What is Causing your Joints to Crack?

In this post you will learn 4 possible causes of your joints making noises such as cracking and explain if it is anything to be worried about.

In the medical world this feeling or sound of joints moving is called crepitus. It is usually normal and not a sign of problems in your body. Lets take a look at the top 4 causes of crepitus:

Knee pain

1. Air bubbles and Synovial Fluid.

Your joints are full of tiny air bubbles as well as something called synovial fluid. This fluid helps lubricate your joints and supplies them with nutrients to keep them healthy. This commonly causes noise or feelings of a pop in your knees and back. It may also cause back pain which you can read how to manage yourself here. This is the cause of crepitus when people crack their knuckles. One way to avoid these sensations is to keep active during the day and avoid sitting for extended periods of time. Your Physiotherapist can further advise you on what to do.

2. Arthritis.

Arthritis is a condition where your cartilage brakes down faster than your body can rebuild it. In severe cases of arthritis you may begin to feel your joints click. Arthritis is a condition which responds well to physiotherapy and symptoms like clicking can be easily managed. Versus Arthritis has some great resources on this condition.

Physiotherapy joint

3. Tendons and Ligaments.

Your joints are supported by tendons and ligaments. Sometimes these can catch as your bones move which can lead to feelings of popping. This is very common at the shoulder. If you tear either of these structures it can lead to painful sensations within the joint. These injuries can happen during trauma but also as part of the normal ageing process. Our Peterborough Physiotherapists are experts in assessing these structures.

Shoulder pain

4. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.

This is where your kneecap becomes painful. This is common in the active population but also in young women. It is caused by the kneecap moving incorrectly leading to inflammation and feelings of clicking within the knee. Your physiotherapist will analyse the movement of your kneecap to help diagnose this.

Overall the feeling of your joints clicking or popping is rarely anything to worry about. A simple course of physiotherapy can help to reduce these sensations and rule out anything more dangerous.

If you are struggling with anything mentioned in this post contact us to discuss your issue with a Physiotherapist.

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