Why Do My Joints Crack And Pop? Should You Worry About Creaky Limbs? | Kidadl

FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS

Why Do My Joints Crack And Pop? Should You Worry About Creaky Limbs?

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Joints cracking or popping can be a curious source of entertainment for kids, but adults usually relate those noises to bone weakness.

Human bones can be thought of as excellent examples of biological art, especially considering the various muscles, cartilage, and ligaments that keep them flexible. Cracking joints is something that doesn't usually cause any injury or pain, and can be considered normal.

Many times, the loud noises and pops that result from cracking a knuckle or joint can be jarring, even though the process may be painless. There are rumors that the sound made from cracking your knuckles and other joints is a sign of actual bone cracks that may require a doctor's visit. The reality about these symptoms is a little different. For example, cracking knee joints is a common issue reported by many different people. Age may be a contributing factor that can affect your health, but there is no need to seek immediate medical advice or see your doctor when you hear a joint cracking.

The reason why these joints crack is usually something that's nothing to worry about. Joint cracking comes from ligaments and is very normal. The real reason for joints cracking and popping is due to nitrogen bubbles. Synovial fluid makes up part of the joint and contributes to the snapping sound; as you age, your cartilage wears away and popping noises become louder. This synovial fluid present in your knuckles and joints needs gases, such as oxygen or nitrogen, to lubricate the bones properly. Gas, like nitrogen, is the ultimate reason behind this phenomenon. Every time you pop your bone or joint, the gas releases and forms bubbles.

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When Your Joints Might Crack, Snap, or Pop

Joint shaping can cause a popping sound that is hard to ignore; it's very loud and can easily grab attention. For a long time, people believed it was a sign of muscle injury or joint weakness.

While cracking joints doesn't typically cause pain, tension, or injury to your body muscles and bones, it's important to know which body parts to avoid manipulating. As you can assume, popping skeletal joints (like fingers, elbows, and others) is safe and will only cause a snapping sound. However, your doctor may not recommend cracking your neck, because it can cause real damage and may require serious medical attention. Cracking joints like knees and knuckles are usually safe; other muscles and delicate areas should not be manipulated without a professional doctor or chiropractor involved.

Is it bad if your joints crack a lot?

No, cracking sounds are not bad for your health and they are relatively safe.

People believe that popping joints can cause arthritis, but that's not always the case. As you age, the sound or popping noises that come from a joint may occur more frequently, but it is not bad for your health. Most of the time, the noises are a result from the release of nitrogen bubbles, which doesn't cause arthritis.

Closeup young woman sitting on sofa holds her wrist.

Treating Cracked Joints

A common cracking joints remedy is usually found in most kitchens. Joint cracking may not cause any pain, but it can cause a loud noise that is treatable.

Taking anti-inflammatory medication or using ice compression can help. If the case is serious or you don't notice any relief from those methods, your doctor may have other suggestions for treatment. In most cases, elevation and compression or heat therapy will do the trick. However, people higher in age may experience joint noise as a result of arthritic damage. If any pain occurs when a joint cracks or makes a noise, then medical assistance should be pursued.

When To Worry About Cracking Joints

Joint noise is typically is harmless and doesn't cause any sort of pain. However, there are certain cases when you might notice how your body or joints are reacting whenever a particular joint pops. In very few cases, the noise can be a symptom of a meniscus tear, which can cause swelling, pain, and other clicking noises.

Cartilage is a very thin muscle and can be damaged, which can result in a popping sound. If you notice any pain or swelling associated with a cracking joint, you should seek medical assistance. Such signs could point to a meniscus tear or arthritis.

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The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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