Are Noisy Joints a Sign of Arthritis?

Christina Dodd 

Does your elbow crack? Do your knees creak? Do you often get clicking noises in any of your joints? Most people think that this is a sign that they will develop arthritis later on. However, Dr. Michael Vagg from Victoria’s Deakin University said that joints can naturally make a lot of perplexing sounds. However, this is perfectly normal as long as there is no pain involved.

If there are no other symptoms then you don’t have to worry about it. There are different sounds and you should be aware which ones indicate the need for professional medical intervention.

Harmless Pops

Are Noisy Joints a Sign of Arthritis?

The most common noises are called benign pops which are also referred to as high-pitched snaps. These occur when fluid-filled sac in the joints becomes stretched due to a sudden change in the position of the joint. The result is pressure and volume change which pulls dissolved gases that make bubbles that are unstable and pop. The popping is what makes the snapping sound. An example is when you crack your knuckles.

Grinding and Rubbing

While pops are usually harmless, other grinding or rubbing noises could be an indication of damaged cartilage or inflammation in the area. When cartilage deteriorates due to any reason, parts of the bone can become exposed. When the rough surfaces rub against each other, the grinding and rubbing noise is referred to as crepitus.

Unfortunately, once these sounds are heard, there is very little you can do to stop the deterioration of the cartilage. Moreover, conditions like osteoarthritis are primarily controlled by the person’s genes. However, keeping your weight in the normal range can reduce symptoms and benefit joint health.

Tendon Noises

When tendons rub against bones, crepitus can also occur. This typically happens when the tendon is inflamed due to repetitive movement. This is why pain will usually be noticed before the noise. It usually occurs in the Achilles tendon which is common in long-distance runners. For this problem, anti-inflammatory drugs usually take care of the problem. However, it is best to consult a specialist to determine the appropriate treatment.

Joint Supplements

If you are an athlete and your joints usually take a lot of punishment, it would be a good idea to look into joint supplements. These joint pain relief products don’t just improve joint health but can also prevent pain and other discomforts. Look for products that contain glucosamine, MSM and chondroitin. However, there are also newer joint supplements that contain new ingredients that are clinically proven to improve joint health.

The bottom line is that when the noise of joints comes with pain, it is a sign that there is a problem. This means that it is time to consult your doctor or a joint specialist. One way to improve joint health is by keeping your weight in the normal range. Another way is to use a good joint supplement.