What’s Actually Happening When You Crack Your Joints

Article Found on Health.com | Written by Dr. Roshini Raj

My knees crack a lot when I stand up. Should I be worried?

If you’re not experiencing pain or swelling, no. Experts used to think that cracking your joints caused arthritis, but the latest research shows no such link. These sounds happen for a few reasons. First, when you stand up, the load on your joints changes. This can make the gases in the fluid that lubricates your knees (called synovial fluid) form bubbles that pop. Another culprit: Cartilage that cushions joints gets uneven in places as you age, so you might hear rough spots gliding over one another. Or you may be hearing the ligaments—tissues that connect bones—tightening.

Painful popping, however, can signal osteoarthritis, which is when the cartilage degenerates, causing friction in the joints. Treatment is a combination of pain meds, physical therapy and weight loss (if you’re overweight). Pain may also signal a tear in the meniscus, which is the disk of cartilage that sits atop your shinbone. The tear may heal on its own, but if it keeps hurting, you might need surgery to fix it.

New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.

New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.

Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.

If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.