Should You Be Concerned About Clicking Joints?
When many of us stretch, undergo home physio or crack our knuckles, we often hear our joints click and pop. Sometimes this noise is even loud enough for other people in the room to hear.
However, despite the common misconception that cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis, clicking joints is completely normal by itself.
Whilst there has been research into the sounds joints make, there is no consensus as to why they make the noise they make. One theory is that the synovial fluid of the joint produces bubbles which pop, other theories suggest nitrogen bubbles escaping.
Other theories still believe it to be a result of tendons passing over ligaments.
Whilst the reason for clicking joints is still up for debate due to difficulties in developing imaging systems that can see the activity of clicking joints, there is research that suggests it causes no health issues.
Several studies found that patients who crack their knuckles have a similar rate of arthritis to those that do not.
Generally, the only time clicking is a problem is when you also feel pain or notice inflammation and swelling at the same time. This could be a sign of an injury.
However, if you do find the noise annoying and frustrating, the best solution is movement. Any kind of physio and mobility workout will work to reduce the noise, from stretches to exercises with lighter weights
If there are joints and areas of the body that do get tighter or stiffer and are less easy to move, mobility work can help to reduce this. The golden rule that motion is lotion applies not only to stiff joints but to clicking ones as well.