Joint cracking and popping: Understanding noises that accompany articular release

Marina G. Protapapas, Tyler C. Cymet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Articular release is a physiologic event that may or may not be audible. It is seen in patients with healthy joints as well as those with somatic dysfunction. After an articular release, there is a difference in joint spacing-with the release increasing the distance between articular surfaces. Not all noise that emanates from a joint signifies an articular release. A hypothesis about the noise that frequently accompanies this release is offered and includes anatomic, physiologic, and functional models of articular release. Repeated performance of articular release may decrease the occurrence of arthritis. Potential problems from repeated articular release (eg, hypermobility) are also examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-287
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Osteopathic Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 27 2002


  • Articular release
  • Cervical spine
  • Hypermobility
  • Joint cracking
  • Knuckle cracking
  • Metacarpophalangeal joint
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteopathic manipulative treatment
  • Synovial joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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