One of the questions I am getting asked a LOT by the mums who have taken up my 30 Day Home Workout Challenge is,
"My [insert joint here] is making creaking, cracking, popping, crunching noises when I do [insert exercise here]. It's a bit scary. What other exercises can I do instead and should I go see a doctor/medical practitioner?"
Are you wondering the same thing? Maybe you haven't done exercise in a while, or maybe you've just changed the type of exercise you do. For example, from running to strength training and all of a sudden your body is making all sorts of weird sounds like creaks, crunches, pops, crackles - it's like a box of Rice Bubbles!
If this is not something you are used to, then it can be very disturbing and can even send you running for the doctor and stopping any exercise immediately in the fear that you are going to cause some major damage!
These noises aren't necessarily a bad thing.
Before you consider anything at all, you need to ask yourself one question:
DO I FEEL PAIN WHEN I HEAR NOISE?
If you answered, 'YES', then I'm with you - go seek medical advice because something is possibly wrong. Never ever continue through pain.
However, if you answered, 'NO', then you more than likely just have a case of what's called 'crepitus'.
'The word crepitus is used to describe the grating, crackling or popping sounds and sensations experienced under the skin and joints or a crackling sensation due to the presence of air in the subcutaneous tissue.'
Over time, gas can build up in the areas surrounding the joint, forming tiny bubbles in the synovial fluid. When you bend your knee for example, some of the bubbles burst, and ligaments may snap or pop. This is normal, and happens to everyone from time to time.
Crepitus is harmless and needs no treatment when it isn’t caused by disease, injury, another condition, and doesn’t hurt. But, when pain accompanies a crunchy joint, treatment will depend on the underlying cause.
So, to sum up - if any of your joints are making noise AND you feel any pain - STOP! But if you don't feel any pain accompanying the sounds, then this is totally normal and you can continue on with whatever exercise/activity you were doing at the time.
If you would like to join the challenge too, then just head over to The Supermum Project - it's totally FREE!