At times, you may feel like your body is made of Rice Crispy Cereal. You bend over, or start going up the stairs, or stand up from the chair and you hear a popping, clicking or cracking sound. Do you ever wonder or fear those sounds? Asking yourself if something is broken, or popped out of place, or if you are just getting old? It helps to understand what is happening within our body.
After yesterday’s Essentrics class, clients were asking me some great questions. One of which was: Does fascia make popping sounds? The answer is yes.
Snap, Crackle, Pop – Synovial joint? Fascia?
Popping, clicking, and cracking sounds are natural unless accompanied or followed by pain. It can be a synovial joint, and it can also be your fascia releasing or separating from another “sheet” of fascia. We have talked a lot about fascia in other posts. About how it is in every part of our bodies and makes up our tendons, ligaments, cartilage, etc.
Let’s use the hamstring as our example. When you lean over on your front leg, you may sometimes have a pop as the sheets of fascia separate from one another without injury.
Ever heard cracking when bending your knees to pick something off the floor? Our knees and hips, for example, are synovial joints. The joints produce synovial fluid to lubricate and provide nourishment to the joint. When you move, you change the pressure in your joint causing the popping/cracking sound.
The popping sound is literally the gas bubble collapsing back into the fluid. It’s the exact same popping/cracking that you hear when getting an adjustment at the chiropractor. It’s a type of sound that you can’t repeat right away. This is because it takes time for this build-up to happen.
Single vs repetitive sound
When you do a repetitive movement, you will sometimes hear a click or a pop. Like when you move your wrist for example. It’s not always a sign of a problem. It could simply mean that there is additional tension there and it is causing some added friction. The clicking/popping sound could be a tendon moving over another tendon, or a tendon over the edge of a bone, or a tendon over a ligament. This explains why the sound is repeatable over and over again. If it is a sounds that only happens once in spite of trying to make it pop over and over again, it is likely a synovial joint as explained earlier.
I love when you ask me questions. Remember, one of my many passions is to help you help yourself in living a healthy, happy and successful life. It is a pleasure for me to receive questions and to answer them to the best of my knowledge. If I don’t have the answer, I will research and learn so that I can share the information with you. This is how we grow.
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Yours in health, Nancy Shimmy