Why joints crackle and is it dangerous? Popular about crepitation

The joints often make a whole range of sounds, from clicks to creaks. The scientific name for this phenomenon is crepitus, from the Latin word crepitus. It is common to people of all ages, although with age it becomes more common. But what causes such an unusual effect?

Gnashing of teeth and joint

The most common cause of crepitus is air bubbles that form at the joints. Most often, they arise where a layer of fluid separates the two bones, reducing their friction. The joints can move apart and converge both during the daily movements of the body, and during special procedures. When this happens, low pressure in the joint space causes the gases from the natural “lubricant” of the joints to form a cavity - it usually contains oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

Often, people tend to believe that crunching joints is an alarming symptom, although this is far from always true. In 2015, medical researchers investigated joints in real time and proved that gas bubbles were very neutral. In addition, after the first loud crunch, the gases take some time to re-accumulate - so you won’t be able to crunch too often.

In addition, in people with hypermobility of the joints, the latter can move far beyond the usual movements. As a result of the extension of the articular bag, a cavity is also created in which gas accumulates. This syndrome is inherited, so children often crack joints as well as their parents.

Sometimes noise has an anatomical cause. It occurs when the tendons move along the uneven structure of the bones to which they are attached, and then quickly return to the original. The most common example is a knee crunch when moving from a sitting position to a standing position or when climbing a ladder.

Cause for concern

So maybe you don’t have to worry at all when your joints make a loud sound? No matter how. Crunching can also occur when the cartilage layer between the bones is erased or just gets damaged. In this case, the crunch is accompanied by painful sensations, because the bones actually rub against each other. Worldwide, osteoarthritis affects 50% of people over the age of 65. The pain of osteoarthritis can be controlled in various ways, but it must be investigated by a specialist.

In conclusion, I want to note that noisy joints themselves do not pose any threat. Antelopes, for example, even use this harsh sound to scare away a predator. However, any noise that comes from the joint over a long period of time is a good reason to consult a doctor and check your health.

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