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Posted by Aleksandra Jawulska, Oct 31 2012 9:46PM

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Clicking Joints

hi everyone,

This may seem like a silly question to ask,but I would really appreciate your opinions.
I have been massaging now for over two years, and am noticing more and more that during treatments my joins are clicking, sometimes quite a bit.
This includes my thumbs, elbows, shoulder girdle, and sometimes wrists, not all together, but sometimes more than one joint at a time.
Should I treat this quite seriously, by taking supplements?
And if so, can anyone recommend any really good ones?
Could this also alter a lot if I simply do more warm ups, stretches, and strengthening exercises?
I also find that I don't breathe enough when I work sometimes and tense up.

Any information would be very much appreciated.

Thank you
Nicki Lee
Oct 31 2012 9:55PM
In general, noise and clicking alone aren't really anything to worry about. If you are not having pain, loss of function or mobility I wouldn't worry about it.

I've never heard of supplements that would affect this.

This sort of noise would in most cases probably be one of two things - if it's a 'popping' or joint clicking (as you can get during an osteo/chiro adjustment) it's believed to be just air in the joints causing the noise. Although people feel a release sometimes, the noise itself isn't significant as far as I know. Another cause might be if muscles are tense, when a tendon should be moving evenly it might instead get caught up and then suddenly 'snap' into place. This can cause a slight 'clunk'. If the muscles are released this should stop.

I know from working with many of my clients some people do click a lot! I haven't noticed working with them that it's significant, and nothing I've read suggests it either.

If you are having some problems, or want to check into it more, you might see a local remedial massage therapist or osteopath.

Best of luck,
Nicki Lee
Oct 31 2012 9:57PM
Sorry, forgot to add that keeping yourself in good working order is always good in our line of work! So regular stretching, keeping supple and strong by regular exercise will keep you working safely and comfortably.
Aleksandra Jawulska
Oct 31 2012 11:08PM
Thanks Nicki,
I thought it might be that my joints needed more lubrication or that the cartilage was diminishing.
I already do lots of exercise, probably not enough stretching and recovery. Shame on me, I should practice what I preach :)
Thanks again
Kerry Oliver
Nov 1 2012 9:51AM
Yes an interesting one this _ I have always been a bit 'clicky' especially knees but have noticed my left wrist is now sometimes very clicky during massage(me giving massage)- as I am right handed I am not sure why this should be and I have not noticed any other symptoms - Thanks for your feedback on this Nikki. Anyone else out there with knowledge/ideas?
Christine Gbolade
Nov 1 2012 11:02AM
What may help is making time for your self. Especially before you go to bed at night. I used to have smiliar clicking so every night or most evenings I would run my wrists hand and fingers under cold water then place an ice pack gel. Then massage with Welda Arnica oil. Not only feels good but your promoting the healing of the muscle tissue. I also use an Indian oil which was given to me in India, which is amazing and contains 42 herbs which is just as good as Arnica. I do Body work and Oil based and this regime has more than helped. :)
Mike Colquhoun
Nov 1 2012 11:19AM
Hi Aleksandra
We as yet have no satisfactory explanation for noises from joints, several explanations have been proposed for different sounds but none that have been proven correct. Lots of 'research' really statistical studies have been done into them and there is no correlation of sound to pain or of prognosis. There is no statistical link to arthritis or any other condition either short or long term and reducing the pain associated with a noisy joint is unlikely to have any effect on the noise short term though it may quieten long term.
The tensing up is of much more concern.
80% of massage therapists develop R.S.I. at some time and that is a terrible indictment of our industry. It is quite avoidable, first by moving correctly; develop a dance where all movement and weight is from the floor. Start by adopting the classic fencer’s pose with one leg forward knee bent and then sway, keeping balanced and moving rather than stretching, dance. Second when problems develop, as they almost certainly will, seek advice on how to self correct. My phone number is on my web site and I love helping people to help themselves.
The supplements you are thinking of are probably Glucosamine and Chondroitin, the Glucosamine has been shown to inflame the intestinal tract [this is of course not noticed by the imbiber as there are no nerves in the inner lining of the intestinal tract; but would you go on rubbing in a lotion that turned your skin bright red?] and though both have been shown to be of some benefit to Arthritis sufferers there are doubts about the research in both cases. There is a tendency for those who take these to overdose as the effects at the recommended dose are generally imperceptible.
Hope this helps reassure
Yours aye Mike
Aleksandra Jawulska
Nov 2 2012 1:21AM
Wow, that is more information than I could have expected and lots to think about.
One of the great things about belonging to the CThA....and another reason to really consider goin to meetings.
Thank you ever so much
Kathryn Kemp
Nov 2 2012 9:41AM
Hi there

You may just need to massage the muscles around the clicking joints, it could be that the muscles are getting tight through lots of use and pulling the tendons slightly out of their comfort zone. Treat yourself to a sports massage once a month.


Angela Rawlins
Nov 5 2012 3:22PM
It's a pity when we are training, that we are not taught to do exercises to avoid RSI etc. I have heard, that when learning Shiatsu, finger, hand and wrist exercises are taught.
Julie Egginton
Nov 11 2012 5:26PM
Hi as someone who does massage and is a typist I discovered the busier I was and the more massages I did, the more my hands/wrists clicked. I now take fish oil & glucosamine sulphate supplements, ensure I massasge my fingers, hand and wrist regularly to relieve tension and trained so I can use hands free massage movements when needed on clients.

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