Loudest joint?

  • Between all of the joints that you crack, which one makes the loudest noise? For me, for some reason, it's my big toe. Especially if it hasn't been cracked in a while, it'll make a huge noise - louder than my elbows or knees or even my neck. It also seems to 'regenerate' pretty quickly too, I can usually crack it again every couple of minutes, though if I do that, it isn't nearly as loud on the cracks after the first one.

  • Elbow is the loudest…think back is the lowest...

  • Community Lead

    Interesting question! 😎

    I have thought about this and dare to put up the following wild theory:
    1. The joint which is producing the loudest popping sound isn't the same for every person.
    2. The longer this joint has not been cracked, the louder the popping sound.
    3. The joint can be cracked very often with a low refractory period.

    First, we need to look at the question what causes the popping sound. The most common theory on this says that the cracking sound is caused by dissolved gases quickly escaping from the synovial fluid inside the joint.

    Main argument: It is fair to assume the more gases are dissolved inside this fluid, the more can get released, hence the louder the pop. If this is the correct line of thought we only need to figure out which joint is the most likely to have the highest concentration of dissolved gases.

    I still put faith in the cause theory of hypermobile joints / lax liagments to explain why some feel the strong need to crack the joints over and over again.

    The joint which fulfills theory point 3 has been cracked over and over again thus it is surrounded by very lax liagments giving very bad stability to this joint. Since this joint is badly isolated it might have the most prominent access to gases to pick up and dissolve to finally set free when popped.

    The longer it is not cracked (point 2 of my theory), the more gases it will have dissolved. I'm sure at some point it will be totally satured with gases but this might take quite a while.

    Since everyone seems to have her own favorite joint, I added point 1 to my theory.

    I challenge everyone to prove or disapprove this theory.

    Btw. my loudest joints are my ankles after a long night of sleep (no cracking).

  • hmmm i guess my loudest is my index finger in the mornings, and my back is pretty quiet.
    Good question because i would assume that the loudest would be the joint that is:
    1. Most exposed
    2. Joint where it is easy to apply large pressure
    3. Joint that can be unused (so that air/tension builds up)

    So that would make sence for me…

    Anyway 😄


  • I think my jaw and my back is the loudest 8). They make a loud "crack". My neck seems to pop the quietest. It makes a low "pop".

  • I always think my neck crack is the loudest–but I'll always turn to my fiancee and say, "Can you believe how loud that was?" and he'll always look at me like I'm raving bonkers.

    So instead I'd have to say my elbow.

  • knee, then big toe, then shoulder, then ankle, then wrist

  • Elbow, definitely, though the neck probably seems loud because the neck vertebrae are closer to the inner ear.

  • My loudest is my knee cracks. Not the ones in the kneecap that you get from extening your lower leg. It's the ones deep inside the knee, which I crack by twisting and bending the whole leg. By far the loudest.

  • wrist [after being left alone for a while]
    then hip
    then elbow
    then neck
    then fingers

  • Ankles (by resting my leg sideways and pulling my ankle towards me while bracing the shin)

    Big Toes

  • My loudest cracks are the knuckles in my left hand when I push my fingers downwards. It's strange though, because the loudest ones aren't necessarily the ones that feel the nicest. My mini snaps on the middle joint of the fingers are quiet, but feel good 🙂

  • jaw

  • loudest to everyone else: Knee, by far
    to me: jaw and neck

    jaw is almost like rubbing broken glass together, it feels almost painful, but still good

  • My neck is by far the loudest. I have had people look up from across the room when I get a good one. My fiance is insanely jealous of my ability to do that!
    My fingers are probably the most annoying to people around me because it takes the longest to get all the knuckles popped.

  • mine would have to be… Elbows, Hips, Knuckles... Neck/Back... in that order...

  • Knuckles and neck. The neck makes people cringe more.

  • My knuckles, back and neck.

  • neck and back

  • Lower Lumbar Thunder
    They are some of the largest joints so logically they will be loud.

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