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Why do my joints pop?

Pops, snaps, and crackles in our joints are quite common. When our joints crack and pop on a regular basis, it is a bit disconcerting. You might wonder whether or not it is normal. Never fear! There are some simple explanations for why your joints make that popping sound. So let’s take a look at some of the reasons our joints seem to pop.

Normal Causes for Joints Popping

Joint noises and cracking sounds are typically associated with getting older. While your joints can make sounds at any age, many find that the older they get, the more sounds their joints make.

Nitrogen Bubbles

When you crack your knuckles, you force out compressed nitrogen bubbles that normally form between your joints and bones. While the old wives’ tale says that it causes arthritis, research says otherwise.

Rubbing Tendons

As your tendons roll over your bones, they sometimes make popping and cracking sounds. This often happens to tendons that don’t typically get used as often. Think of the popping sounds as a call to do a little more stretching! By stretching out your tendons, you will find that will lessen the number of joint pops.

Less Lubrication

Our bodies make a natural lubricant for our bones and joints called synovial fluid. The more you move your body, the more of this lubricant it creates. As you slow down or avoid participating in exercise, your body will create less, and your joints will make more sounds.

Many find that their joints pop first thing in the morning when they get out of bed. This is because your body is inactive while you sleep. Try stretching first thing in the morning to keep your joints and muscles nimble.


If you notice that pain and/or swelling accompanies your popping joints, there is a chance it is arthritis. Arthritis affects the way your joints move due to inflammation and may cause them to make some extra sounds. If you think you might have arthritis, seek medical advice from your doctor.


As you grow older, the cartilage of your bones begins to wear down. As your bones rub together, you might notice a grinding sound. With less cartilage, your bone will rub directly on another bone, causing this sound.

How can I improve my popping joints?

When you have creaky joints, movement is your best friend. Exercising your muscles and joints can reduce all the extra noises. As you exercise, your muscles and joints become more lubricated and flexible. Remember the old saying, “Motion is lotion.”

When should I be concerned about my popping joints?

If you find that your joints hurt while you exercise and tend to make life more difficult, it is time to see your doctor. Your medical provider will help assess your joints and decide what is causing the sounds.  You want to make sure that popping sounds are not the result of a more serious injury, like a break or sprain.

A meniscus tear can also cause a loud popping sound. This occurs when your knee is twisted forcefully. While pain may not occur immediately, you will begin to feel it within the first 24 hours after tearing it. Some of these tears can heal on their own, but it all depends on the type of tear it is. Seek out medical attention to decide the best course of action.

It is normal for your joints to crack at any age. While it may worsen as you get older, the best line of defense is to stay active. Incorporate stretches and a fitness routine into your daily schedule to keep your joints functioning at their best!

Fast Access to Healthcare Professionals

If you find that your joints are painful and swollen, it is best to reach out to a healthcare professional. A great way to do that is to consult UBERDOC. With UBERDOC, you can quickly and easily set up a consultation to find out how severe and serious your issues are. This is a quick and convenient way to establish the best course of action. UBERDOC allows you to get the care you need in an easy and affordable way. We offer both in-person and telemedicine appointments, ensuring that you have access to the healthcare you need, no matter how busy or restrictive your day is. To find out more about our services and how UBERDOC can help you, contact us today!

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