The joints in our body may make an array of sounds. Our knuckles may crack, our knees may creak, our ankles may pop – so is this something to be worried about? Generally speaking if you don’t feel discomfort, you don’t have to lose any sleep over noisy joints! But here are a couple of different types of noisy to be aware of.

#1 Harmless Pops

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These harmless pops occur when the fluid filled sacs within out joints gets stretched with a sudden change in position. This sound is thought to be either the creation of bubbles or the collapse of bubbles within the joints. So, basically any sudden change in movement would suffice in creating these sounds. This is why you do hear a pop when you crack your knuckles or crack you neck for instance. It’s harmless.

#2 Grinding and Rubbing

Now sometimes the sounds are more like are bones rubbing and grinding against each other. These are not mere harmless pops. This can be a sign of damaged cartilage, worn out cartilage or even inflammation. When cartilage gets worn out, it leaves a rough surface which could rub against our bones. Or it leaves the bones exposed to rub against one another. If this is the case, try to avoid high impact activity as to not aggravate it. Physiotherapy is recommended!


#3 Tendon Noises

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If your tendon is inflamed, your tendons can rub over your bones and cause noise. But with this, it is accompanied with pain. So you would know it isn’t just a harmless pop. Your tendons are swelled up and it gets inflamed and you get this real grinding kind of noise. You may want to get an anti-inflammatory gel such as Voltaren. Also, ice the inflamed tendon to reduce inflammation.


Basically if it is just a pop here and a snap there, it is like to be harmless. If it is accompanied by pain however, seek medical assistance and reduce heavy impact activity. Anything accompanied by pain is a red flag!


  1. There are cracking/clicking sound at my right ankle on every steps during my run. It doesn’t feel pain at all, but it just happen throughout my entire run and it worries me.
    Please advise…


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