Why Does My Ankle Crack When I Rotate It?

Why Does My Ankle Crack When I Rotate It?

When you rotate your ankle, does it pop or crackle? There’s no immediate reason to be alarmed if you experience ankle cracking or ankle popping; you’re not alone in this.

A medical term even exists for joint popping. Crepitus is the abnormal popping or crackling of a joint, which may be sometimes uncomfortable or painful. There are two variations of crepitus:

• The movement of two fractured bone fragments against one another is known as bone crepitus.
• Joint crepitus is a condition in which the affected joint is passively moved with one hand while the other hand rests on the joint to feel the crepitus.

Why Does My Ankle Crack Every Time I Rotate It?

Ankle cracking or ankle popping can occur for two primary reasons

• Tendons rubbing over a bone
• Gas being released from the joint

The tendon slipping over the bone is the most frequent cause of a snapping sound in the ankle. This causes the snapping or clicking sound to occur as you rotate your ankle. Alternatively, when the ankle is rotated, nitrogen bubbles in the synovial fluid can burst as a result of the force applied to the joint. This may occur if your muscles are tight or after extended periods of inactivity.

Peroneal Subluxation / Dislocation
Peroneal tendon friction against the joint may cause ankle popping and cracking. Your lower leg is protected from sprains by the peroneal tendons, which also assist in supporting and stabilizing the foot and ankle. The outer portion of the midfoot is where one peroneal tendon attaches, while the inner portion of the arch is where the other peroneal tendon attaches. Both cracking and popping sounds can be caused by either tendon rubbing against the bone if it is injured or slips out of place. This condition is relatively rare and typically affects athletes with severe ankle sprains.

Is It Bad That My Ankles Crack?

The idea that arthritis is a result of joint cracking is a common one. This argument, however, is unsupported by facts. One study on joint cracking concludes that “the evidence for the association of knuckle cracking and osteoarthritis comes mainly from observational studies that have failed to show an association.”

The truth is that popping or cracking in the ankle is not always a bad thing. You should consult a medical professional, though, if pain or swelling develops as a result of your ankle cracking. As advised by Healthline, performing ankle exercises can help strengthen your joints and reduce your risk of sprains and other injuries. Muscles and tendons that support the stability of your lower leg can be strengthened with ankle exercises.

Why Does My Ankle Crack When I Rotate It?

How Do You Get Rid of Cracks in Your Ankles?

Ankle Exercises

The mobility of your ankles can be improved by performing ankle circles to warm up the ankle joints. Ankle circles can be done while sitting or lying down.

How to do this exercise:

1. With your heel raised, support one of your legs on a firm surface.
2. Starting at the ankle, rotate your foot in a clockwise direction. Do this 10 times.
3. 10 times in the opposite direction, repeat.
4. Continue the exercise with your other ankle by switching legs.

Single-legged Balance

To begin, place your feet shoulder-width apart. To catch yourself if you fall, you can stand close to a sturdy chair or wall.

How to do this exercise:

1. Raise a foot off the ground.
2. As long as you can, up to 30 seconds, maintain balance on one foot.
3. Continue on the opposite side.

Draw the Alphabet

Start by standing with one foot raised or lying on your back with one foot raised. You can use a sturdy chair as support if you’re standing.

How to do this exercise:

1. Write the alphabet from A to Z with your elevated foot, moving your foot from the ankle joint.
2. Write the alphabet again by switching to your other foot.

Calf Raises

At the edge of a step or ledge, place your feet shoulder-width apart. For balance, grab a chair with a sturdy railing.

How to do this exercise:

1. Bring your ankles fully extended by rising up onto your toes.
2. Your heels should be brought down to the ledge’s level.
3. Repeat for 10 reps.

To make it more difficult, you can also do this exercise on just one leg.

Custom Foot Orthotics

Custom foot orthotics could be the solution for your persistent ankle pain. Custom-made corrective shoe inserts called orthotics to offer unique support for your lower legs. These devices redistribute pressures along the bottom of the foot in an effort to correct poor foot mechanics.

When to See a Doctor

Ankle popping is typically not a cause for alarm. When the popping is brought on by tight muscles or tendons, a visit to the doctor is typically not required.

But if there are additional symptoms in addition to the popping, you should visit a doctor. For example, look out for:

• pain
• swelling in the ankle
• difficulty walking

If these symptoms start to appear following a sudden trauma, such as suffering a sporting injury, it is especially important to visit a doctor.

Close Note: Pay More Attention

Typically, an ankle popping condition is not serious. If it’s not hurting or uncomfortable, it probably doesn’t need to be treated.

However, it’s crucial to see your doctor find out the cause and receive treatment if your ankle popping is accompanied by pain or swelling.

By strengthening your ankles with targeted exercises, you may be able to avoid accidents like ankle sprains. The muscles and tendons that support your ankle stabilization may benefit from strengthening exercises as well.