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Pop, Crack, Snap, & Crackle | Why Are Your Joints Making Noise

We’ve all been through it, wake up in the morning, stretch your arms and something, somewhere cracks. Sometimes it feels like you’ve relieved tension and other times it just hurts! 

So, should you be worried about this noise that makes people think you’re falling apart? 

Although it can be embarrassing at times, usually snapping joints is not something you should be worried about. But, if you have swelling and pain with the cracking, then there could be something wrong, and you really need to visit your doctor. 

Why do your joints make noise? 

You’ll notice as you get older that your joints start making more noise, but, why? 

The answer is simple, imagine a door, when it creaks it needs oiling, right? Our joints are similar in a way. We don’t have oil between our joints; we have cartilage. As you get older, the cartilage between your joints starts to wear away; don’t fret, it’s normal, and you should expect it. 

It’s completely normal for your joints to pop, crack, and creak. It’s not anything to be concerned about unless you’re in pain. 

What is the sound? 

There’s more than one reason for your cracking joints, let’s say you’re working out, and you’re doing the same exercise over and over again, like push-ups or squats. You could notice that one of your joints is making a snapping noise every time you bend your elbows or your knees. 

The noise is telling you that one of your muscles is tight, which is causing friction around your bone, or it could be one of your tendons rubbing over your bone. If and when you notice it, you need to stretch your body out to get your muscles to relax. 

Try listening to your joints when they pop; you’ll notice that your shoulders make the loudest popping noises, that’s because there are a lot of tendons that move over your shoulder bones, making the noise that much louder. 

Cracking Knuckles

We have all either heard someone purposely cracking their knuckles, or done it yourself. The sound you hear coming from your knuckles, it nitrogen bubbles popping. It’s normal for these bubbles to collect and get compressed in the cartilage between your knuckles. 

Have you ever heard the myth that you’ll give yourself arthritis or your knuckles will get big if you pop them?

You probably have, but as we said, it’s a myth. This won’t happen because it’s gas being released. 

Avoiding Creaky Joints

What do you do when your skin is dry? 

You apply lotion, right? So, the solution is not to apply lotion on your joints, but think of movement as the lotion you would apply. If you’re getting bothered by all the snapping, cracking, creaking, and popping, then your solution is to move around more! 

Why? Because sitting around doing nothing is stopping the fluid between your joints from moving around, building more gas. And all that creaking noise is… Gas bubbles popping! 


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