We've all had it happen: creaking, cracking and popping joints – sometimes out of the blue. According to Sandra Eisele, MD, orthopedic surgeon at The Christ Hospital, this joint popping can happen for a variety of normal reasons. It's when they become inflamed or painful that you should seek help.
Joint Popping 101
Joints crack and pop for a variety of normal reasons. Those loud pops and creaks typically mean that the fluid inside of your joint is shifting.
"The bones are slipping by each other because the cartilage is still normal," says Dr. Eisele. "If your joint pops and there is no swelling and no pain, it's nothing to worry about."
Joint Popping: When to Get Concerned
If your joint pops and you experience an inflammatory response – pain, swelling, prolonged discomfort – it's time to start paying attention.
According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 23% of all American adults – more than 54 million people – have arthritis. More than one in four adults report significant pain in their joints.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting active as the number one way to help prevent joint pain and arthritis. The CDC suggests 150 minutes of non-impact exercise a week to help keep your joints active and your joint pain to a minimum.
Joint-friendly activities including walking, biking, yoga, swimming or any other type moderate exercise. The goal is to get your blood pumping through your body and to raise your heart rate. Check with your physician for a list of recommended activities that are in tune with your health goals. It's always best to review potential fitness plans with your physician before starting anything new.
And remember the golden rule of activity: if your joints start to swell – even minor swelling – or if you are feeling any pain during an activity, stop immediately. Small steps to protect your joints can have a significant impact on your overall health and wellness.
Are you experiencing pain or swelling in your joints? Meet with one of our expert orthopedic surgeons at The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center. Schedule an appointment online or call 513-557-4900 for more information.