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“Clicking” joints are really common – we have all heard a clicking or popping sound as we have got up from a chair or bent our knee .

Are clicking joints serious?

If your joints make a clicking noise but there is no pain, stiffness, swelling or signs of inflammation then it is nothing to worry about. If you have pain or other symptoms get it checked.

What causes “popping”?

There are a few possible causes:


Joints contain synovial fluid. This fluid lubricates the joint rather like oil would in a hinge. Gas bubbles can build up in the synovial fluid. Movement makes the gas bubbles “pop out”. This is called cavitation. It’s probably this if you hear a sudden popping sound as you get up. It isn’t anything to worry about and there isn’t really anything you can do to prevent it. As long as it is painless and you have no other symptoms don’t worry!

Tendons or muscles snapping over bones

If you are finding that a particular movement keeps causing a joint to click then tight muscles around the joint are a likely cause. As you move the muscles and tendons rub over the bone and make the noise.

You might even feel a snapping sensation as it happens.

An illustration of a shoulder joint

The shoulder especially has lots of bones with tendons attached. These can rub over each other and cause clicking joints

If this is happening for you try doing a few stretches to try and loosen the muscles and tendon around the joint.

Massage can also help loosen up tight muscles so if you are finding clicking causing you bother and stretching isn’t helping it might be time to book in for a massage!

Massage and clicking joints

It is fairly common for people to have more clicking and popping after a massage. This isn’t a sign anything is wrong! Before the massage there was stiffness so the joint was hardly moved.

After the massage the joint moved much more freely so the muscles and tendons are more likely to rub hence a clicking sound. As long as there is no pain this is nothing to worry about.

About Anna

Anna founded Relax Therapies in 2015 after being made redundant from her job in HR. She is a qualified Sports Therapist and Certified Oncology massage therapist.

The clinic is based on Balls Road in Birkenhead and home visits are available for clients unable to travel to her.

Anna from Relax Therapies

For more information click here to contact me

You can book online here