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Why Do My Joints Make Noise?

“Why do my joints click, pop, crack?” This is a question that we as physical therapists get asked quite often.  If your joints “pop” or “crack,” you’re not alone!  In fact, it’s normal!  The majority of the time, this joint cracking occurrence is nothing to worry about.  However, if the popping and cracking is accompanied by joint swelling or pain, then you may need a consultation with a physical therapist or medical doctor.

Some research studies attribute the sound of joints “popping” as an exchange of gas pressure in the synovial fluid that lubricates your joints. The scientific terminology for this audible sound in joints is often referred to as “cavitation.”  “Popping” and “cracking” does not only occur in joints, but also among muscles and tendons.  Palpable and audible “pops” and “cracks” may occur with movement of tendons over a bony prominence.  If this occurs while moving, it is not a bad thing!  Continue to move your body in a safe and comfortable manner because it lubricates your joints and keeps them healthy!  As we say here at OPTI, “Motion is Lotion” and “Movement is Medicine!”

If you have further questions or need some physical therapy for some nagging pain or injury, call Omaha Physical Therapy Institute today!

Ashlie Eckmann, PT, DPT

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