Clicking Joints – What You Need To Know

Clicking Joints – What You Need To Know 

Have you ever cracked your knuckles and felt instant relief, but wondered if it will cause you Arthritis? 

Or has your hip or knee clicked when you’ve bent down and wondered if you’ve injured something? 

While it may be a worry to think that you’ve injured yourself when you first experience this feeling, but clicking, cracking and popping sensations are quite common. These sensations are often a result of one of the following reasons.  

Air bubbles   

When you stretch your knuckles and experience a cracking sensation, it’s often a result of air bubbles bursting in the joint fluid, releasing a build-up of pressure. When the body remains in one position for a long time, it can accumulate pressure in the joint fluid resulting in air bubbles appearing. 
Movement is one of the best ways to prevent clicking joints from occurring as the movement forces your body to lubricate itself. Air bubbles can also pop when pulling the bones apart, through stretching your fingers or bending them backwards, creating a negative pressure.   


Another reason you may be experiencing a popping or clicking sensation is that your tendons may be slipping over the bumps on your bones. When the tendon slips over the ridge, it may create a clicking sensation. While it’s not a need for concern, but if you are experiencing associated pain, it could be a sign of ligament damage or poor joint positioning.   


Bones and joints can make these sensations throughout an individual lifetime, however, it can become more frequent with age. As we get older, the cartilage in our joints naturally wears away, causing more joints to pop and click as you move to your day-to-day.  

It’s a common misconception that cracking or clicking joints leads to Arthritis, but research has been proven this to be a myth. Studies have shown that knuckle cracking doesn’t thin your cartilage and isn’t likely to lead to Osteoarthritis.  

Cracking your joints can be harmless and in fact, may bring you a sense of relief. Although, when it’s accompanied by pain or swelling, it can be a need for concern. Here at Progressive Physio, our team of highly qualified to help identify the cause of the pain and provide self-management techniques to improve your joint health.   

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.