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Painful Crepitus
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Painful Crepitus

I've had painful cracking and popping of joints for many years. Now selected joints like my hip are locking up require a lot of force and painful cracking to move. I can feel just about all my joints grinding and have a lot of stiffness. I had to switch from eliptical to treadmill for exercise because of the painful grinding. There doesn't seem to be any joint swelling, and ibuprofen isn't relieving the symptoms. I'm not fatigued and don't really have any other symptoms other than the pain and grinding. Thanks.
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10 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
     How are you? Stiffness and grinding are most often symptoms of arthritis. Arthritis leads to wearing away of the normal smooth cartilage within the joint. As the cartilage thins, bone can grind against bone. Bone spurs may form around the joint leading to limitations in normal motion.

Joint pain and progressive stiffness without noticeable swelling, chills, or fever during normal activities probably indicate the gradual onset symptoms of osteoarthritis. There are a lot of factors which contribute to this condition like obesity, age, menopause, heredity, sedentary life style, medical conditions like rheumatism, peripheral neuropathy etc.

Treatment involves activity modification, reducing weight, rest, adequate sleep, stretching exercises, balanced diet, NSAID’s, cortisone injections if required.
I would suggest that you visit a orthopaedician for physical examination and diagnosis of the condition with the help of x-rays.
Best.
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you ever heard of OA in a young teen (I was 12 when these symptoms began) but it has gotten progressively worse and I never had the locking til now. Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had chronic pain for more than 5 years now. I fell asleep wrong in the car, woke up with a crick in my neck, and have been on a downward spiral since then.  I'm only 24 and appear to be in good health otherwise. I've seen 3 orthopaedic doctors, 2 chiropractors, 3 physical therapists, 1 neurologist, 1 pain specialist, and 2 internal medicine doctors. I've had x-rays and an MRI. I've tried ultram, vicodin, excedrin, tylenol, muscle relaxer, and herbs/vitamins. I am allergic to advil, so I can't try that. I have been tested for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and rotator cuff injury...all negative. All of the doctors agree that I am EXCEPTIONALLY hypermobile. Besides that though, they throw up their hands and say they have no idea what's wrong with me.

My shoulders, shoulder blades, upper back, and neck joints constantly grind and slip out of place. I can crack them back, but they will slip again 5 seconds later. I have an undeniable compulsion 24/7 to twist and stretch and wiggle myself back into alignment.  I got worse after seeing the chiropractors. I think, since I'm so hypermobile and have such lax joints, that made the joint even LESS stable. It's like my ligaments are too loose to hold my joints together. I feel like I'm literally falling apart...

I'm in constant pain, stabbing, burning, grinding. Sometimes it feels like someone stuck a knife in between my joints and won't take it out. At this very moment, I feel like I want to rip my head off and set it back on the way it’s supposed to be!  I'm worse when I'm sitting for long periods of time (though nothing makes it better...there are only a few things that keep me sane, i.e. a heating pad and deep tissue massages). On the pain scale (0-10 with 10 being the worst), I'm never below a 5 and can hit a 9 on an exceptionally bad day.

I have yet to meet anyone else with these symptoms. I'm tired of trying to motivate my doctors to FIX ME! Not to mention, I don't know where else to go! I’m researching EDS, but I don’t feel like that is what I have (according to the list of symptoms).  I don't have the skin problems like most EDS patients.

I don't know what to do.  No one seems to understand.
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Avatar_n_tn
In some ways you do sound like me. I agree with the need to move frequently to be comfortable and that leads to pain (which sometimes decreases quickly, or if I've apparently injured myself, lasts long hours to days).

I saw a rheumatologist. She thinks there's inflammation and ran some more tests even though my ANA, RA, LDH, ESR were normal. She said my elbows were hypermobile, but everything else has really stiffened.

Do you exercise? That was the first and only help the docs gave me years ago. However, weight lifting usually injures a joint causing more prolonged painful crepitus. I've had to switch from eliptical to treadmill because even that was too high impact for my joints.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hmmm...sounds like we're not the same.  My pain is there...and SO i move.  Not the other way around.

Mine is constant pain, GRINDING joints that partially or sometimes fully dislocate for no reason...not because I injured myself or for any other reason.  I do exercise.  It makes me feel better momentarily, but not permanently and there have not been long-term benefits from consistent exercise for this pain.  I've done everything: treadmill, running outside, elliptical, weights, pilates, yoga....Nothing brings relief.  I've been told almost all of me is hypermobile (shoulders, shoulder blades, ribs, wrists, fingers, hips, knees, and especially the neck).  The neck and shoulders hurt the worst out of all of them though.

FOR YOU:

Do you have hypermobile skin...like sagging, loose, leathery?  If so, look into EDS - Ehler Danlos Syndrome.  From your description though, does sound a lot like some kind of arthritis.

Also, deep tissue masages seem to bring a short period of relief.  Give it try.  Hopefully that will give you the relief you need to continue pursuing your condition.

My prayers are with you!
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Avatar_n_tn
I was diagnosed with hypermobility and to see a geneticist. The doctor said that because of all the mis-articulations that occur, chronic joint pain develops. I hurt when I'm at rest, but the worst and most damaging pain comes when I move quickly. However, the more I'm still, the worst it is when I do move about. What a frustrating paradox!
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Avatar_n_tn
I do all of that also but now where you get charlie horses I heard a loud popping noise like something broke.  I can still walk on it but most of the time it's painful.  It feels very hard to wak on going down the steps.  I'm not sure what it is or how to treat it.  I'm 60 years old and diabetic with congestive heart failure if that helps
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Avatar_n_tn
I do all of that also but now where you get charlie horses I heard a loud popping noise like something broke.  I can still walk on it but most of the time it's painful.  It feels very hard to wak on going down the steps.  I'm not sure what it is or how to treat it.  I'm 60 years old and diabetic with congestive heart failure if that helps.  I'm talking about the person who had alot of grinding in there hips and back and now also have a pinched nerve in neckand shoulders.
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Avatar_m_tn
Here's what I suppose may (or may not for your case) be the correct
comments based on my experience. I have a degree in microbiology and one in psychology
and I have a similar problem.

Stay calm take very
deep breaths and
convince yourself
not to do this bad
habit but break the habit...

Be very careful you
dont fall into the
habit watch your
warning signs and
develop a way to change
your atypical repetitive motion
behavior

This is a panic
attack so to calm
down and not chase the
stimulus ie dont
seek the crepitis for
relief but have
several other ways
to focus off the pain
or treat the pain in
graded response to
the amount of
compulsion.

I have the same
syndrome,only in
my back , my subscapular
bursitic joints the
crude pressure we
feel when we snap
the joints seems to
stop the pain
because the nerve
may transduce pain
OR crude pressure
but not both,so it
feels right for 5
seconds when you
pop or snap it BUT
that only tightens
the muscles, I use a
homedics massager
and ice but the pain
driven compulsion
to snap to relieve
the pain is horrible, I
sugges tdeep
breathing and
relaxation response
as seeking crepitus
to find relief only
makes more
crepitus in the long
term. Work through
the pain without
crude pressure
crepitus seeking
compulsive behavior
by deep breathing
relaxation response
and willpower I dont
know of any other
way than that or
massage and ice but
it's one of the
hardest lessons to
learn in my
life...dont seek
crepitus to relieve
pain! Our mind is
playing tricks on us
and 'wanting
crepitus' to relieve
pain is a one way
ticket to a host of
other problems
including chronic
inflammation and
that makes heart
disease
It's really incredibly
painful and the
time to break the habit is when you fall into it!


Here are some different perspectives on this

Gestalt: you have to
change the figure
ground relationship
ie put the focus not
on your pain for
example the crepitus
in my back 'seems'
to go away when I
put the massager on
my unaffected thigh
and get the pleasure
to 'gate out' the
pain. Incredibly
difficult pain driven
compulsion, once
you decide you want
the crepitus to make
the crepitus and
pain go away for five
seconds you I we
are caught in a
psychoneurosis... the idea being to
un learn the repetitive
motion syndrome
each and every time
or get worse
remembering that
self injury to create
temporary relief is
not what we want

so to stop bouncing form wanting to snap to not wanting to snap
like two poles of a neuroses always changing
what we want is to snap vs is not to snapp...
a  truly maddening
disorder...intention
NOT to seek
crepitus is the only
way out for me I deal
with this every day
and am 100%
disabled with this
subscapular
bursitis.

I use Ice ,massage, hot showers,
body brace straps and deep breathing exercises
but it's always difficult as I wont use pain pills.


When I use immobilization I use straps  
I use one strap
around my
shoulders and one
around my elbows
and a third behind
the back to the
elbows when the
compulsion is
greatest.

I can wear them under my clothes if I have to
go out and am having an episode.

Here are some other perspectives too..
Freudian: Freud
would say  This is a
panic attack so to
calm down
and not chase the
stimulus ie dont
seek the crepitis for
relief but have
several other ways
to focus off the pain
or treat the pain in
graded response to
the amount of
compulsion.

BF Skinner: A
conditioned stimulus
has been created
you need a new
different
conditioned
stimulus so keep a list of
other behaviors that give you relief.


Transactional
Analysis
You need not to play
the game , dont take
the bait and seek the
game.

Existential
Psychologist: You  
need to change your
ego state. Wake up the adult ego state.


Behavorist:This is a
pain driven
compulsion that
finds relief through
intermittent reinforcement which
is the strongest
reinforcement known
to man and this is a pain
driven relief seeking
operant conditioning
paradigm that  results in
repetitive motion syndrome

Surgeon: You have a
shiny scapula and
rib cage you have
rubbed away all
your cartilage , I
could do an
operation but if you
just snap away it's
be back and worse.

Chiropractor: Get a
cartilage injection.

Massage Therapist: get a homedics dual headed massager
and freeze some cola bottles to take with you for ice.

I wish you luck with this and freedom from pain, exercise helps to if you can go for a walk thats good.

Again this' about my condition some of this should apply to you I dont know your medical history
but learn how not to do this make that a big deal that you refrain! Watch out for the warning signs of pain and treat
and manage it so it doesnt control you.

Good Luck-
Mike
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Here's what I suppose may (or may not for your case) be the correct
comments based on my experience. I have a degree in microbiology and one in psychology
and I have a similar problem.

Stay calm take very
deep breaths and
convince yourself
not to do this bad
habit but break the habit...

Be very careful you
dont fall into the
habit watch your
warning signs and
develop a way to change
your atypical repetitive motion
behavior

This is a panic
attack so to calm
down and not chase the
stimulus ie dont
seek the crepitis for
relief but have
several other ways
to focus off the pain
or treat the pain in
graded response to
the amount of
compulsion.

I have the same
syndrome,only in
my back , my subscapular
bursitic joints the
crude pressure we
feel when we snap
the joints seems to
stop the pain
because the nerve
may transduce pain
OR crude pressure
but not both,so it
feels right for 5
seconds when you
pop or snap it BUT
that only tightens
the muscles, I use a
homedics massager
and ice but the pain
driven compulsion
to snap to relieve
the pain is horrible, I
sugges tdeep
breathing and
relaxation response
as seeking crepitus
to find relief only
makes more
crepitus in the long
term. Work through
the pain without
crude pressure
crepitus seeking
compulsive behavior
by deep breathing
relaxation response
and willpower I dont
know of any other
way than that or
massage and ice but
it's one of the
hardest lessons to
learn in my
life...dont seek
crepitus to relieve
pain! Our mind is
playing tricks on us
and 'wanting
crepitus' to relieve
pain is a one way
ticket to a host of
other problems
including chronic
inflammation and
that makes heart
disease
It's really incredibly
painful and the
time to break the habit is when you fall into it!


Here are some different perspectives on this

Gestalt: you have to
change the figure
ground relationship
ie put the focus not
on your pain for
example the crepitus
in my back 'seems'
to go away when I
put the massager on
my unaffected thigh
and get the pleasure
to 'gate out' the
pain. Incredibly
difficult pain driven
compulsion, once
you decide you want
the crepitus to make
the crepitus and
pain go away for five
seconds you I we
are caught in a
psychoneurosis... the idea being to
un learn the repetitive
motion syndrome
each and every time
or get worse
remembering that
self injury to create
temporary relief is
not what we want

so to stop bouncing form wanting to snap to not wanting to snap
like two poles of a neuroses always changing
what we want is to snap vs is not to snapp...
a  truly maddening
disorder...intention
NOT to seek
crepitus is the only
way out for me I deal
with this every day
and am 100%
disabled with this
subscapular
bursitis.

I use Ice ,massage, hot showers,
body brace straps and deep breathing exercises
but it's always difficult as I wont use pain pills.


When I use immobilization I use straps  
I use one strap
around my
shoulders and one
around my elbows
and a third behind
the back to the
elbows when the
compulsion is
greatest.

I can wear them under my clothes if I have to
go out and am having an episode.

Here are some other perspectives too..
Freudian: Freud
would say  This is a
panic attack so to
calm down
and not chase the
stimulus ie dont
seek the crepitis for
relief but have
several other ways
to focus off the pain
or treat the pain in
graded response to
the amount of
compulsion.

BF Skinner: A
conditioned stimulus
has been created
you need a new
different
conditioned
stimulus so keep a list of
other behaviors that give you relief.


Transactional
Analysis
You need not to play
the game , dont take
the bait and seek the
game.

Existential
Psychologist: You  
need to change your
ego state. Wake up the adult ego state.


Behavorist:This is a
pain driven
compulsion that
finds relief through
intermittent reinforcement which
is the strongest
reinforcement known
to man and this is a pain
driven relief seeking
operant conditioning
paradigm that  results in
repetitive motion syndrome

Surgeon: You have a
shiny scapula and
rib cage you have
rubbed away all
your cartilage , I
could do an
operation but if you
just snap away it's
be back and worse.

Chiropractor: Get a
cartilage injection.

Massage Therapist: get a homedics dual headed massager
and freeze some cola bottles to take with you for ice.

I wish you luck with this and freedom from pain, exercise helps to if you can go for a walk thats good.

Again this' about my condition some of this should apply to you I dont know your medical history
but learn how not to do this make that a big deal that you refrain! Watch out for the warning signs of pain and treat
and manage it so it doesnt control you.

Good Luck-
Mike
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