A crackling, clicking or grating sound caused by joint surfaces rubbing against each other.


Use cold packs to ease swelling or discomfort. Or take pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Do any exercises recommended by a physical therapist.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a healthcare professional right away for:

  • Sudden pain or swelling.
  • An injury that leads to symptoms.

When to make a doctor's appointment

See a healthcare professional if crepitus happens with:

  • Pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Trouble moving the affected joint.