Take care of your feet as it carries you around. The ankle cracking is pretty common. Whenever you stretch, the ankles or anybody joints make a slight noise. This phenomenon of popping and cracking of joints can take place to all body joints including the joints of your backbone. 

It sometimes gives some sort of relaxation too. It happens to all people irrespective of age and gender. Even babies of 6 months old or 1-year experience popping and cracking of ankles. It is nothing to be much concerned about unless you suffer any pain or swelling. It is commonly known as snapping an ankle. Scientifically or medically, it is termed as crepitus. Ankle cracking generally takes place after a period of inactivity. That is why it pops at the time of the morning stretch or morning walk. 

What Causes Ankle Cracking?

The following are the possible reasons for ankle cracking:

1. Release of gas

There can be more than one reason for popping your ankles but if it is not accompanied by any pain or swelling, then it’s possible that it might happen due to the gas released from your joints. You will experience this even when you are simply walking. This phenomenon does not cause any harm to the body or to the joints. 

It is simply the process of releasing the gas bubbles formed in the joints. These bubbles are none other than nitrogen bubbles formed in the circular areas of the joints to keep it Lubricated. Lubrication of joints is very essential as this helps the joints to move and roll around smoothly and freely. 

Without the lubricants, you will face a massive problem in accessing the joints. Fewer lubricants further create joint pains. The ankles cracking caused by the gas release is quite normal and is not a sign of any damage to your ankles. 

2. Tendons

It can also be caused by the rubbing of tendons over the bones. It takes place when the peroneal tendon gets rubbed over the ankle bone. The human body has three peroneal muscles. It lies on the outer part of your ankle. 

This may sometimes lead to a sprained ankle. There is nothing to be worried about it though. The tendons get stretched by the movements or after a certain period of inactivity. Stretching of tendons provide relaxation to the joints and creates smooth blood flow. 

3. Dislocation

Here, in the case of popping or cracking of ankles, dislocation refers to the dislocation of the tendons. It is more commonly known as a sprained ankle. It does not mean that the joint is completely dislocated. The tendons are dislocated in the way that one of the many tendons might be above the other tendons. 

The dislocated tendon places some sort of compression which blocks the normal blood flow through it. This disturbed flow generally grows into pain. This pain is quite tolerable but you should visit a doctor if it is beyond tolerance. As per my experience, there is no instant relief or cure to it. Giving some rest to your ankle is the best cure you can have. Even though the tendon gets rubbed, stretched, or displaced, it automatically comes back to its position within a day or two. So take rest when the popping or cracking of ankle leads to pain or swelling. 

Spraining of your ankle is caused when the heel of the foot is not properly placed while walking or running. Don’t wear a high heel. Especially, pencil heel is very bad for tendon dislocation. These heels put a huge amount of pressure and tension on the ankles. It is also bad for your back, the lower part of the spinal cord. Always go for block heels. These are way more comfortable as compared to pencil heels. Flat shoes or sandals are the best. For daily use, please choose flat footwear. 

Ways to Prevent Ankle Cracking

Popping your ankle on a regular basis or frequently is not advisable. To stop popping off your ankle, you should strengthen your ankle. 

1. Exercise

One of the best ways is to do some exercises. Work out your ankle right in the morning. Doing this will not only make your ankle strong but also open up the blocks in the joints for free and smooth mobility for the whole day. Roll up your ankle at a circular motion both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. 

In the beginning, the ankles will pop and crack but it will reduce during the course of time. To remain consistent and continue till endless days. This exercise is very easy, relaxing, and at the same time beneficial. 

2. Diet

Anything related to your body is completely dependent on diets. Baseline always comes about the food you put in your stomach. An appropriate diet keeps the whole body problem-free. Proper nutrition is required to keep the joints of your body lubricated which is very important for the movement of the joints. 

Prevent Ankle Cracking
Prevent Ankle Cracking

Home Treatment for Ankle Cracking

  • The kitchen is the best hospital in our home. You can take instant treatment from your kitchen. Take a cup of salt in a pan and heat it in your stove or oven. Heat it till it turns slightly red in color. Then take a small dry towel and pour the hot salt in it. Make the towel a bun and apply the heat on the swelling part of the ankle. Doing this will give you relief from the pain.
  • Hot water treatment. Take a bucket, pour some tolerable hot water. Mix a tablespoon of salt and wash your feet.
  • Ointment or spray. For instant and short time relief, you can use pain relief ointment or spray. It is easily available at any pharmacy. These are well-tested products and you can use even without a doctor’s prescription.

These above-mentioned treatments are effective and safe. To get instant relief from pain, you can try the above tips

The conclusion is that there is nothing to worry much about ankle popping. Above mentioned points can only be the reason for it to happen. It is very common in our day to day life. Popping or cracking does not damage or hamper the foot. Consult a doctor only when there are pain and swelling. Take proper treatment. 

Also read; Foot Problems During Pregnancy