Causes of noisy joints in young people

Causes of noisy joints in young people

You may be wondering why you hear a bone crack while moving one of the joints of your body, especially the knee and shoulder joints. Find out the causes of noisy joints in young people.

Many reasons lead to hearing the crackling of bones and joints during movement. The crackling sound may be due to an injury to the ligaments or tendons inside the joint. The reason may be due to inflammatory joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, in addition to a wide range of other conditions. The poping may have nothing to do with any disease, just standard friction between the joint components, so how can you know the exact cause?

Despite the many reasons for cracking joints in young people, most cases do not cause concern, as they are usually for non-serious reasons that commonly occur in young people, except for rare cases that may be caused by a medical problem that must be treated. Continue to learn about the causes of noisy joints and how to treat them.

What are the causes of noisy joints in young people?

Noisy joints are a worrying problem for some young people, thinking that a severe disease causes this disturbing sound while moving one of the joints of the body. However, it may happen to some at a higher frequency and volume than others, especially when practicing motor activities such as sports.

Cracking sound often occurs due to one of the following reasons:

Nitrogen bubbles

Most joints of the body have a liquid known as synovial fluid. This fluid works to ease movement and prevent friction between the joint components. The passage of air into the joint may cause the formation of gas bubbles that make a crackling sound in the joints.

This phenomenon is normal and may affect everyone, especially when they wake up from sleep or during walking and movement. It is considered one of the most common causes of noisy joints in young people.

Muscle cramp

Some young people hear crackling in the joints when doing physical activity that puts a load on the muscles, such as lifting heavy weights or playing other sports that strain the muscles. This is due to the contraction and tightening of the muscle, which causes friction between the muscle and the surface of the adjacent bone.

This is normal and harmless if it is not accompanied by pain or other symptoms. You can avoid this condition by warming up well before you exercise.

calcium deficiency

Calcium is the main component of bones, so its deficiency causes many problems and symptoms, such as bone pain, swelling, and crackling.

You can prevent it by eating a healthy diet that contains a good amount of calcium and vitamin D; nutritional supplements may help ensure this.

Ligament injury

The ligaments connect the bones to ensure coordinated movement and protect the joint from injuries. The ligaments may rupture due to a traumatic accident or a sports injury such as a sprained ankle or hand.

Ligament rupture is responsible for noisy joints; In some, it is usually accompanied by other signs such as pain and swelling. If you do not feel pain, the cause of noisy joints is often due to something else.


Arthritis is one of the causes of crackling sounds in young people. When you have arthritis, joint structures such as cartilage and bone may be damaged, which changes the usual way of joint movement, and that is why a crackling sound is produced.

Whether the inflammation is of the rheumatoid or degenerative type, it may cause a joint crackling sound. However, Rheumatoid arthritis is more responsible for cracking sounds in young men and is more common in females.

Arthritis presents other symptoms besides cracking sounds, such as morning stiffness, swelling, and pain. You can read more about Symptoms of arthritis in women.

Joint stiffness

Stiffness is one cause of joint crackling sounds, which increases with age. The cause of joint stiffness is damage to the cartilage and tissues surrounding the joint. Crackling may be associated with joint pain.

This condition is seen more in the elderly as a result of Osteoarthritis Which rarely causes cracking sounds in young people.

Articular tendinitis

The tendons connect the bones with the muscles to allow movement and prevent injuries by distributing pressure away from the power. Tendons may make a crackling sound in the joints when they become inflamed as a result of bone and muscle friction. You can get more information about Patellar tendinitis as well Shoulder tendinitis.

Associated with a tendon injury is what's known as dancer's hip impingement syndrome (Dancer's Hip). This medical condition is characterized by a crackling sound when moving and flexing the hip. This condition can be painful and usually relieved with rest.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome

This syndrome is one of the causes of crackling sounds in the joints of young athletes, especially runners who run a lot. This disease affects the front of the knee joint around the patella (patella) and causes knee pain.

Meniscus tear

The meniscus of the knee is located between the femur and the shinbone and is prone to rupture for many traumatic reasons, such as a hard fall or sudden sprain, as a rupture is one of the causes of noisy joints in young people.

You can often detect a meniscus tear by the symptoms that follow a traumatic injury. Read more about Meniscus tear.

Previous surgeries

Undergoing surgery, specifically bone and joint operations, may be one of the causes of noisy joints that appears temporarily after the surgery, then gradually improve with time.

Image showing the most important causes of noisy joints in young people
The most common causes of noisy joints in young people

Diagnosing the causes of noisy joints in young people

Diagnosing the causes of joint sounds can help determine whether the crackling is typical. The crack, not accompanied by other symptoms such as swelling and pain, often indicates no problem; instead, it is very typical.

It is preferable to see a doctor when you start hearing the sound of cracking joints after you were exposed to an accident or injury a short time ago and when you notice swelling in the joint with discomfort and joint pain.

The doctor begins by asking you whether you have any diseases in the joints, as well as asking about your symptoms and if you had an accident recently. He examines the joint and may ask you to perform specific movements.

Among the diagnostic methods that help the orthopedic doctor in determining the causes of noisy joints are the following:

  • X-ray image (to check for bone abnormalities)
  • CT and MRI (to detect joint diseases)
  • Blood sample and inflammatory immunoassays to diagnose arthritis
  • Taking a sample of synovial fluid for laboratory examination
Investigate causes of noisy joints in young adults
A puncture of the synovial fluid inside the joint

How to treat noisy joints in young people

Regarding treatment, the first step is to determine the cause of the crackling in the joints. If the cracking is normal, there is no need to treat it, as it does not cause any problems or complications that need treatment.

If the causes of cracking joints are due to an inflammatory disease or a problem in the joint, it is possible to address this problem to reduce the occurrence of noisy joints.

There is no treatment method through which you can permanently get rid of the unsatisfactory joint sound. Still, it is possible to reduce its occurrence by following one of the following methods:


Continuous movement contributes to reducing joint cracking by preventing stiffness resulting from a lack of movement Cracking joints appears clearly after lying down or sleeping for a long time.

Healthy diet

Eat a healthy diet that contains good amounts of vitamins, especially Vitamin D Because it is responsible for calcium absorption in the body, it may contribute to the prevention of cracking sounds, so calcium deficiency is one of the main causes of noisy joints in young people.

physical therapy

Physical therapy, such as Stretching exercises contributes to strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint and improves the range of motion of the joints, which helps reduce the crackling sounds of bones and joints. Read more about Physiotherapy.

Joint injection

Recent studies have proven the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections in treating joint roughness and improving symptoms of common problems such as inflammation and other common diseases. Read more about the benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma for the Knee.

In the end, the causes of noisy joints in young people vary. Most of them do not cause concern, as they are often attributed to regular changes within the joint, such as the formation of gas bubbles that release a crackling sound. Still, in rare cases, cracking can result from joint diseases that require appropriate treatment, and here the cracking is accompanied by signs Like pain and swelling.


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Medical News Today
  3. Webmd

Frequently Asked Questions

Knee sounds have many causes. It may be an accident caused by the emergence of gas bubbles within the joint. It may result from injuries to the meniscus, inflammation of the ligaments or tendons in the knee, and rheumatoid arthritis that affects the knee joint.

Calcium deficiency may cause bone weakness and fragility, and the occurrence of several symptoms, including cracking bones, as calcium is a significant component that forms more than 99% of bone.

The formation of gas bubbles in the joint or muscle contraction and tightening is one of the most important causes of noisy joints when walking.

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