Why do my joints crack?

Cracking, popping and clicking joints are a common sound to most people. Some experience this noisiness more than others, but in most cases it isn’t painful.

But what is it causing this noise? And should it be cause for concern?

What causes cracking in the joints?

There are several things that could be causing the noises coming from your joints:

Pockets of gas

This is the most common explanation for those pops and cracks that most people hear from joints such as the knees and shoulders and what happens when you deliberately crack your knuckles or neck, for example. The vast majority of the time these noises are completely painless and often there is little sensation at all to accompany the noise.

Previous explanations have centered around the noise being the bursting of a bubble of gas within the joint, but more recent research suggests that it could be just the opposite!

A team at the University of Alberta looked at knuckle joints using real-time MRI scans. They applied a traction force to observe what happens in the joint when a knuckle cracks. Rather than the bursting of a bubble (known as cavitation), a bubble of gas appeared to form.

Most joints in the body are “synovial” joints — meaning they are surrounded by a synovial membrane and are lubricated by synovial fluid that surrounds the joint surfaces within this membrane.

The explanation for this phenomenon goes that if you increase the space between two joint surfaces, there comes a point where there is no more fluid to fill the increasing space. At this point, it’s a bit like forming a vacuum and a cavity (bubble of gas) forms to fill the space, which is responsible for the sound.

While this has been shown in the knuckle joints, it has yet to be captured in larger synovial joints. It is, however, anticipated that the images would show the same bubble formation.

See more here.

See Your Physical Therapist to Nip Potential Injuries in the Bud

Rehab Dynamics Physical Therapy | Covington, LA

 

You probably already know to make an appointment with a physical therapist when you sprain your ankle or develop tennis elbow. But what if you’ve felt a slight twinge in your knee during your daily walk or noticed that your posture has changed since you accepted a job that requires sitting for eight hours a day? Or maybe you’ve been thinking about joining a gym to get in shape. Are these reasons to see your trusted physical therapist? Yes!

 

Each of these scenarios has the potential for injury. Physical therapists are experts in injury prevention and are trained to spot small problems before they become big problems—and often before you know that there’s a problem at all. Physical therapists evaluate, screen and assess patients using a variety of tools to detect mobility limitations and muscle imbalances that, if left untreated, may leave you prone to serious injuries down the road.

 

When caught early, injuries—or the very beginning signs of an injury—are easier to treat and the recovery period is shorter, less expensive and less of a burden on everyday life. Knowing what to look out for—and when to see a healthcare professional—is often not as obvious as it sounds. Some signs and symptoms aren’t recognized as indicators of an injury while others may be brushed off as nothing serious. Here are a few things to look out for:

 

• Joint pain
• Tenderness
• Swelling
• Reduced range of motion
• Weakness
• Numbness or tingling
• Balance issues

 

If you’re experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to rule out a potential problem or to nip one in the bud before it becomes more serious. Based on background, training and experience, PTs understand how a patient’s risk for specific types of injuries can increase based on participation in certain sports and recreational activities as well as identify physical strains due to on-the-job and household demands.

 

An individualized exercise program designed to strengthen your muscles, improve flexibility and optimize your physical ability can help correct and prevent issues that could turn into injuries in the future. For example, a teenage field hockey player can learn exercises to perform regularly to lower her risk of tearing her ACL. Your PT can design an injury prevention exercise program to suit your specific needs and ensure your healthy participation in sports, recreational activities and everyday life.

Progress on the new Covington Clinic!

Things are coming along in the new Covington Clinic location! We will be moving right down the road to 476 Falconer Drive in January 2018. Check out our progress below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Physical Therapists are Trained to Treat a Wide Range of Illnesses and Injuries

When most people hear the words “physical therapy,” they immediately think of rehabilitation for someone with a sports injury. And while that’s accurate, physical therapists work with many types of patients, presenting with a wide variety of injuries, conditions and diseases. In fact, the profession of physical therapy can be divided into many distinct practice areas.

 

According to the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS), there are nine areas in which physical therapists can receive advanced certification. A few of these specialty areas, which cover most of the injuries, diseases and age populations treated by physical therapists, include:

 

Cardiovascular and pulmonary: for cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions, such as heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis. The goal of this sub-specialty is to increase physical endurance and improve functional independence.

 

Neurology: for neurological conditions and impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury and stroke. Treatment plans are designed to help patients independently participate in activities of daily living for as long as possible. PTs teach patients to adapt to visual, balance, mobility and muscle loss impairments.

 

Orthopedics: for musculoskeletal injuries involving bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. A rehab program may include joint mobilization, manual therapy, strength training and other modalities.

 

Pediatrics: for infants, toddlers, children and adolescents with diseases and injuries ranging from developmental delays, genetic disorders and limb deficiencies to muscle diseases and orthopedic disabilities. PTs use therapeutic exercise, modalities and treatments to relieve pain, regain strength and range of motion, and to improve balance, flexibility and gross and fine motor skills.

 

Women’s health: for conditions including pelvic floor dysfunction, postpartum care, lymphatic swelling and urinary incontinence. A PT program might include external and internal soft tissue mobilization, strengthening exercises, biofeedback and electrical stimulation.

The other specialty areas recognized by ABPTS are geriatrics, oncology, sports and clinical electrophysiology. PTs can gain expertise in these areas without pursuing advanced certification, either by gaining years of experience with specific patient populations or by fulfilling continuing education requirements.

 

When looking for the right physical therapist to treat a particular ailment or disease, patients should feel comfortable asking about the therapist’s training, education and background. Understanding what expertise physical therapists have helps understand the rehab approach and how it impacts an injury or illness. Patients who start a dialogue and keep an open line of communication with their physical therapists will get the most out of their rehabilitation sessions.

 

Medicare Cap – Use it or lose it!

Don’t forget for our Medicare patients…. use your allocated funds or you will lose it at the end of 2017.

Call us today to schedule an appointment, 985.871-7878!

Click here to see a message from Crystal! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiLBgvb-HDw&feature=youtu.be