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Causes of crackling severe bones, and do you need to go to the doctor?

About the crackling of the bones

Cracking of bones in the hand or other joints is very common and usually harmless, and contrary to what we have heard from grandmothers, crackling of bones will not cause arthritis.

Cracking the joints can cause relief and lead to greater movement in the joint, a 2020 study showed that theories of bone crackling are still being discussed, and more advanced bone imaging techniques must be done in order to gain a clear view of how this occurs.

The sound of bone cracking can become more noticeable with age, as some of the cartilage in the body is eroded, and when the sound of bone cracking is accompanied by pain, swelling, or injury, a doctor should be visited immediately to see if there is any health disorder leading to this.

Causes of crackling bones

Bones crackling can have different causes, and it is common and does not usually indicate the presence of health disorders in the bones, but what causes the crackling sound is what is the subject of many studies, but the causes are not fully understood.

Some common causes of bone cracking include:

  • Sound caused by muscle activity: As a muscle stretches, it can cause sounds in the joints, for example, the tendon can move in and out of position when stretching, exercising, dancing or moving repeatedly while working. 
  • Loss of cartilage: This can happen with age, as joint surfaces become rough, causing joints to crack during movement.
  • Arthritis: This can also cause cartilage degeneration and bone cracking. 

When is bone cracking painful and painless?

When is it painless?

The crackling sound in the joints and ligaments is common and may sometimes be normal, as the synovial fluid protects the joints, and over time, gases accumulate in the joint and the use of the joint leads to the release of gases and a crackling sound is heard, the crackling is likely to increase with age, but it is not a cause for concern when The absence of pain.

When is it painful?
  • Arthritis
The crackling sound of bones can be caused by damage to the cartilage and bone. Different types of arthritis cause changes in the way the bones move, for example, osteoporosis affects adults with age, and as a result of the decomposition of the cartilage, a person feels pain and swelling, at first It may be simple, but if the lining of the joint is damaged, a person can hear intense rubbing between the bones.

  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Dull pain behind the kneecap could indicate that there is an underlying injury or that it has been overused. With movement, there is usually a crackling or squeaking sound that accompanies the pain.
  • Respiratory diseases
The term pop can be used to describe sounds that originate in the lungs. They are also called crackles and can indicate respiratory diseases. Voices may or may not be audible without a stethoscope
  • meniscus tear
The meniscus is a thin layer of cartilage that connects the joints in the femur and tibia. If the meniscus ruptures, the torn edges can get stuck during movement, causing swelling and pain.

bone cracking mechanism

The exact mechanism of bone crackling is not known precisely, but a common explanation for this condition is the pressure on the joint causing small bubbles in the synovial fluid, then these small bubbles burst because they have formed so quickly, the synovial fluid contains oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide and helps protect Bones from rubbing against each other.

A 2020 study used real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to crack joints. This study showed that bone crackling is caused by the formation of a cavity in joint fluid, not the bursting of pre-existing small bubbles as is commonly believed.

The 2018 study also developed a mathematical model of bubble and sound dynamics that was consistent with the bubble collapse pattern previously formed.

Is cracking bones bad for health?

Cracking bones or joints is not a bad thing, but it can be annoying to the people around us if the person does it frequently, if the person cracks the bones hard, such as the back, they can hurt themselves by putting pressure on a nerve or straining the muscles.

According to a small 2011 study, orthopedic popping can provide a physical feeling of relief from pressure, whether the person performs the procedure themselves or the chiropractor performs an orthopedic treatment.

The common myth that a person will develop arthritis in the hand in case of crackling of the bones is incorrect and this was proven by a study conducted in 2011, studies also showed that crackling of the bones does not lead to the thinning of cartilage or eventually lead to osteoporosis.

When should you see a doctor in case of orthopedic cracking?

Although bone crackling is annoying, there is usually no need to see a doctor (either for adults or children), but in some cases, bone crackling can be caused by a degenerative disorder that makes the joint more susceptible to these and other sounds.

Unless joint crackling is accompanied by other accompanying symptoms such as pain and swelling, there is no cause for concern, however, sometimes bone cracking is a symptom of a disorder that needs medical care, such as gout, inflammation, and joint dislocation.

You should see a doctor if the crackling of the bones is accompanied by the following symptoms:
  • injury
  • bruising
  • A limitation in the range of movements that a person can perform.
  • the pain
  • swelling 

Experts in figuring out what causes joint pain and how to get rid of it

An ageing population is more likely to have joint issues as a result. Crepitus and joint discomfort may be pinpointed with enhanced knowledge by the Aurora Health Care staff so that you can resume your normal activities without restriction.

We provide the following services as one of the state's major regional health care systems:
  • A comprehensive diagnosis is provided by our team of joint care experts, who have years of combined expertise. Without intrusive therapy, we can often identify the source of crepitus. 
  • MRI, 3-D CT scans, and diffusion tensor imaging are just some of the sophisticated diagnostic tools available to you (DTI). DTI is a cutting-edge technique for assessing the health of cartilage, the smooth, white substance that acts as a shock absorber at the ends of bones.
  • Physical therapy, bracing, and complete joint replacement are all effective noninvasive and surgical treatment options.
  • Convenient locations: Eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois have clinics and hospitals where you may visit a doctor and get physical therapy. Visit one of our sites to see for yourself.
  • Complete integration of our healthcare system ensures seamless treatment. To put it another way, you'll have a team of healthcare professionals working together to develop the best plan of care for you.

Tips to get rid of the crackling sound

  • Mental focus: If the person is accustomed to the habit of crackling joints, and wants to stop it, the first step in order to quit this bad habit is by realizing the person and observing his actions, you must monitor when the person cracks his bones, neck or back in order to avoid Do it unconsciously.
  • Movement more: The simple solution can be to move more, in the case of sitting or standing for a long time in one position, the person can become stiff and the joints make a crackling sound, so frequent breaks must be taken for movement, and the person should try to do at least Every half hour in case he has been sitting on a work bench all day.
  • Gently stretching: Another solution to getting rid of bone crackling is gently stretching, which can move synovial fluid around the joints and lubricate them. There are dynamic and static stretches for all joints.
  • Get relief from stress: If stress causes crackling bones, try to get rest and relaxation, such as deep breathing, meditation, and a stress ball.
  • Exercise: You should try to increase the duration of exercise to 150 minutes per week. You can choose activities that suit the person's age and lifestyle. Any physical activity, such as working at home, or even walking for a short period can be part of an exercise routine.