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Old 10-18-2008, 05:41 PM   #1
John Casey
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Snap, Crackle, Pop

My question is about joints popping. Quite nearly every joint in my body pops: each joint on my fingers and toes, my wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, back, hips, knees, ankles--they all crack. Some doctors tell me it's just joint fluid and not to worry. My chiropractor yells at me. Some tell me it's not going to cause arthritis, and my grandma swears it will.

Anyone have any definitive answers on this subject? Even if it's not a bad thing, I'm sure it's not good, and I'd like to stop. The truth is, sometimes I can't move through full range of motion without popping, and the rest of the time I do it out of habit and because it feels good.

Any suggestions on how to quit? Please don't say, "just stop," because it's not that easy.

Although I'm only 23 years old, I've put my body through a beating in such a relatively short time. My competitive sports life includes 13 years of baseball, 9 years of football, 6 years of basketball, 4 years of boxing, 3 years of track, and 2 years of wrestling. I'm in the military now, and do at least an hour and a half of physical training 6 days a week, so I have that on top of it. I'm sure this has played some part in it, too.
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Old 10-18-2008, 05:47 PM   #2
Jeff Hendrix
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Re: Snap, Crackle, Pop

I've got no help, but I'll stand by your side as a fellow popper. I did "Cindy" today, and every squat I did caused a pop in at least one knee. Interestingly, it seems that it is not as bad when I have a load on my back doing squats.
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Old 10-18-2008, 06:49 PM   #3
Robert Callahan
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Re: Snap, Crackle, Pop

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Originally Posted by John Casey View Post
Some doctors tell me it's just joint fluid and not to worry. My chiropractor yells at me. Some tell me it's not going to cause arthritis, and my grandma swears it will.
Unfortunately your Grandma is wrong. That popping your joints causes arthritis is an urban legand and completely false. When you pop your joints (i.e. pop your knuckles) the popping is from gas bubbles formed in the synovial fluid when you stretch the joint capsules out. Here is a link describing that phenomenon: http://health.howstuffworks.com/question437.htm (WFS)

When joints pop during normal movement, like doing arm circles, that is something different. Often this popping is attributed to tendons/ligaments catching on imperfections on bones for a moment and then snapping over the imperfection as it is forced to move. This is also normal and as long as there is no pain accompanied with it you have nothing to worry about. Sometimes this can be a sign of bad form though, such as with squats. There should not be much popping in the knees once you are warm and if there is it may be a sign you are letting your knees cave in, though this will vary from person to person based on previous injuries etc.

In the end popping joints is part of life. If there is no pain accompanied then I would not lose any sleep over it

-Robert
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
Kurt A Gross
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Re: Snap, Crackle, Pop

I guess you're out of the silent sentry removal business.

My ankles snap and pop for about the first 20 steps after I get up in the morning. My knees pop a bit doing squats, right below parallel, sort of my indicator that I'm going low enough.
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:27 PM   #5
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Snap, Crackle, Pop

I have been the rice krispy man for years now. A lot of impact sports and wear and tear.

Some parts of my body will need to be popped especially if they haven't been used much. My knees will need to pop if I haven't done a lot of squatting or deep knee work.

Get a foam roller, this helps some of it. Simply being active or actively moving around those joints helps a bit but sitting in a chair or commuting in a car don't help as well as weird sleeping positions.

I find it funny your chiro dislikes it considering basically they are " popping " you by adjusting and subluxation work.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:03 AM   #6
Gavin Harrison
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Re: Snap, Crackle, Pop

Your real doctor is right, your chiropractor is stealing your money every time you go to him..
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:03 PM   #7
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Snap, Crackle, Pop

I think, honestly, some people are too damn lazy to lay on a foam roller and roll around or hang from a bar. Same with people who don't self massage or stretch and would rather a masseuse or chiro do it for them.
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:45 PM   #8
John Casey
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Re: Snap, Crackle, Pop

I was a fan of foam rolling for a while, until a sports doc suggested something else to me. It's exactly the same concept (so far as my English major understands), but from my personal experience it's much better.

Side note: I PROMISE I'm not a rep or salesperson for this product. Just a fan.

http://www.tptherapy.com/products.php
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:47 PM   #9
John Casey
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Re: Snap, Crackle, Pop

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Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
I think, honestly, some people are too damn lazy to lay on a foam roller and roll around or hang from a bar.

Or they've done it and aren't fans of self-inflicted pain :-) Then again, if they don't like self-inflicted pain, they're probably not CFers.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:13 PM   #10
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Snap, Crackle, Pop

Again, to be CF requires latent masochism.
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