Cracking Joints: What You Need To Know


As we move around and go about our daily business, it’s certainly not unusual for our joints to make creaking, cracking and popping sounds – and they can often be so loud that they’re somewhat alarming.

However, it’s important to remember that this is entirely normal and most of the time these cracks are not a cause for concern.

The medical term for these noises is ‘crepitus’, referring to the sounds you hear when bubbles of air pop inside your joints. This is harmless, unless it’s accompanied with pain or discomfort, which can be an indication of an injury or some kind of underlying medical condition.

As you get older, the cause of these cracks and pops may change. For example, you may develop arthritis as a normal part of the ageing process and the noises may be down to damage sustained by the cartilage and bone.

How crepitus is treated will largely depend on what’s causing it. You may find that your symptoms improve by taking some kind of anti-inflammatory, or resting the affected area while using ice, compression and elevation.

However, going to see a physiotherapist can prove particularly beneficial if you’re worried about your symptoms or if you’re in pain and it doesn’t seem to be improving. 

Your physio will work with you to work out what’s causing the problem and devise a bespoke treatment programme to help you manage your symptoms and hopefully improve your physicality and mobility.

Listen to your body and if you think your crepitus may be something to do with a joint condition of some kind, or if you’re experiencing any kind of swelling or pain around your joints, get in touch with us here at Clear Physio to see how we can help.

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