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Joint Cracking and Snapping - Is It a Problem to Avoid?

Should You Worry About Joint Popping, Creaking, or Snapping?


Updated December 28, 2013

joint popping snapping cracking

Joint noises sometimes occur in people with normal, healthy joints.

Photo © Jeannot Olivet

Do you need to worry about creaking and popping joints? Not usually.

Joint cracking, commonly in the ankles and knees when walking up steps, is usually a benign condition that you do not need to worry about. While the exact cause is hard to detect, you are not doing damage to the joints when you hear them crack.  Specifically, joint snapping or popping does not cause arthritis.

If you have pain associated with the cracking joints, then you should be evaluated to make sure there is not an underlying problem. But the typical snapping ankles or creaking knees are not a problem.

Also Known As: Joint Popping, Cracking Joints

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