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27 Feb 2004

cracking joints
What causes the cracking sounds that joints make bending the knees and such? Can bad cracking increase the likelihood of arthritis?
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi Sam

There are many potential causes - the most likely one and the most popular one is that it is the synovial fluid (fluid which lubricates the joints) moving from one space to another as the joint position changes. As far as causing arthritis is concerned, there is a feeling that some situations can increase the likelihood of arthritis. As I mentioned, the cracking sounds can be caused by many factors, and one of them is that the joints are not moving smoothly over one another - when this happens, you can almost think of it as a two cogs moving over one another, and the friction and rubbing, which causes the sound, is at the same time rubbing on the joints, and this may lead to increased chance of developing arthritis - the jury is out.

Hope this helps
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