View Full Version : Well, this is distracting...
Squat (click), squat (click), squat (click)....
I'm somewhat used to having some noisy joints, some of the time -- my elbows crack (that one hurts); my neck cracks sometimes; other joints crack. When I do push-ups, I use those "Perfect Push-Up" bars; if I do them just on my hands, my wrists crack. Both wrists, every time. Not painful, but seriously distracting.
So now my knees -- and I think even my hips -- are cracking when I squat. And not just during the first few warm-ups; the leg joints just keep cracking. Very annoying & distracting.
Is it the colder weather? Dehydration? The joys of getting old (49) & creaky? What's the deal here?
Mark E. Hurling
10-12-2010, 12:55 PM
I'm not sure what causes it, but all through my 50's the crack rate went up logarithmically. All the places you described, but also my shoulders, scapulae, and entire spine when I roll on the hard foam roller. What's more this happens no matter what supplement I take or stretching I do. I put it down to old age. At 60 I just figure that as long as it doesn't hurt (except for the elbows, those hurt me too) I'll just ignore it. Curiously, since you got me thinking about this, the elbows only crack when I reach for something when they are not under load. I don't recall it ever taking place when I do any pressing exercises.
10-13-2010, 06:16 AM
While "elderly" at 44, my joints feel much older. I too sound like a bowl of rice crispy's but I just put the earphones on, turn the music up and ignore it. It hurts whether it cracks or not, doesn't seem to hurt more when it cracks, so I figure it's just part of getting older.
10-13-2010, 06:43 AM
If you workout in the morning don't afternoon is best, more hydrated and fluids around joints will have all been distrubuted.
10-13-2010, 08:29 AM
The knees of this sprightly 41-year old frequently crackle when squatting. At times, it's quite a loud sound, and it gets especially noticeable when I train on Sunday morning, the gym is almost empty and there is no radio on.
I fully expect that one day someone will come over to me, and admonish that I'm going to hurt my knees if I carry on squatting so deep.
Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I'm finding the sheer amount of joint cracking to be unnerving, but I gather that it's something I'll just have to get used to.
The knee cracks don't hurt, so far. The hip cracks do hurt, on the right side, anyway. (Hip musculature has been sore lately, too; don't know why.) Shoulder cracks don't hurt, so far. ("So far." I'm so optimistic, aren't I?)
I generally work out in the late afternoon or early evening, so it's not the time of day that's the issue. I'm creaky all the time. Oh well.
Mark E. Hurling
10-13-2010, 02:40 PM
Well at the risk of giving some offense, I'll just offer up the personal observation, that pain in the hip (and elsewhere) is an all too common reaction of the body to the challenges we continue to put on it as we accumulate time on this earth. The longer you keep challenging your current physical norms and comfort zone, the more such phenomena you are likely to experience. See, and I didn't use old once in that. Ooops.
10-13-2010, 03:35 PM
Im 26 but my shoulders, left wrist, right knee, both hips and spine all crack, click & creak.
Well at the risk of giving some offense,...
Well, I'm posting in the "Elderly" forum, so no offense taken.
I'll just offer up the personal observation, that pain in the hip (and elsewhere) is an all too common reaction of the body to the challenges we continue to put on it as we accumulate time on this earth. The longer you keep challenging your current physical norms and comfort zone, the more such phenomena you are likely to experience.I'm used to being temporarily sore after several hours' worth, or a day's worth, of hard physical labor -- the kind I put in on my landscaping projects, for instance. I'm not used to having more lingering soreness (lingering more than a day, I mean), and I suppose I might resent its presence just a bit, 'cause it's reminding me that I'm Not Young. (I cannot wrap my head around the fact that I will be 50 next year. Just doesn't seem possible.)
See, and I didn't use old once in that. Ooops.Funny. (I'd use one of those cute little smiley icons here, but either they don't work with this new forum software, or they don't work on my machine for some odd reason.)
10-13-2010, 04:24 PM
I've noticed a few more creaks and niggles in the last few years, although I've associated it more with training like I mean it (vice what I was doing before - effing around). Could be age (approaching 41), but I've determined it beats all the known alternatives, and not training is simply not a viable option.
....not training is simply not a viable option.
I'd like to think like that, too -- and maybe I'll get there -- but I have a really low pain threshold and can be a wuss when it comes to physical pain. During the last few squat workouts, I found that if I kept going, this hip pain that surfaced recently would subside after the first couple of reps in each set. But it'd be there again, just as severe, at the beginning of each set, so I had to tape a little "HTFU" sign where I could see it, to get myself to keep going.
It finally dawned on me -- like, today -- that I probably need to try foam rolling. I just made myself a roller -- with a surprisingly strong & sturdy, 4.25" diameter, 1/8" thick cardboard tube, covered with a little duct tape. (It came with a small carpet rolled around it; I kept it as a toy for kittens I fostered a while back.) It holds my weight without crushing or even denting. And I just tried it out on the quads. Oh my. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.
So we'll see if the rolling helps with the hip pain. Also just started taking fish oil (the lemon-flavored liquid from vitacost.com), so we'll see if that does anything.
I suspect the joint cracking will continue. At this point, I think I'll be satisfied if I can get the pain to go away.
Kate, at 48 I feel your pain. Fish oil may help, but the foam roller, especially a hard one like you have, is priceless. I discovered my IT band (OOOWWWW) and learned that most of my knee pain was actually the result of tense zones in calf and thigh muscles.
Joint noises? The best solution is in-ear headphones.
...the foam roller, especially a hard one like you have, is priceless. I discovered my IT band (OOOWWWW) and learned that most of my knee pain was actually the result of tense zones in calf and thigh muscles.
I have the thin roller called "The Stick" -- got it a few years ago after pulling a calf muscle while skiing (or rather, falling) -- but apparently I lack either the strength or the will to really mash it into my legs. Letting my weight sink into the 4"-diameter hard roller, on the floor, is a whole other ball game. Who knew....
In the Foam Rolling thread (in the Recovery forum), I saw that you use the TriggerPoint Grid roller. Do you like that better, or find it to be more effective, than a smooth roller?
On Amazon the TriggerPoint was about the same price as a foam roller, but it's really frickin' hard, like a PVC pipe with a layer of sneaker sole over the outside. It takes some getting used to, but the fluorescent orange makes it hard to lose, too. It could be that the rubberized outer ring helps it to be "grippy" while I imagine straight PVC would be "slippy" when you're sweaty. They make some smaller types for more specialized work, but I've found this regular one works fine for me, with some hard rubber balls for my shoulders/neck/traps. In a pinch the standard wooden kitchen roller pin can put some hurt on thighs and calves.
Steve Low has an article on joint cracking at his site- www.eatmoveimprove.com He has several good articles and is generally pretty evenhanded in his treatment of the stuff he writes on - I havent read that particular article but have been meaning to.
11-01-2010, 09:32 AM
I've always cracked and popped in my knees! Does not happen when squatting and has never caused me pain. +1 on the foam roller Kate. I do not stretch at all anymore, just use the roller daily on my legs, back shoulders and arms. I also use an old softball on my glutes. Really loosens them up but is PAINFUL! I hear a lacrosse ball is good too but haven't tried that yet.
On Amazon the TriggerPoint was about the same price as a foam roller, but it's really frickin' hard, like a PVC pipe with a layer of sneaker sole over the outside. It takes some getting used to, but the fluorescent orange makes it hard to lose, too.
I went ahead and got the TriggerPoint roller, 'cause my heavy cardboard one was getting a little flattened. The rolling seems to have helped whatever the heck was going on with my hips (the weird pain, not the cracking). The joint cracking is still distracting, but I'm happy to be squatting without pain again, so far.
11-09-2010, 08:01 AM
Some cracking and popping is from the synovial fluid around the joints. This is caused when the ligaments are stretched, and the fluid inside the joint is put under vacum pressure. The looser the ligaments, the easier it is for a vacum to form and pop the joint. (this is called "cavitation" see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracking_knuckles). I would continue training normally and strengthen the ligaments by getting stronger generally. Since starting to squat, my knee cracking has decreased greatly. I think its because I have strengthed all the structures around my knee. Less sloppy/weak/loose ligaments = less cracking.
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