- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Joint Cracking or Popping - Causes and Concerns
Are Popping and Cracking Joints Harmful?
My joints pop and crack on their own so I decided to do some research. I can get up and walk around my desk and my knees and feet will pop. It does not hurt, but I just wanted to check online and with my doctor to see what I can find about the causes. I have came to find 2 things:
1. If the joint popping happens on its own and does not hurt or feel uncomfortable, you are probably ok.
2. Do not force joints to pop (knuckles, spine, neck, etc..).
I have no medical training but wanted to assemble some resources if you are interested in this topic. The problem is that not a whole lot of conclusive research about the correlation between intentionally popping joints and arthritis exists. I see a chiropractor and take her advice as well. Any time you force something out of line you do risk injury.
What causes the joint pop or crack sound?
There are a few causes of the sound you may hear. These come from gases, movement of the parts in the joint, or even rough surfaces against each other. Read more at the Library of Congress. The fluid in the joint is called synovial fluid.
Does a popping joint indicate Arthritis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
I have found that it is not true that just because you have a sound coming from your joint that you have arthritis or will get arthritis. Arthritis involves joint swelling and pain and you can learn more at UW Medicine if you would like to learn more about arthritis.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a problem many people experience and in some instances requires surgery. If your wrist joints pop it is not a sure sign you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but problematic wrists should be monitored for those at risk for this condition.
Take Care of Your Joints
There are things you can do to take care of your joints. You can keep you weight and BMI within a healthy range, this will reduce the stress on your joints. You can also strengthen your muscles with exercise with weights to maintain their strength. These two things will also help prevent arthritis. For more tips check out Web MD.
Many factors contribute to the overall health of your joints. These are age, weight, injury, etc. Find out more about the factors at CNN.
- Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome: Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Management -- Simpson 106 (9): 531 -
I added this link after a comment from a reader. It is about Hypermobility Syndrome. Symptoms include over-flexibility of joints but there is no treatment, nothing is really wrong. You can strengthen your muscles through exercise.
- Don't Crack Your Neck!
You can harm your body by popping or cracking your neck with force, find out why.
- Joint Noise: Popping and Cracking - World of Sports Science
Explains that joint noise is natural and its causes.
- Find a Chiropractor .Com - National Chiropractor Directory
Our national Chiropractor directory provides thousands of chiropractic listings and quality chiropractic articles.