Bones Joints and Muscles1 Comment

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I stretched my chest and my sternum popped. This is no big deal, I do it all the time. But this time once it popped my legs went weak and I fell to the floor and had a loud ringing in my ears. I laid on the floor trying not to pass out for about ten seconds and felt very disoriented. What in the world happened to me?

1 Comment on this article

  • Dr. Chris August 14, 2011

    The ‘popping’ this time around may have elicited a vasovagal response. This can be trigger by various possible stimuli with pain and unpleasant sensations being among the common causes. A vasovagal response would cause the symptoms that you describe and sometimes can progress to actual fainting where it is then known as vasovagal syncope. However, there is a possibility that there could have been some other cause, possibly cardiovascular or neurological, that only your doctor will be able to ascertain after the appropriate investigation.

    Irrespective of how often this ‘popping’ has been going on, you need to have it investigated further. While many times it is benign and seen in adolescence/adulthood only to resolve on its own, your doctor will need to determine if there is a more serious underlying cause that can and should be treated. Failure to do so can just lead to the condition progressing further and complications that could have been avoided arising at a later stage.

    Even if the ‘popping’ is not due to any serious cause, you should not be stretching to ‘pop’ your sternum. In the process you could be straining the cartilage, joints and ligaments in the area. Of course if it happens spontaneously or during normal daily actions then it is unavoidable. Speak to your doctor.


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