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Clicking Joint

Clicking Joints

The clicking sounds that occasionally occur when we move, is to some of us quite worrying. The sounds may be loud enough that others nearby can hear them too. There are several explanations and theories about what causes these noises and they are as follows:

knuckle cracking

Causes of Clicking Joints

  • As we move and tendons move across a bony prominence or across a joint, then a clicking sound can be produced.
  • It is perfectly normal for gas bubbles of Nitrogen to be found in our joints and sometimes these bubbles popping may also create a noise. This is thought to be what happens when we ‘crack our knuckles’.
  • When a joint is suffering from “wear and tear” and/or the cartilage is damaged, then simply the two parts of the joint moving across each other can make the popping/cracking noise, as the joint gets stuck and then unsticks itself.

Investigating Clicking Joints

Invariably, investigations such as X-rays, MRI scans or ultrasounds fail to diagnose or understand where the popping noise is coming from with any certainty. In themselves, the noises are completely harmless and rarely, if ever, indicate that there is some serious underlying problem.

Of course, if the noise is created by a worn or damaged joint, then this would be part of a group of other symptoms that would draw attention to the problem and lead to investigations and appropriate treatment.

Contact Us

To speak with a specialist about clicking joints, contact our team today.
We are available from Monday to Friday: 8am – 8pm.

Information For GPs

If you are a GP and would like to refer a patient, ask a question or enquire about our education events, please visit our dedicated GP page, by clicking here.