We have all experienced the strange sounds our joints can make. Sometimes when we stand up, turn, rotate a joint or just stretch. It can be in our knees, arms, ankles or neck and most commonly in our shoulders.
The sound of popping or cracking can be loud and can cause us to wonder if there is something really wrong with our joints.
If it is just a noise without any associated pain or swelling, although annoying, it’s usually not anything to be concerned about. In fact, these noises are normal and common.
Why do our joints make these sounds?
Our joints are made up of tendons, bones and muscles. They can be a hinge style or ball and socket. In essence, lots of individual small pieces working together to make a moving part. The different sections of the joint move and rub against each other and this causes the popping and cracking sounds we hear.
We often find that as we get older, our joints become “noisier” as the cartilage has worn down and there is more “hard” surface impact.
The fact is that joints make noise.
What about when we crack our knuckles?
This sounds is caused by gas being released from the joint and the compression of nitrogen bubbles that are in the spaces or our joints. It’s nothing to be concerned about and wont make your knuckles bigger or cause you to develop arthritis in the joint – MYTH BUSTED.
Can we avoid creaking joints?
The best way to stop our joints from creaking is to keep active. When we are inactive the fluid in our joints doesn’t move. The more we move, the more our body causes our joints to be lubricated – much like putting oil onto a creaking hinge.
When should I be worried about creaking joints?
If you have pain, swelling or heat. These maybe symptoms of a more serious condition and you should arrange to see your doctor.
Dr Louis Shidiak treats people of all ages for joint conditions. If you would like to arrange an appointment with Dr Shidiak, please call 02 9806 3333.