Was that your hip that just popped? It sounded painful, did it hurt? Welcome to the world of our body making noises. The body is a wonderfully created and sometimes annoying thing. It has the power to lift enormous weight, run at incredible speed, and move with grace. As stress is placed on our joints, we adapt or compensate to continue doing what we must. As we place force on our joints or use our body incorrectly, we can hear noises come from, near or around our joints. The most commonly noticed joints are
the knuckles, hips, knees, ankles, and spine.
Everyone pays attention more to a body part after it has been injured or is not feeling right. Once you twist your ankle, every time you step and feel a pop or hear a noise, you notice it. One wonders, is this normal or is something wrong that I should get checked out? I am asked this common question as I talk to patients on their first day of physical therapy: “My (blank) pops/cracks/makes noise, is this okay? I follow up with a few questions of my own: “does it hurt when you perform a specific motion? Did you notice the noise before you were injured? After this happens is your function affected?” Part of the physical therapy evaluation is figuring out the problems presented by the patient, laying out a treatment plan, answering patient concerns, and most importantly, educating the patient on the condition and physical therapy expectations.