Joints are lubricated with synovial fluid. Studies suggest that everyday movements can cause volume and pressure changes within this fluid that lead to some of these familiar sounds.

Synovial fluid contains gases like nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide.

Volume Increases, Pressure Decreases, Gas Bubble Forms

Volume Decreases, Pressure Increases, Gas Bubble Collapses

While the exact causes of joint cracking and popping sounds are not well understood, it is commonly thought that the collapse of gas bubbles could be the source.

Fun Fact: After a joint cracks due to volume and pressure changes, it takes about 20 minutes before that joint can be cracked again. The joint needs time for the volume and pressure to reset.

This information is not intended or implied as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images or other information provided is intended for general information purposes only. Always consult with your physician for diagnosis or treatment.