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Scary Noises


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Does anyone else worry about that sound that's worse than nails on a blackboard? That sound of clicking joints?....familiar to anyone else? This is an experience I have had to have, where my dd feels a need to adjust her instrument (ie. long ballet body) by stretching something out, but then, every once in a while, also finds happiness in that movement that causes something to click. Something that I don't think should click! :speechless: My first introduction to clicking was in her ankles and I adapted to that, which sometimes is heard during a dance movement, but nothing to apparently worry about. But then there came the sound from the hip area, the "adjustment" that she claims "fixes" something and "feels better". She does that rarely, but it always produces a horrified shudder from me and a big grin from her. I was recently tortured by her when she clicked her TOES. No doctor has said these sounds are anything to worry about. This is after a month of many back to back hours of pointe work. Has anyone else heard this sound coming from toes? :o

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Some people just normally pop and click and grind in their joints when they move. My DD and I have always just had joints that make noises when moving. It freaks DH out to hear it and he thinks it is like the sound on the blackboard, too. He can't believe DD and I when we tell him it doesn't hurt at all. DD tends to click/pop in her ankles and hips. I have heard popping in her toes when she flexes every once in a while, but it is rare.


Now, that is different than when someone specifically tries to pop a joint. DD has had the kids at ballet try to "pop" their backs. I've seen/heard them do it and I cringed thinking it was just an injury waiting to happen. Having had relatives that have sprained fingers, hands, etc. from purposefully trying to "pop" a joint to get it to what feels like "back" in place and having to rush to the ER afterwards, I get nervous when it is done on purpose.


Is your daughter very flexible and hypermobile?

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She's hypermobile in some places, such as elbows and wrists, but not everywhere. As for flexibility, yes, but not to the degree of some dancers she knows. I am certain she's not trying to "pop" her back, for instance and this hip "adjustment" is something I have questioned her about as far as how often she does this and she claims not much, that it's just something like shaking herself out to loosen something up. Hmmm... It was that ability to click all five toes at once that I had never seen before and thought it was vaguely funny, but couldn't help but worry, because this was new. If only I was in those pt screenings she's had, to ask myself.

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Oh my gosh, my dd pops her elbows and it freaks me out!!!


She also does her fingers, toes, hips and back. Yes, it is quite scary sometimes (I pop my fingers too though).

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My dd will say," I have to crack my back" then she will twist and it makes a loud cracking/popping sound. I don't like her doing these things I am afraid they are going to cause her problems down the road. she also cracks her toes. Is it bad?

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Guest Blossoming ballerina

My dd also says I need to crack my back.

It's a horrible sound to me.

I suppose from a medical background, we were always told don't crack this or that joint because it will cars an injury.

Occasionally her hip will pop as well.


We now see a bowen therapist - since seeing her she is not popping or cracking as much.

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My health background tells me that this popping sound is not the joint per se (as in not the bones) but tendons snapping across each other or across other bony bits and pieces. Bones actually have nerves on them and 'popping' a bone would be extremely painful (think dislocation). I think that the relief people get from having popped something is because the tendon was slightly out of place. As a mother I hate that sound too but I think that our teenage children get this a lot because their alignments start to go astray as they grow. Bones and muscles do not necessarily line up all the time with growth. My advice to DS is don't pop things for the fun of it because the more things are out of alignment, the looser they may become in time?? Otherwise I think it is harmless when it is done on an as needs basis. I doubt there are any clinical trials on 'popping' :yucky: but if anyone has received any other more knowledgeable/ expert advice it would be good to hear!

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I would love to hear from others as well regarding the popping. I have watched and listened to my daughter pop her neck. Makes my skin crawl. I'm just wondering if she is setting herself up for arthritis down the road.

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I am not aware of any real medical "studies" to determine what and if "popping" or "cracking" joints is detrimental to a person.


There does appear to be some anecdotal "evidence" that some types of "popping", especially when it is habitual, can set a person up for overuse injuries in a particular area where the tendons appear to have been irritated - or perhaps overstretched.

I have read and heard that one should perhaps be a bit careful with the spine, especially the neck. (actually, I can attest that my own habit of "cracking" my neck, along with an equally noxious habit of "reading while lying on my side with my head propped up" probably contributed to an injury which nearly ended my career)


Aside from that: toes, fingers and the other little joints do not seem to be that sensitive. There seem to be differences of opinion on this, I think. (various doctors have told me various, often conflicting things when I have asked...)



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An interesting anecdotal contribution from one of our Young Dancers who cannot post it here, so I am posting it for her. Thanks, ascballerina!


"It may interest a few of them to know--one scientist got tired of his mother telling him he'd get arthritis from cracking his knuckles, so for over sixty years, he cracked only one hand and not the other (the "control hand") to see if she was right.

His evidence--while anecdotal--seems to show that it doesn't make that much difference, as he has arthritis in neither hand. I only know about this because I saw it mentioned when he won an Ig Nobel Prize for it.
I remember as a ballet dancer thinking it was interesting when I heard about it."
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I knew there were other parents who had to be wondering about this on the board! It's nice to at least be able to talk about some of the things that are specific to dancer children like this. I complained and nagged the older non-dancing siblings if they ever cracked their knuckles and had found some "research" to quote to them that this could make their knuckles grow much bigger and unattractive, as I recall. With the dd, though, I wonder if I should be getting out the oil can!


Thank you for sharing the humorous anecdote, Ms. Leigh. I'm sure if you had heard horror stories from occasional cracking behavior, you would be sharing that, so I suppose it makes the idea more tolerable. :pinch: When I finally get a chance to sit in on a pt appointment, I will share what I learn after asking. (if allowed, of course)


It sounds like neck popping may be worth avoiding. So I will share that one in case dd tries it, diane. Glad you recovered!

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Just saw this thread! It's so funny - I think my daughter can crack or pop every joint she has, including ones I didn't know existed :) ! The sounds are awful, and she can freak me out by deliberately making popping sounds with her hips. Although she has been told the same thing that everyone else has been told - that if there's no pain then there's nothing to worry about - I have often wondered if it caused any harm. I'm glad to be reassured that it doesn't seem to be dangerous.


However, I have drawn the line at her trying to pop her little sister's joints!

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I finally clicked on this thread and can I ever relate. It drives me nuts and like others, I have worried about it. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this.

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I will add that I was partly alarmed because I wondered if this increases over the years? I haven't asked dd if she could always do this, but to my knowledge, the five toes is a new sound added to the band. As you can see, I try to balance worry with, ahem, corny metaphors.

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