Should you be afraid when, during squats or bench press, you experience a characteristic crunching sound in your joints that you have not noticed before?
Joints are not as simple as we see on x-rays or in a biology class. This is not just bones and cartilage, but a whole system with numerous muscles, ligaments, enveloping it. To minimize friction in the joints, the body produces what is called synovial fluid. Oddly enough, the crunching in the joints is not the fault of the muscles or bones - it is the liquid that resembles jelly that is responsible for it. Bubbles periodically form in it, which burst during squats or other exercises, creating a characteristic crunch. It is not at all associated with the friction of bones or bursting cartilage from extreme loads on an organism that has become unaccustomed during quarantine.
Sometimes it happens that without "crunching" the joint, you cannot achieve the desired range of motion and experience discomfort. The world record holder in the bench press, who lifted 260 kg in this exercise with his own weight of only 90 kg, Evgeny Beloval believes that even in this case there is no reason to sound the alarm.
“This crunch has nothing to do with the development of joint diseases - including a crunch in the knees,” says Evgeny. "If the crunch is accompanied by pain, swelling or inflammation appears, then this is a reason to consult a doctor."
Evgeny notes: if you have such crunches, try to warm up more thoroughly so that the bubble formed during the record set does not break your concentration.
In addition, there are a number of different supplements available to help prolong the longevity of your joints. These include banal gelatin, glucosamine and chondroitin, which can be used without a doctor's recommendation if you are seriously involved in sports.
When should you see a doctor?
Cracking leads to pain; The joint is swollen or reddened, there are clear signs of inflammation; Limited movement; Deformation of the joint.
Vertebrologist Alexander Snetkov believes that even a crunch in the spine is not a cause for concern.
“The presence of a crunch is not a symptom that speaks of some kind of disease. The spine, in addition to movable discs, also has facet joints, which, when stretched, can emit a sound similar to the crunching of the knuckles. This often happens in those joints that have not moved for a long time, - said the specialist. - If the frequency of the crunch increases over time, then this suggests that you need to maintain muscles and ligaments in good shape, that is, lead a more active lifestyle. It is possible to overcome the pain syndrome, which began after a long motionless sitting or standing, with a 5-10 minute warm-up."
The doctor advises not to contact "specialists" who act on the spine in such a way that it will certainly crunch. Such mechanical influences, according to the doctor, can be harmful and dangerous. Crunching during such manipulations is not necessarily a signal that "the vertebrae are in place."
Orthopedic traumatologist Konstantin Ternovoy notes that in addition to obvious external signs, the constant crunching of joints can in itself cause a visit to a specialist.
“Many people like to snap their fingers or their necks. This is mainly due to tension in the muscles of the hands or neck. When people do it all the time, it looks more like a motor neurosis,”says the doctor.
Constant crunching of joints can lead to joint problems, according to the doctor. In particular, to arthrosis.He recommends massage to break the habit of crunching your fingers or neck caused by muscle tension. If the reasons for the constant desire to crunch are psychological, then this problem needs to be solved with a psychiatrist who will help get rid of motor neurosis.