Creaky, Cracking, popping joints

It’s probably my childish sense of humour, but it’s the funniest thing when I’m teaching Pilates and as we begin to squat it’s like musical knees with popping, cracking joints. This is likely to be kneecaps coming into contact with shinbones or air escaping from joints. Neither of these are anything to be concerned about.

These sounds may be concerning and many people wonder what they are, so here’s some of the main reasons joints make these noises which will hopefully give you an idea about  what is ignorable what and isn’t.

There’s a substance that lubricates the joints called synovial fluid. Gasses within synovial fluid can form bubbles and make a popping sound when air escapes. Basically, it’s like when you crack your knuckles and many people can do this on purpose. (yuk). This is nothing to be concerned about as it’s just air escaping from joints.

A tight muscle moving around a bone can cause friction resulting in a light clicking or popping sound. This isn’t ideal, though nothing to worry to worry about at this stage as it can be helped by stretches, so stretch more if this resonates with you.

Access weight. This isn’t ideal for joints as it can increase the pressure by 4 times in your knee joints. This can cause the bones to rub together and make noise. Also, over time access weight puts extra wear and tear on your joints which can cause more problems down the line. It’s a good time to make some changes to lifestyle when access weight causes problems with  your joints. The Arthritis Foundation reports that a loss of 11 pounds can improve joint health.


Pain and inflammation are a sure sign something isn’t right, even little twinges that feel painful. If any pain accompanies your joint cracking either before, during or after exercise then you should stop the activity that you’re doing and it’s worth getting an expert’s opinion before it gets worse. These things can be much easier to put right if you catch them early, which can mean you don’t have to stop your favourite activity.

You should consider seeing a doctor if you experience sudden joint pain which could be down to infections such as influenza and septic arthritis. Sudden joint pain can also be due to crystals forming in the synovial fluid and you’d be likely to experience joint redness, tenderness and inflammation with this.

One of the best ways to improve the health of your joints and keep moving well for longer is to Strength Train, no matter what your age is. There is always some form of strength training you can do. As we age some of the cartilage that covers the ends of bones where they meet in a joint wear away.  Building muscle helps to stabilise and support your joints.

Simply moving more in everyday life helps as this produces synovial fluid which lubricates the joints and reduces friction. The more you move and stay active the less creaks and cracks you’re likely to hear.

Always make sure you warm up properly before exercise and do some light stretches before and after a workout.

For the long-term health of your joints make sure you get enough Vitamin D and Calcium which strengthen bones and joints and help protect against bone degeneration.

Remember when you move well, you stay young.