3 Reasons Why Your Elbow Joint Makes A Popping And Cracking Noise

elbow popping and cracking

This you should already know:

1) You can’t stop time and

2) you can’t stop aging.

Muscle and joint pain is a given as we getting older but what if your elbow joint has been popping and cracking when you bend it or extend your arm?

And you’re not even that old!

Is the cracking sound that you hear in your elbow followed up with pain?

Here’s the scoop:

It’s my hope that once you’ve read this post in it’s entirety,  you’ll have a clearer understanding of what it all means plus …

You will get straightforward, actionable steps that you can implement today to stop this annoying and sometimes painful elbow sound!

If your elbow hurts when bent, this is also not a good sign.

First, you are not alone in your search to this mystery and it is much more common than you would think.

Below you will learn the top 3 reasons why your elbow is making a pop, crack or or snapping noises:

Reason 1 – Fatigue

elbow fatigue

The human body endures stresses each day that you don’t even realize.

Your elbow, knees and hip joints are overworked and overstressed more than others.

Take for example your average construction worker – a labour intensive job.

Never mind that just standing on your feet all day long is strenuous enough, the muscles in their arms are really pushed to their limits from using their power tools and hammers for hours a day.

The ever relenting bending, pushing, pulling and extending of their arms to cut wood, drive home nails or twist in screws.

Your two forearm muscles, the flexor and extensor muscles, become traumatized and overloaded to almost complete failure due to the constant swinging, extending, bending, pushing and pulling.

The worst part:

Your elbow joint can become impeded and restricted because your muscles and tendons are aggravated.

When either the flexor or extensor muscles become shortened, this puts pressure on your joint which can result in your elbow joint not bending and extending the way it should.

Now the snap, crackle and pop noises in your elbow joint may increase and cause you concern.

You really want to know what that annoying cracking and popping noise that you hear in your elbow is?

You’re probably thinking that it is your arm bones rubbing together – right?


Synovial fluid is a white, slippery fluid found in your joints to help keep them lubricated so they can bend, extend and/or rotate.

Our bodies contain nitrogen gas.

As you exploit and exhaustively flex and extend your arms, the pressure of the nitrogen gas builds up.

Once the tension, stress and pressure becomes too much, this is when you get this cracking and popping sound in your elbow.

It is absolutely normal and in most cases causes no problems.

Check out this interesting take from a Yoga instructor on why your joints crack and pop.

Reason 2 – Osteoarthritis

elbow arthritis

Of all of the arthritic conditions, osteoarthritis is the most widely known arthritis condition and one in which most people just use the term arthritis.

It is when the protective covering at the end of your bones(cartilage) where they form a joint, start to wear down.

The cartilage in your elbow provides cushioning and protection at the end of your bones and ensures that your elbow joint moves freely without discomfort and friction.

And it turns out that if this cartilage starts to breakdown, usually due to overuse, then you can experience pain, loss of normal range of motion and stiffness in your joint.

The result is your elbows begin to sound like popcorn in the microwave. 

Reason 3 – Tennis Elbow

tennis elbow arm pain

You may be surprised to learn that if your elbow cracks, snaps or pops, it could actually be a symptom of and be masking a more serious injury.

One such injury is called tennis elbow.

Is your affected elbow tender to the touch?

Does holding, gripping or squeezing make your elbow pain worse?

No doubt about it then …

You have tennis elbow!

And the worst part:

You never even have to set foot onto a tennis court or stadium to get it!

Professional Medical and Sports Doctors are quick to point out and acknowledge that the majority of patients who walk into their clinics and are diagnosed with tennis elbow – don’t even play tennis.

Why is this important?


Your likelihood of being stricken with tennis elbow from doing everyday duties, chores or tasks than you are from playing sports.

Here’s the kicker:

If your career, hobby or daily activity involves repetitive and constant use of your dominant arm where you are extending your wrist upwards and sometimes combined with forearm rotation …

Then this is how your injury occurred.

What about movements or actions that could have caused this?

Consider these simple, everyday tasks that we take for granted and never would have thought they could cause an elbow injury such as tennis elbow:

  • Gardening
  • Shovelling
  • Manual labour
  • Plumbing
  • Painting
  • Fishing
  • Cooking
  • Arm wrestling
  • Martial arts
  • Boxing
  • Weight lifting
  • Computer programming
  • Working in a warehouse
  • Cutting hair

The list above is quite frankly only a smidgen of movements/actions/jobs/activities that are considered high risk and are well known to cause tennis elbow.

So what is it?

It is when you suffer inflammation, irritation or small tears to your extensor tendon.

Routine actions that we take for granted such as shaking a person’s hand, twisting open the lid on a jar, or reaching to open a door that causes an increase in your elbow pain can signify a tennis elbow injury.

This is crazy but true:

Even gripping and holding your sports bag, grocery bags or holding your child in your arms can be a painful and not so fun experience.

By now, you might be thinking:

Awesome my elbow sounds like someone is popping a bag of Jiffy Pop popcorn in the microwave but …

What’s the bottom line when it comes to a full recovery from tennis elbow?

Here’s the deal:

There are some rapid and swift steps you can quickly implement and take to overcome your tennis elbow

Even better is that you’ll save a boat load of cash and heal even faster because …

Doctors in the United States have just given the thumbs up and endorsed an at-home, self-treatment program for tennis elbow that only involves 5 easy-to-follow steps.

The 5 steps you are going to learn, can be done while sitting in a chair watching the news.

Sound good?

Then click on the button below to see these 5 steps in action!

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