Do Your Joints Pop When You Exercise?
By Sara Butler
When you work out, do your joints remind you of the snap, crackle, and pop of your breakfast cereal? To some extent, those noises are normal but there are times when you should make sure your joints get checked out. Here's what to look for to know if those noises are normal or a potential problem for your joint health.
What Is That Popping?
Joints make all sorts of noises, from snapping to popping to cracking. Due to the natural wear and tear of the cartilage in the joints as you age, these noises tend to get louder the older you get. That's pretty normal.
But cracking and popping noises can also occur when muscles get tight and restrict joints. The tight muscles cause friction in the joint that causes the noises. Luckily, moving more helps muscles to loosen, so gentle stretches or a warm-up can really help your joints to sound better.
When to See the Chiropractor
While the noises that joints make may be normal, swelling and pain are not.
If you ever experience swelling, throbbing, aching, or sharp pain in a joint during a workout, that's your body trying to tell you that something is not working right. These symptoms could be indicators of a sprained or strained tendon, even a small fracture.
However, any nagging pain you experience after a workout that eventually subsides, you should also make sure to get it checked out to make sure it's not the start of an issue such as arthritis.
How to Minimize Joint Noise
If you're not having any symptoms that are concerning but want to try to reduce joint noise while you work out, then there are a few things you can do to help minimize joint noise:
- Strength train - One of the best things you can do to support healthy joints that aren't as loud is to support them properly by building strength. Strength training allows for your joints to be supported and stabilized as you work out, improving the integrity of your joints that can help to reduce friction. It can also prevent some of the noises you may hear when working out.
- Reduce your body weight - Excess body weight is another factor that can make joints crack and pop a lot when working out. You should work to reach and maintain a healthy body weight in order to reduce the pressure placed on the joints, especially weight-bearing joints such as the knees, ankles, and hips.
If you're concerned about the noises your joints make when you move, then don't hesitate to drop in to The Joint Chiropractic today.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Jose, Calif.