28 Does Joint Popping Cause Arthritis?

Summary

See the blog post here. 

Why do I have noisy joints, and does popping cause arthritis? This is a question I get asked frequently at the clinic. To understand why our joints can cause so much popping and clicking, we need to first understand the structure of a joint.

By definition a joint is where two bones connect. Between the joints there is a fluid present called the synovial fluid. Within this fluid there are dissolved gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. When the joint is stretched these gas bubbles collapse, which causes a ‘popping’ sound. Once these joints are popped, It takes about 20 minutes for these gases to build up again for the pop to occur.

Does joint popping cause arthritis? The short answer is no. As you can see from the above description, the ‘popping’ sound from your joints is entirely related to the gas escaping from the joint, and not from wearing down the joint surfaces.

There are different types of sounds emitted from different joints in the body. Here is a brief explanation of some of the most common sounds:

–  A soft snapping sound usually occurs when performing exercises such as weight training. It can be due to a tight muscle rubbing over a bone. Try gently stretching the muscle before your exercise to help reduce the sound.

–  The shoulder is the noisiest joint in the body as there are many moving parts as well as many muscles rubbing across bones.  Shoulder sounds are quite common and usually do not indicate injury.

–  Knuckle popping is caused when compressed nitrogen gas is released from the joint, similar to how a soda can pops when opened.

–  Chiropractic adjustments can also cause joint popping. The reason is because fixed joints have a build up of nitrogen gas. When Chiropractors restore motion to fixed joints, these gases escape causing a popping sound, similar to cracking knuckles.

If you are concerned about a noisy joint, call our clinic today for a free consultation. We can be reached at 905-593-1605.

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