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Noisy Joints: cause for concern or just part of getting older?

What a sun-drenched summer we’ve had this year here in the UK!

All this vitamin D does wonders for our bone health, and on that subject, there was a really interesting interview recently with Dr Sarah Jarvis on Radio 2 about ‘noisy joints’. 

As it’s quite a common topic of conversation amongst mid-life women, I thought I’d share some of the take-home points with you.

Why do joints ‘pop’?

This can happen when nitrogen bubbles from the synovial fluid in our joints can get trapped, and then released during certain movements (that’s the ‘popping’ noise).

In general, this is nothing to be concerned about, unless there is also pain present, in which case it’s best to get it checked out with your GP.

What if my joints ‘grind’?

A grinding noise is more cause for concern and worth having it checked by a medical professional.

For example, if you have pain and crunching in your knees going up or down stairs, this could be a sign of chondromalacia patella  – inflation at the back of the knee cap.

Interestingly this mostly affects young people and is more common in women. So do seek medical advice. A physio can be particularly helpful in terms of treatment.

Is it okay to purposely ‘click’ my joints?

According to Dr Jarvis there is some evidence that repetitive knuckle cracking can damage soft tissues around the joint – this can result in weakness in hand joints and possibly some swelling – so best not to do that!

(Oops guilty as charged – I’ve now stopped doing this I promise!)

Necks are different

Have a listen to the interview to find out why we need to be especially careful with necks.

Link below (it’s about 1 minute in):

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