Noisy joints are normal, especially with age – as long as you have no pain or swelling, according to experts at Doylestown Health's Orthopedic Institute.
Sounds come when muscles and tendons rub against bone, a common issue with knees and shoulders as cartilage can become uneven in areas and an intricate system of tendons enables the joint to move in many directions.
Stay Active for Smoother Moves
The key is to keep moving to activate your body's natural lubrication system. When you stay still, so does your body's synovial fluid, a natural lubricant. Activity, such as exercise, moves the synovial fluid around the joint capsule, allowing muscles and tendons to glide over the bones with less friction.
Cracking the Case on Knuckles and other Joint Pops
Another joint noisemaker is the popping sound called cavitation. Within the joint capsule are open spaces where gas accumulates in the synovial fluid. Movement, such as cracking knuckles, shifts gas bubbles in synovial fluid, causing the bubbles to burst, leading to the cracking sound.
When to Call the Doctor
Contact your physician if your noisy joints are accompanied by pain or swelling, as this can be an indication of an injury, tear or arthritis.
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About Doylestown Health's Orthopedic Institute
For joint repair and replacement, spine and hand surgery, sports medicine and osteoporosis care, you’ll find Doylestown Health's Orthopedic Institute is the perfect fit. With same and next day appointments available, our board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians treat all types of bone and muscle conditions. Here, experienced orthopedic surgeons offer the latest technology and progressive-care pathways to return patients to the activities they love – fast.