The story behind clicky and crunchy joints

As we age, our bodies begin to change, we get freckles, skin blemishes, scars, our hair changes colour (or even falls out..) and our joints start to make funny noises they didn’t use to make before. A lot of these things can be hidden with make-up, hair colouring or even a wig! But what can we do about these noisy joints?

We’ve all heard it, somebody bends down and their knee goes “POP” which is normally followed by someone saying “was that your knee?! Ouch!” While these pops and clicks can sound concerning and painful, generally speaking, they are causing no harm. A really good analogy that we use is that these noises are a lot like your child/grandchild learning the recorder, it doesn’t sound great but it’s harmless!

These sounds can be concerning as they can sound like something nasty is going on inside the joint before we talk about the solution, we need to understand what’s causing it! The most common causes of crepitus are gas bubbles within the joint popping during movement. While this is not the only cause, this is the cause we are going to talk about today.

What causes these gas bubbles and also the popping sound is explained really nicely in this video –

To quickly summarise the video, our joints contain fluid that helps our joints to slide and glide and within this fluid, gas bubbles form. When a joint is straightened, bent or a sudden force is applied for it (cracking your knuckles for example), the movement causes a change of pressure within the joint which causes these gas pockets to ‘pop’. These gas pockets can take 20 minutes to redevelop, this is why you can’t pop the same joint over and over again.

However, sometimes joint noises aren’t as friendly and they can cause pain and impact your daily life. This is when you need to come and see us! Painful joint popping is usually caused by Osteoarthritis, torn/damaged cartilage or a sudden change in activity like joining a fitness group.

Our team of Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists are experts in diagnosing the cause of your joint popping or pain.  We are able to explain in simple terms what’s going on within the joint and construct a thorough treatment plan to get you from where you are, to where you want to be after your first session!

If you’ve been suffering with noisy, painful joints, suffer no longer! Give our team a call today to start your journey to a happy, healthier life, or click 'book now' below to book online today.

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