Word of the Month: Crepitus

Do you ever feel like you have gravel in your neck or maybe one of your knees?

The word of the month for you is CREPITUS: any grinding, creaking, crunching or popping that occurs when moving a joint.

People can experience crepitus at any age, but it becomes more common as we get older. Common causes of crepitus include:

  • Air bubbles popping inside the joint, usually does not cause pain
  • Tendons and ligaments snapping over the joint’s bony structures, sometimes causes pain
  • Arthritis that causes a joint’s articular cartilage to degenerate, but not all degenerative joints produce pain

When the cartilage wears, the joint is no longer adequately protected against friction and impacts.  The loss of cartilage can alter the biomechanics and cause a grinding sensation which also results in crepitus.

Crepitus is usually not a cause for concern.  In fact, most people’s joints crack or pop occasionally and it is considered “normal”.  But if crepitus is regular and is accompanied by pain, swelling or other symptoms, you may want to have it evaluated.

I kinda look at it like this, when your body quits making noises, then you are in trouble.

Take a walk and get a little sun,

Dr. Dan Kammer