If you get up in the morning and loud popping sounds from you back, hips, elbows, knees or ankles follow you towards the bathroom it might interest you to know what those sounds are all about… and whether or not your chances of arthritis increase because of them.
According to Dr Andrew Lavender, a physiotherapist at Curtin University in Perth, the noise you are hearing is likely due to the movement of the tendon over bone.
He says tendons attach your muscles to the bone, describing them a bit like a rubber band that stretches over the joints. However, that popping noise is thought to occur when it moves quickly over the joint. When your joints move the tendons get pushed out of place and that popping sound you hear is the tendon snapping back into its normal place.
Lavender says the noise — be it loud, quiet, infrequent or all the time — is normal.
What about arthritis then?
There are a number of factors contributing to arthritis and you might experience joint pain for a number of reasons too — age being one of them.
While there have been several causes of arthritis identified (with more research required in order to prevent the condition) there doesn’t appear to be any compelling evidence to suggest that the popping and cracking your body does is at all related.
Where you might want to see your health care professional is if you experience any pain or swelling of the joint when it cracks or if the joint locks or gets stuck when it cracks. Both of these could be a sign of an underlying issue.