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  • Writer's pictureLorenzo Basso

Should I Be Worried about My Noisy Joints?

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Joint crepitus is very common and it often causes concern in many people. But do noisy joints indicate that something is wrong with the body?

physiotherapist assessing knee joint

What is crepitus?

Crepitus, sometimes called crepitation, describes any grinding, creaking, cracking, grating, crunching, or popping that occurs when moving a joint.

What causes it?

Pain-free joint crepitus can be due to: tendons snapping over the bone, gas bubbles collapsing in the joint and vibrations produced by movement. Crepitus is common in the knee, ankle and shoulder joints. Crepitus with pain might indicate a tear in the joint cartilage.

Does Crepitus indicate something is wrong?

Despite what many people believe, habitual cracking does not increase the risk of arthritis and no research shows a link between joint noise and pathology. On the contrary, crepitus indicated that the joint is well lubricated. In fact, people with osteoarthritis have reduced vibration noise.

When to worry about crepitus?

You should seek a healthcare professional evaluation if any noise produced by your joints is associated with pain or a feeling of instability, since it may indicate you have tissue damage that requires treatment.


To sum it up, pain-free crepitus is normal and harmless. If you have crepitus with pain, contact a healthcare professional for evaluation.

Lorenzo Basso physiotherapist

Stride Fitness & Clinic

Telephone/WhatsApp +65 8882 4325

Address: 3 Shenton Way, #12-08 Shenton House, Singapore 068805

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