know Im not the only one who has these symptoms. For years I have popped my sternum for relief but it only happened mabye once or twice a year. Now it happens six seven times a day when I take a big breath or push my chest out. Its quite uncomfortable and I feel a constant soreness in my sternum. There has got to some cure for this.
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I get this too. I LOVE sneezing because 8 out of 10 times when I sneeze the chest POPS/SNAPS and I feel relief for like 5 minutes then this discomfort returns. My doctor says it's "normal". I know chest popping occasionally is NORMAL but not this discomfort. It's hard for me to sleep because it tightens up and feels like one side of my rib cage is trying to overlap the other side. Went to a chiropractor and it only seemed to aggravate the condition. I think I must have broken a rib connecting to the sternum when my husband tried to crack my upper back in "bear hug" position. I think he hugged a little too hard. I don't think this will heal unless I pop it into place and then lay there for 2 weeks. At least now I know to quit messing with it since it won't heal with my constant twisting and pressing.... o.O
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