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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Stopped doing exercise. Painless cracking sound while stretching hands and neck. What's wrong?

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Dr. Saurabh Gupta

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 5930 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 30 Jan 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I used to exercise earlier for 1 yr, but from past 6yrs I am not doing any exercise. When I stretch my hands and neck I get cracking sound. Why does this happen?
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Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 2 hours later
Hello,
Thanks for writing to us.

As you describe the symptoms as painless cracking sound when you stretch, I do not think we have any reasons to worry.

Sometimes as a normal phenomena, fluid (synovial fluid) that lubricate the joint release bubbles which pop and crackle with movement. This occurs very commonly after a period of inactivity or during certain movements. I am not sure if this is what you have, but this is my most likely explanation to your symptoms.

You don't need to worry if there is no associated joint pain; but you have to do some conditioning exercises to improve the overall integrity of the joint - stronger muscle will take the weight of the joint and help to reduce the pressure on articulating surfaces, thus preventing any damage to the joint.

I hope this answers your query. I will be available for further guidance if you needed.
If you have no further query,please close the discussion and give your review.

Wishing you good health...

Regards.
Dr Saurabh Gupta.
Orthopaedic Surgeon.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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