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Why Are My Joints Cracking All Of A Sudden?

"Popping," "Cracking," or "Snapping" are sounds associated with joint cracking. If you notice more joint cracking then usual, it may be a symptom of another condition. Whenever you have a bothersome symptom, it is important to explore the cause before it leads to additional problems.

What is the cause of my joint cracking?

The good news is, usually, joint cracking is not serious. However, if it increases significantly or you have pain then it is something to explore.

Nitrogen Bubbles

Joint cracking is often an escape of air. Synovial fluid lubricates joints, and this fluid is made of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. Sometimes when the joint moves, gas is released, and you hear the "popping' or "cracking' noise.

If you notice an increase in joint cracking, it is helpful to examine if anything has recently changed that is causing joint cracking.


Have you had a recent injury? Broken bones, sprains, and tendon injuries can all contribute. Even an old injury may sneak up to give symptoms. If so, then it is important to see an orthopedic specialist who can examine the condition and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.


Occasionally joint cracking can be caused by a more chronic condition, such as arthritis. It is common for this to occur in the knee joint. You might hear the joints cracking as the cartilage wears down and bone grinds against bone.

Noisy Joint

When it comes to "popping" or "snapping", another commonly affected part of the body is the shoulder. Shoulder joints have an incredible range of motion, so can be the noisiest joints in the body. If accompanied by pain or reduced movement, it is important to be evaluated by an orthopedic specialist to rule out injury.

Why do my joints crack during exercise?

Athletes can hear joint cracking when they participate in strenuous activities such as running and plyometrics—the sound results from tight muscles that are causing friction against bones. If athletes stretch appropriately before exercise, it can help to relax the muscles. In doing so, you can decrease the number cracking sounds, as well as decrease the risk of injury.

Is age a factor in joint cracking?

Age can contribute to joint cracking. As you age, your joints make more noise as the cartilage wears down. You do not need arthritis to have joint cracking with age.

You may only notice the noise when you do certain movements or in certain joints. Through strengthening muscles around those joints, symptoms can often be relieved.

Where Can I Find Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Near Me?

Pinnacle Orthopaedics specializes in treating a range of injuries and ailments, including hip, spine, foot and ankle, and the hand and wrist. We can work with you to strengthen and stretch the muscles so you can find relief from symptoms.

Orthopedic services are offered at the following locations:

If you have more questions about orthopaedic conditions or therapy, contact us.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.