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Snap, crackle, and pop we have all heard them before, from our own bodies during movement or performing activity. Crepitus is the medical term used to refer to joint noises, such as knees snapping while standing up, back cracking when we rotate and hips popping while running. It is a common occurrence that we all notice and often concerns us, thinking something is wrong with our joints. I assure you it's normal and most of the time it is nothing to worry about. However, if the constant cracking is followed by pain then it is advised to see a medical professional, even a manual osteopathic practitioner.
Why does it happen?
Many notice it as they start to get old. As we age so does our body, joints and cartilages go through an aging process too. Cartilages wear down from repetitive movements and slow rate of healing, little grooves form in the cartilages which often cause noise when joints rub against each other.
The sounds can appear and disappear based on the position of your body during sitting, sleeping, and various movements you perform.
Besides the common age factor there are other reasons for the sounds to be present:
To avoid creaking joints, get up and get moving to increase fluid circulation. “Motion is the lotion” as said by many doctors, synovial fluid (synovia) is a viscous fluid found in the cavities of our joints. This fluid helps lubricate our joints and cartilage preventing dry and painful rubbing. When we are in-active the synovia doesn't move, reducing proper lubrication. Once we start moving we allow the synovia to reach between the joint cartilage to aid in better joint health.
Manual therapy such as osteopathy helps increase mobility among individuals. Using various movement techniques we help reduce muscle tightness and increase circulation of synovia.