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Should Yogis Worry About hips & knees that click & pop?


When you lower down into squat pose( malasana) in yoga, do your knees make a popping sound? When you face-lift your leg toward your chest, does your trendy sometimes make a clicking or “snapping” noise? What do seam sounds like this mean? Are they dangerous?

As of late, many yoga teachers seem to have taken a frightful turn with regard to joint sounds. We often discover the amount claimed that rackets is coming from seams are an indication of a significant dysfunction in the body such as weakness, instability, or tightness. We are cautioned that we should give immediate action to remedy these dysfunctions, or else we will face negative consequences such as joint degeneration and eventual joint replacing surgery in the future.

Now we all crave our joints to stay healthful and move well for us as long as possible. This is a major focus of the yoga and advance class that I render, so I’m ever interested in any information about the body that can help me leader my students toward increased seam health and longevity.

However, it turns out that the scientific literature on joint interference such as knee popping and hip snapping is clear. If you experience a seam racket that is accompanied by pain, swelling, or an acute harm, you should accompany a medical professional to have the seam assessed. Nonetheless, if your joint noise is pain-free and asymptomatic( which the vast majority of bodily joint rackets are ), “theres no reason” for concern.

A very helpful graphic by Matthew Dancigers, Doctor of Physical Therapy, that I saw on  his Instagram feed .

A very helpful graphic by Matthew Dancigers, Doctor of Physical Therapy, that I learnt on his Instagram feed.


Joint rackets are actually a normal, natural by-product of action. The catch-all medical period for all of the interesting voices that seams can start is crepitus. Precedents of joint crepitus include sounding, popping, snapping, plunking, and more. The exact mechanism for the interference we sounds when a joint clicks or papas is still not known, but some common explanations include anatomical structures coming into contact with each other, and the pattern or fold of aura froths within seam holes[ Ref ],[ Ref ].

Joint crepitus is more prevalent and obvious to hear in some the organizations and than in others, but despite the frightened themes that we often hear about them in the yoga life, these interferences on their own( i.e. unaccompanied by pain, swelling, or hurt) are simply a ordinary physiological phenomenon that are nothing to be concerned about.



It’s common for people’s knees to sounds and sounds when they flex and extend them – thus those knee dads we often listen when students lower into their squat( malasana) constitutes in yoga class. Countless parties believe that these interferences are a sign that their knee joints are “wearing away”, that their own bodies are prematurely aging, or that they have arthritis. But did you know that in a cohort of 250 topics with ordinary, pain-free knees, 99% of them had knees that impelled sound?[ Ref ]. This is how rampant , regular, and benign knee interferences are. Yes, some arthritic knees can have joint crepitus – but so do most healthful knees. No exhaustive link between joint noise and seam pathology has been demonstrated by research[ Ref ].


In fact, in this same study I noted above, the remarkable suggestion is moved that knees that make noise are actually healthier than knees that do not. I’ll give you a moment to pause and absorb this thought, because it is the ended antonym of the admonishes we frequently examine. Knees that make noise might be healthier than knees that don’t. It’s true!

Without going too far into the details, the basic idea is that there is one type of knee resound that specifically happens in braces that are mobile and well-lubricated. As a knee becomes arthritic and starts to lose mobility, this type of crepitus actually decreases. So when this sound is absent, it can be a sign of an unhealthy brace with arthritis and declined joint lubrication – not the other way round!

Therefore despite popular think , boisterou knees are normal and very common. And rather than being associated with joint degeneration and dysfunction, investigate therefore seems that knee crepitus is actually associated with healthful knees!



Hips that sound, pa, and snarl when they move are another joint noise we are often taught to worry about in the yoga life. This noise is commonly the result of either the psoas tendon moving across a bony importance on the breast of the pelvis, or the iliotibial banding moving over the greater trochanter of the femur.

Although this type of hip noise is often claimed by yoga coaches to mean that one has a dysfunctional, unstable, or questionable trendy that should be addressed, the technical literature actually points to the same conclusion I mentioned in the beginning of this piece: if a snapping, sounding, trendy is accompanied by pain, insuring a medical professional is certainly admonished.( The issue is generally resolved through conservative therapy, which is great !) But if the trendy interference is pain-free and asymptomatic( as most trendy noises are ), there is nothing to be concerned about. Now got a few mentions I plucked from the technical literature on this topic 😛 TAGEND

“When pain is not present[ with snarling hip ], medicine is not warranted”[ Snapping Hip Syndrome( Musick 2017 ) ].

“[ Snapping trendy is] a common asymptomatic milieu which may occur in up to 10% of the general population”[ Endoscopic Release of Internal Snapping Hip: A Literature Review( Via et al 2016 ) ].

And my personal favorite: “Snapping caused by the iliopsoas tendon … is a common incidental observation that often requires little medication on the part of the clinician other than assurance to the patient that this finding is not a harbinger of future problems”[ Evaluation and Management of the Snapping Iliopsoas Tendon( Byrd 2006 ) ].

This helps as further proof that audible seam sounds are normal, and are not a inevitably a signaling of dysfunction in the body.



Perhaps knee and trendy rackets don’t warrant concern if they are pain-free, but what about the seems associated with knuckle cracking? We are probably all familiar with the caution that cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis later on in life. But it turns out that this warning is unsubstantiated as well.

We knew this as far back as 1975, when a study conducted located no correlation between knuckle-cracking and arthritis. A excerpt from this document predicts: “The data fail to support evidence that knuckle cracking should contribute to degenerative the changing nature of the metacarpal phalangeal seams in old age. The prime morbid cause of knuckle cracking appears to be its annoying effect on the observer.”[ Ref]

Additionally, a more recent study on knuckle cracking from 1990 looked at 300 subjects and compared those who did and did not habitually crack their knuckles. It found that “there was no increased predominance of arthritis of the hand in either group”[ Ref ].


As we can see, the evidence presented about seam noises is clear: if they’re accompanied by pain, swelling, or harm, you should encounter a medical professional for an evaluation. But if they are asymptomatic and pain-free, there is no need to worry about them.


In reality, the human body is not a perfectly silent animal. Our insides naturally make noises due to normal physiological processes. Think about the sounds we sometimes hear when we are digesting our menu, or the clang of our heartbeat when we’re exercising. Joint interferences are simply another form of voice that can be a by-product of movement.

Rather than heartening fret and catastrophizing, we should see asymptomatic joint noises as a normal part of healthy movement. When we learn people that specific progress and joint sounds are inherently worrisome, this can encourage fear-avoidance behavior and a reduction in movement, which have their own negative consequences and can ironically contribute to pain.

As physiotherapist Clare Robertson writes in her excellent paper entitled Joint Crepitus – Are We Failing Our Patients ?:

“To accurately inform and reduce feeling is likely to empower patients and reduce their risk of catastrophizing … It is well documented that there is a clear link between catastrophizing and long-term poor outcome within musculoskeletal medicine.”[ Ref]

P.S. If you find specific topics of joint crepitus interesting, you might enjoy this short video from Physiotutors, a source for evidence-based physiotherapy education 😛 TAGEND

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