Ask A Pro


I am a dancer and have noticed that after class, my joints pop and crack a lot, especially my knees, hips, and toes. Should I be worried?


As a dancer, you place quite a bit of stress on your muscles and joints since many of the movements you perform occur at extreme ranges of motion. As a result, it is very common for dancers to experience frequent popping and clicking of their joints. What’s important though is whether there is pain associated with the popping. Normal joint popping occurs for a number of reasons such as gases being released within the fluid that lubricates the joint capsule, or due to muscles/tendons rolling over bony prominences. This happens to everyone, and is generally pain free. If you are experiencing pain with the popping, you may have a more serious problem with either your joints or muscles, and may need to seek medical attention to have it evaluated further.

It is also important to note that even if you do not have pain, trying to repeatedly reproduce the popping can be harmful. When a joint moves beyond its normal range of motion, it can cause microtrauma to the surrounding tissues such as irritation and inflammation. This creates weakness and instability in the area, and over time, can result in injury. A physical therapist can evaluate your general flexibility and strength, as well as examine your movement patterns and body mechanics for any dysfunction which could be contributing to your popping joints. Call Corvallis Sport and Spine Physical Therapy Clinic at (541) 752-0545 for your preferred appointment today.
617 Hickory St. NW, Suite 160
ALbany, OR • Phone 541.928.1411