From: Tom

Hi Tricia,

You sure can ask a good question. Every teacher I've had has no explaintion of just what makes the noise. I've heard that it's nitrogen in the joint capsule or that it is just the ends of the two bones snapping across each other. No one seems sure.

As far as whether or not its good for you, everything in moderation. If you crack your knuckles or your neck all the time you can develope what is called hypermobile joints. Fancy huh, what it means is, the ligaments that hold the joint together stretch alittle so the more you do it, the easier it is. Like Aiki.

Some people say that it will promote arthritis in the joint, it may, but only when you stop doing it.

What it all boils down to is this, as long as it doesn't hurt, more than you like, go ahead.

As I say, its your body do with it what you want as long as you understand what you are doing.

Yours in Aiki,


From: Laura Hague

Another health question (but not me this time!)
A friend of mine has just taken up Aikido plus various other forms of exercise (circuits, aerobics etc) after having lead a fairly sedentary existance previously. After 6 months or so of this he's found that his joints have started clicking (knees, ankles, wrists etc) and he's been getting a lot of knee and lower back pain - although this doesnt seem to be related to the clicking. (He's done some jujitsu and odds and ends of various martial arts but diving was his main hobby before Aikido). snip>

We've recently had a member have to give up training as the Aikido agrivates the RSI he's suffering from so I'd be interested in peoples comments on if this clicking is a 'warning' of potential damage and for how long you should rest this sort of thing.
I'll pass the information on to the people concerned

Yes, clicking can be a sign of potential damage, even though it doesn't cause damage itself. Especially with the knee and lower back pain, your friend may have some problems he should see a rheumatologist or orthopedist about. Is your friend very limber? If so, have him take a look at <>.

Whatever else he does, he does really need to see a doctor who specializes in bones and joints about this. I know from experience that it won't do any good to just ask the family doctor; they don't have enough training in that area.

From: Tricia Matthews

Can anyone tell me why joints click or point me to a differnet source for an answer? I have heard various explainations from bones clicking on each other/ ligaments 'pinging off bones' and nitrogen collecting in joints and have also been told that clicking your joints can lead to arthritis?

From: Iain D. Dickey - Moderator sci.med.orthopedics

The clicking is caused by the movement of synovial fluid through the joint space, and the bubbles of gas within the fluid being compressed. It in no way leads to OA, the degenerative type of arthritis.

From: Krispin Sullivan

There is some evidence that this irritation of the joint is related to a maganese deficiency. The best place to read about it is a book called Conversations on Chelation and Mineral Nutrition by H. DeWayne Ashmead, Ph.D., F.A.C.N. If you decide to try a supplement the dose is around 2- mg per day and probably should be taken in conjunction with a complete multimineral.