ZocdocAnswersMy elbow crackles when I stretch. Is that normal?

Question

My elbow crackles when I stretch. Is that normal?

when i stretch my elbow cracks. i am a 23 year old male. I have a history of working out and working hard to for-fill jobs but have never hurt myself. it does not hurt in fact when i stretch my arm it makes it feel better.any information regarding this situation would be good. Thank You

Answer

Many studies have been performed to understand exactly what the underlying meaning and cause of crackles in various joints, and to date, it appears that there is still no consensus as to what this means. Controversy also exists about whether cracking knuckles and other joints leads to late onset of arthritis. For the most part, if you have never had an injury, and if this is not hurting you, then there is a low likelihood that this is anything too concerning, but it is best if you are evaluated by your primary care doctor who can evaluate your medical history and presenting symptoms and decide upon whether any further work up is indicated. This may include further imaging studies or possibly a referral to a specialist for further evaluation. Consider stretching exercises and weight training to improve the flexibility and strength of your muscles as another way to possibly improve the symptoms that you are experiencing. Also, consider examining your elbow and see if you feel any areas that are tender to palpation or if you have any difficulties in normal range of motion. These would be things that would be more concerning and would be reasons to be evaluated by your primary care doctor on a more urgent basis.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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