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Joint "Popping" | Ask the Expert
Painless joint "popping" is not terribly worrisome and can be normal for the individual. In major joints like the hip, knee or shoulder, an increase in popping can be a sign of weakness in the surrounding musculature and well directed strengthening could help stabilize and maintain the health of the joint. If the "popping" is painful, or has a grinding element to it, that could signify loose tissue in the joint and should be evaluated by a physician.
Bone, Joint & Muscle Health,

Question:

I notice that what seems to be my hip joint pops a lot more than it used to. Should I be concerned?

Answer:

Joshua Richards, MD, MPHJoshua Richards, MD, MPHOrthopedic SurgeryAlta Bates Summit Medical Center
Expert
Joshua Richards, MD, MPHOrthopedic SurgeryAlta Bates Summit Medical Center

Dr. Richards is a Clinical Instructor of upper extremity trauma at the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital. He received his Medical Degree at New York Medical College. Dr. Richards volunteers locally for Operation Access, providing upper extremity care for Bay Area’s uninsured population. He has also volunteered in Africa as well as joined the disaster relief teams in Haiti.

Painless joint "popping" is not terribly worrisome and can be normal for the individual. In major joints like the hip, knee or shoulder, an increase in popping can be a sign of weakness in the surrounding musculature and well directed strengthening could help stabilize and maintain the health of the joint.

If the "popping" is painful, or has a grinding element to it, that could signify loose tissue in the joint and should be evaluated by a physician.

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