You've been curled up on the sofa, watching your favorite TV show. You stretch to stand up and your back makes an audible "crack." Or, you're walking up the stairs in your home, and with each step your knees "pop." Does this sound familiar?
You may be wondering why your joints pop. Is this normal? And could a vitamin deficiency play a role?
Three Reasons Your Joints Make Noise
Hearing your joints make noise when you move can be alarming. Noisy joints, which is officially called "crepitus," is not that uncommon, though. People of all ages can hear a "pop," "crackle," or "snap" sound when they move. The knees, ankles, back, and neck most commonly make noises.
There are typically three reasons why a joint makes noise during movement:
- There is a liquid called synovial fluid in your joints. When you move, tiny bubbles in the synovial fluid can form and pop, creating the noise you hear. This is normal and harmless.
- Tendons move and ligaments tighten in your knees and ankles when you walk, run, or climb stairs. This movement can create noise.
- The loss of smooth cartilage in a joint due to arthritis can lead to rough surfaces within the joint. You may be hearing the resulting grinding or scraping.
By themselves, joint popping and other noises are usually not a reason for concern. However, if you are experiencing pain, swelling, or other discomfort in that joint, you may have an underlying health condition or injury that needs to be addressed.
The Link Between Vitamin Deficiency and Joint Health
According to the Arthritis Foundation and the National Institute of Health, there are certain vitamins and minerals that play an important role in joint health. Being deficient in these vitamins and minerals can increase joint pain and discomfort:
Vitamin A is best known for maintaining healthy eyesight, but it also supports bone growth.
Vitamin B-12 reduces the amount of an amino acid called homocysteine. The amount of homocysteine found in the body tends to increase as a person ages. Higher levels of homocysteine are found in people with RA and can also lead to bone loss and fractures.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It also helps build and maintain connective tissue, which is found in cartilage and bones throughout the body.
Manganese is needed for bone formation.
Selenium may prevent rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is also beneficial for your immune system.
Zinc is needed for cell production and tissue growth. Healthy levels of zinc may reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms by supporting cartilage.
In a perfect world, we would all eat three healthy meals a day. However, we know that in reality, this doesn't always happen. And some medications and medical conditions can create a deficiency in vitamins, no matter how healthy someone is eating. That's where all-natural supplements can play an important role in joint health.
What to Look for in a Joint Health Supplement
Most vitamins and minerals can be purchased individually. However, to take all the vitamins and minerals you would need for optimum joint health would be expensive. Not to mention, you'd be taking a handful of pills every day. The best approach is to look for a comprehensive joint health supplement.
There is a dizzying array of joint supplements on the market today. How can you be sure you're selecting the best one for you? Here are some things to consider:
- Is the supplement made in the U.S., with good manufacturing practices (GPM)?
- What is the customer service like? Is there a phone number you can call with questions?,
- Is there any type of guarantee or return policy? If the supplement doesn't help ease your joint pain, can you return it, even if the bottle is open?
- What do the reviews say? How is the product rated? You can read joint health product reviews on websites like Better Health and Wellness.
The Benefits of All-Natural Supplements
Anyone experiencing joint noises accompanied by pain have several options. Over the counter (OTC) medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen are inexpensive and for sale in every grocery store and convenience store around. But over time, these medications may cause stomach ulcers, liver damage, and kidney problems.Prescription medications are also an option, but these are not without possible side effects, either. Some painkillers prescribed by doctors are opioids. This particular class of medication may lead to dependence or addiction in some people.