Why Do My Joints Crack All of a Sudden?  

We’ve all heard the myth that cracking your knuckles leads to arthritis, however, if you’ve noticed your joints have been cracking all of a sudden, you might be a little concerned. Whether it’s your knee joint when you’re walking, or your shoulder joint when you’re doing a shoulder press at the gym – any of your joints can make a cracking sound.  

Weight lifting

Joint cracking, known medically as ‘crepitus’, isn’t usually a cause for concern. Your joints are lubricated by synovial fluid, which is what stops your bones from grinding together. This fluid contains a mixture of three gases, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide and when these gases escape from the synovial fluid, a cracking sound occurs! 

But what could be the cause of your joints cracking all of a sudden and could it be something to worry about? 

Reasons Your Joints Crack So Much

You might be worried if you notice that your joints have recently started cracking, but it’s usually no cause for concern. However, when accompanied by pain, there could be an underlying cause. Here are some of the reasons your joints might be cracking. 

Arthritis Could be the Cause 

If you’re experiencing pain alongside cracking joints, then it could be a sign of arthritis.  

Arthritis causes damage to the cartilage and bone, as well as causing swelling between the joints. This inflammation and damage changes the way the joints move, which can result in an increase in joint cracking and pain.  

Cracking Knuckles

If these symptoms are something you’ve started to notice, it’s important to book an appointment with your doctor to establish the root cause. In the meantime, it may be worth adding turmeric to your diet, as it is said to possess anti-inflammatory properties, which could help your joints. 

You May Have Had an Injury 

If you’ve suddenly started to experience cracking joints, then it could be down to an injury – old or new!  

If you’ve had an old injury around your joint, the ligament may not have healed properly, causing it to move awkwardly around the joint, resulting in a cracking noise. 

However, if you’ve got no injuries to speak of and you’re experiencing a little bit of pain, then you may be suffering from tendinitis or bursitis.  

Tendinitis is the swelling of a tendon that can cause pain, inflammation and cracking noises around the joint. This can occur in any tendon in your body, but some of the most common areas are: 

  • Elbows (tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are both examples of this!) 
  • Shoulders 
  • Knees  
  • Wrists 
Cracking Joints

Similarly, bursitis could also be the cause of cracking joints. Bursitis occurs when the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints, known as ‘bursa’, become inflamed. This can cause the joint to move in awkward ways – especially if you have reduced movement – which can cause your joints to crack. 

Both conditions are likely to be accompanied by pain and tenderness, so are fairly easy to identify and will often get better with rest.   

 It Might be Your Age

Aging is a natural process which can unfortunately result in new ailments that you’ve never suffered from before – including cracking joints.  

Your collagen levels naturally deplete as you age, which is what can cause wrinkles and loose skin. Collagen also surrounds your joints, so as this wears away, the number of air bubbles in your joints can increase, causing your joints to crack. This is a natural part of the aging process and not something to be worried about.  

However, if you’re looking to preserve your collagen levels for a little longer, then you need to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin C in your diet, as vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. In fact, research has found that vitamin C triggers DNA to maintain intercellular collagen. So if you ever needed an excuse to drink a fresh glass of orange juice, this would be it! 

Your Workouts Could be to Blame

We all know how good exercise is for our health, but it could actually be the reason for your cracking joints.     

Women jogging in the park

A cracking or snapping sound from your joint can occur when your tendon moves too quickly across your joint. This is often caused by tight muscles, overexercise and overexertion.  

Simple stretches, a thorough warmup or simply knowing when to rest your body can help to avoid cracking joints during exercise. 

If you’re concerned about your cracking joints, it’s important to speak to your doctor to get to the root of the cause – especially if it’s accompanied by pain. Additionally, if inflammation around the joint is to blame, then adding a tasty Raw Turmeric Shot to your day might be able to reduce inflammation and help to ease your cracking joints!  

Thomas Robson-Kanu

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