If you notice increasingly with every passing year that your joints are starting to snap, crackle, and pop just like your morning bowl of Rice Krispies you aren’t alone. The majority of middle-aged adults notice the very same thing.
There are Two Main Reasons Your Joints Crack as You Get Older
#1 Is the buildup of nitrogen gas. This excess can cause joint cracking as it builds up in the synovial fluid (the thick liquid in your joints that acts as a lubricant).
The buildup of nitrogen causes bubbles to form within the joint, which then causes them to feel as if it’s getting tighter. The pressure is relieved by cracking the joint allowing the air to escape.
Reason #2. Sometimes, the popping sound can be caused by the muscles and tendons shifting around the bone. This is a slightly different sound than a joint cracking. Tendon and muscle shifts sound more like a pop and have more depth. Nitric oxide air bubbles sound exactly like Rice Crispies, just really loud ones.
Why This Happens More as We Age
- As people get older, their joints tend to become less structurally sound, which can result in more air being able to enter into the joint and form bubbles.
- Cartilage Can Begin to Wear Away
Cartilage is the tissue that acts as a shock absorber between your joints. It can wear out as you age. Over time, your joints can move less smoothly and begin experiencing resistance, causing a more prominent popping sound.
Crunching Vs. Popping Sounds
If your joints make more of a crunching sound rather than a pop, you may have crepitus. Crepitus is a condition common in patients with arthritis that may require a brace, physical therapy or some modality offering pain relief.
Should I Be Concerned?
Although it might sound unsettling, cracking joints are not considered to be a cause for worry. This is a very common condition and does not usually cause damage to ligaments or joints.
Is it Possible to Treat Creaky Joints?
The airflow into joints is natural and not something that can be controlled. As you age it helps greatly to keep your muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments in motion. Stretch, move, and walk daily. This helps to keep all your moving parts lubricated and in good working order.
TIP: Cracking too frequently or forcefully can strain the ligaments. This can worsen the cracking and potentially create issues. If you can limit cracking your joints to once a day or every few days all the better. If you are cracking to try and relieve actual pain, please see your chiropractor.
If you are in the Fort Myers, Florida area – We invite you to visit Kaster Chiropractic and Associates for an adjustment. 239-332-2555. www.kasterchiropractic.com.
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