Snap, crackle, pop….Does the sound of your body creep you out a little bit? Do you find that as you get older you start hearing more and more cracks and pops when you move? You are not alone and you are completely normal!! The sound you hear is caused by air bubbles in the synovial fluid – the liquid that surrounds and lubricates your joints – and by the snapping of tightly stretched ligaments as they slide off one bony surface onto another. When not accompanied by pain, noisy joints are harmless. (Leonard Calabrese, DO Rheumatologist )
Most of the time the noises we hear our body making are normal and there’s no need to worry, but of course if the noise is accompanied by pain and you are concerned here is a great read that will help you figure out if you need to investigate the noisiness with your doctor.
As a movement professional I can tell you that the biggest “problem” I see with noisy joints and bodies has nothing to do with what is actually going on in the body usually but the self talk that happens when my clients hear their body talking to them.
Here’s the scenario I normally see: While moving a client hears their body make a noise and usually makes some sort of grimacing face… Often times they will say “Did you hear that?” I usually respond and ask if it hurt when it happened. Often times a conversation follows where they say no…but I just hate the way it sounds! It didn’t used to do that, why does it do that?
From a movement standpoint we often explore how we can move better and possibly avoid the noise from happening. And then it happens again. Some clients will pause or make a comment every time it happens and others will just make a face. I can always tell that it’s affecting them and not always in the best way. It’s like every time they hear a noise they start to think negative thoughts about how their body is getting older and maybe not functioning or moving as well as they would like it too. I worry that a negative reaction can create a chain of negatives …changing their mindset from being inspired to keep moving and age in the best possible shape to feeling defeated and helpless and giving in to those voices that tell them their movement time isn’t doing them any good, it’s not worth the effort, etc.
As a teacher I’m never really worried about the noise…but what I worry about more is the reaction. That reaction of course is something we have complete control over. I like to challenge my clients to start thinking about those noises in a whole different light.
Instead of letting your body noises be a trigger to tell yourself you are getting old, your body is not working properly or that something is wrong…what would happen if we consistently changed the story we told ourselves? What if we tried something like this:
- Sounds in my body mean I’m moving in new ways! When I move in new ways my body gets stronger, more flexible and feels better!
- Every body makes noises….this is normal and not a bad thing!
- When I hear a noise I’m going to think about how thankful I am for my body and all the amazing ways it CAN move
- When I hear noise I’m going to use it as a reminder to check in with my alignment and focus on using my muscles in the most efficient way. A noise is a reminder from my body to check in because I do have control over how I move and it will make a difference in how I feel.
Changing your thought process from dreading a noise in your body to enjoying hearing it because it signals a positive chain reaction…can completely change how you feel about movement in your life! Most importantly changing the story you tell yourself when you hear your body can keep you feeling positive and encouraged about your ability to control how your body feels as it ages!!