Can Cracking Joints Lead to Something More?

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  Human joints are marvels of engineering, able to move a myriad of ways. However, these unique-designed parts are subject to a variety of problems that can arise because of athletic injury, accident or simply from normal wear-and-tear. Individuals may notice cracking or popping sounds that occur frequently when changing position, which is not necessarily a sign of a problem, but could indicate a condition that should be monitored. Why Do Joints Make Cracking Sounds? The joints are lubricated by a naturally-occurring substance called synovial fluid. This fluid contains gases that produce the sounds of cracking of popping when a joint is moved in a certain way. The sound is natural and does not mean that something is wrong. However, when the sound is accompanied by discomfort, it could be a sign that ligaments connecting the joint are not moving smoothly or that the bones in the joint itself have a problem. Common Joint Problems If the cracking and popping sounds in the joints are associated with discomfort, it may be an early sign of a joint disorder. Osteoarthritis is the common joint problem in people over the age of 50. The structure within and around the bones that make the knee joint can become inflamed and swollen, leading to pain and problems with mobility. In many cases, the condition is a result of earlier injuries that have failed to heal completely and cause problems long after the original injury. Supplements For Joint Health Herbal dietary supplements were once the realm of alternative health gurus, but scientific data suggests that a number of these compounds can reduce discomfort and improve function:
  • Glucosamine-Chondroitin – These compounds are found in the human body and are also sold as supplements made from shellfish. Studies find glucosamine-chondroitin compounds help to prevent joint damage and help to treat existing joint pain.
  • Turmeric –Turmeric is a spice made from a Southeast Asian plant. It has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal compound. It has been found to help prevent and treat joint problems.
  • Fish Oil/Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish oil contains two different types of omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce joint swelling and pain.
  • Ginger – Highly concentrated ginger extracts have been found to have a beneficial effect on joint discomfort by acting as an anti-inflammatory compound.
  • SAM-e – S-adenosylmethionine is a compound that is found naturally in the tissues and fluids in the human body. It helps to maintain cell membranes and produce brain chemicals. Researchers have found that taking a SAM-3 supplement can help to reduce joint damage and discomfort. It appears to work by repairing cartilage in the joints.
Regular Exercise For Joint Health Staying active is a critical measure in maintaining joint health as you get older. A regimen of long works, sports activities or workouts at the gym will help keep supporting muscles strong and will maintain good flexibility. Swimming, bicycling and tennis are effective activities for keeping joints functioning well. Whatever your taste in activities, find one that you can enjoy on a regular basis to keep your joints healthy and pain-free. If you notice popping and cracking sounds that come from your ankles, knees, wrists and other joints, talk to your doctor about ways to strengthen the muscles and ligaments surrounding your joints so you can avoid painful problems in the future. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/orthopaedic-surgery/specialty-areas/sports-medicine/conditions-we-treat/joint-popping-cracking.html http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/9-supplements-arthritis.php https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/joint.html

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