What Causes Noisy Joints?
Creaking, cracking and popping sounds from the knees, knuckles and ankles joints and sometimes even from the lungs is common and does not represent an early form of arthritis nor does it cause joint damage. The popping sound is caused by nitrogen air bubbles normally found in the synovial fluid that surrounds and lubricates the joints and the snapping sound is from the tightly stretched ligaments, tendons or muscles as they move over each other in the joint. The sound that we hear from our joints is called crepitus. If there is no pain or swelling along with the cracking joints then it is harmless. But it is not recommended to force joints to pop and snap. When there is pain and swelling along with joint cracking it mostly means there is some problem or disease within or around the joint. Torn or worn cartilage in the joints and bones rubbing together can cause pain, limited range of motion and swelling in the joints. If this occurs you should immediately see the doctor.
Are Noisy Joints the Starting of Arthritis?
The noise can be due to arthritic damage in the cartilage and bone. Different types of arthritis cause swelling that over time changes the way the joint moves. Osteoarthritis is known as a degenerative disease and generally affects people as they grow old. The damage to the joint and cartilage causes pain and swelling. In the beginning it could just be crepitus but if the cartilage in the joint starts to get destroyed then the sound will be a painful grinding of bones against each other. Meniscus is a fine film like sheet between bones in the weight bearing joints of the femur and the tibia. If this cushion gets damaged it’s torn, uneven edges can get trapped between bones during the movement in the joint causing pain, swelling, popping or clicking noises. A dull pain under the patella or kneecap can be a sign of some latent or repressed injury or an overused joint. During movement it mostly sounds like a crunching or grating sound along with pain. Crepitus is mainly used to explain the sounds in the lungs, they are called crackles or rales and can point to a respiratory disease. These sounds are mostly audible with a stethoscope.
Can Noisy Joints Be Treated?
The treatment of crepitus mainly depends on the cause. In some cases curing the inflammation with medicinal support or cold therapy can help a lot. It is most important to understand the main cause for crepitus so that normal creaking, popping noise can be differentiated from the severely damaging condition that requires immediate medical attention. The best form of treatment for any creaking or popping noise is to strengthen the muscles that assist in the movement of the joints. This takes the pressure of the weight bearing joints and the other smaller joints in the body and guarantees correct movement.