Joint Noise



Cracking the comfort code

Your joints “talk” to you. They communicate through sounds of popping, cracking, grinding, and snapping. Discover how to interpret what they mean.

Is Joint Noise Normal?

Cracking and popping of joints is usually normal and most of the time is nothing to be concerned about.

What Causes Joint Noise?

Ligaments: ligaments (binding bones to bone) make these noises as they get tight rapidly when the joint is moving.

Tendons: when tendons (binding bone to muscle) snap over or around a joint

Gases: when “bubbles” of nitrogen gas in the joint fluid enter or exit the solution rapidly through movement – such as cracking the knuckles in the hands.

When Should I Worry about Joint Noise?

The only time to worry about cracking or popping of a joint is if there is pain when the joint pops. Swelling is not normal and should be evaluated if it accompanies the noises. If the joint gets locked or stuck when it pops or cracks then it may indicate a joint problem that should be evaluated. If you are losing motion of the joint, if it is swelling or if you are losing function of the joint, then you should seek medical treatment.