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Old 10-12-2006, 07:23 AM   #1
RampantWolf
Dojo: Cork Aiki Dojo
Location: Cork
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Ireland
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Clicking Ankle

I have questions for people who are more knowledgeable than myself. I have an ankle that 'clicks' when I walk, it's the same type of click that you get from 'cracking' your knuckles.

Is this actually bad for the joints as I have heard said, and is there any way of getting rid of it, such as acupuncture or something?

Cheers
Gavin
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:56 AM   #2
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Philippines
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Re: Clicking Ankle

My ankle clicks during some of the aikido stretches. It hasnt given me any other trouble though. So its apparently a benign phenomenon. So far.

R
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:10 AM   #3
Guillaume Erard
Dojo: Aikikai Hombu Dojo
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Aug 2006
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France
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Re: Clicking Ankle

Sorry to deviate a bit but this thread might catch the attention of some qualified people. How about a clicking hip? Mine clicks when I walk and sometimes "locks" itself in such a way that it is difficult to extend my leg fully backwards. Not that painfull but feels awkward.
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Old 10-12-2006, 12:11 PM   #4
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
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Re: Clicking Ankle

If the ankle thing really were the same thing as cracking your knuckles, it would be fairly harmless. Knuckle cracking has to do with the joint twisting or separating enough to cause sudden, temporary displacement and probably bubbles in the joint's synovial fluid. The ankle could be something like that, or it could be some overly tight muscle's tendon snapping over an obstacle like another tendon or a bone protuberance, or it could be something else I don't know about.

If it's a tendon snapping, it could eventually cause tendonitis or even wear through the tendon - imagine pulling a tense rope sideways over a rock and making it snap thousands of times.

You might be able to correct it by some combination of stretching and changing your posture and movement patterns. It may be possible to lessen the tension in the offending muscle or realign things so that the tendon no longer scrapes. I doubt anyone could find exactly which tendon, so you'd probably be looking at some kind of random assortment of stretches or a discipline where your posture and walking pattern is modified in accordance with some paradigm of what is proper.

The stretches you could try yourself, with a little info - if the plan merely involves stretching, anyone who tells you they aren't mostly guessing or prescribing a 'shotgun' list of them is suspect. For changing the patterns, maybe yoga (that doesn't emphasize stretching), the Alexander Technique, or even something as simple as experimenting with different types of shoes with either more or less support might be worth looking into. I'm guessing you won't want to go into anything expensive or elaborate until you actually experience tendonitis though - if there is no pain, there is no hurry. I personally work to get rid of any such popping as soon as I notice it, just in case - through what I know about yoga and changing my posture and movement habits.

I'd get a sports med doctor and/or physical therapist to look into the hip. It sounds like the whole joint is loose. Restricted movement or 'joint locking' is a pretty serious problem.
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:05 PM   #5
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Re: Clicking Ankle

If the ankle snaps repeatedly when walking then it is not a joint. I takes several minutes for a joint cavitation to absorb the gas and be able to pop again. Ankles and wrists often do what Kevin suggests-they have a tendon snapping over a bony protuberance or a bursa. The same thing with a snapping hip. Surgical intervention is sometimes required to fix a snapping hip.
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:28 PM   #6
crbateman
 
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Re: Clicking Ankle

I now have so many clicks, clanks and pops that I've been compared to a washing machine full of monkey wrenches. Most seem harmless enough, but I've got a noisy shoulder and a knee that are painful and degenerated, and need surgical intervention. I'm procrastinating, but it's got to happen sooner or later. My ankles have popped pretty much my whole adolescent and adult life, without incident.
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Old 10-12-2006, 05:28 PM   #7
mut
 
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Re: Clicking Ankle

Quote:
Gavin Pay wrote:
I have questions for people who are more knowledgeable than myself. I have an ankle that 'clicks' when I walk, it's the same type of click that you get from 'cracking' your knuckles.

Is this actually bad for the joints as I have heard said, and is there any way of getting rid of it, such as acupuncture or something?

Cheers
Gavin
ive had a clicking left ankle for the past15 years now, my doc says its fine but there is nothing he can do to stop it, however yours maybe different so its wise to get it checked out,
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Old 10-13-2006, 02:51 AM   #8
RampantWolf
Dojo: Cork Aiki Dojo
Location: Cork
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Ireland
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Re: Clicking Ankle

Thanks for the replies... I've had it for about 10 years now and it isn't causing any pain, just annoyance. If I change the way I walk slightly I can reduce the amount of clicks, from every step with that foot to maybe 1 every 20 steps or so, but my foot is not in my normal, comfortable position. And it does seems to happen more with the dress style shoes you wear with a suit rather than in runners that have more cushioning, so maybe a change in shoes would be worth looking into as well. Probably should click my way into a doctors surgery and get it checked out though.

Would it be possible to feel the difference between a snapping tendon and the 'knuckle crack' type of click? Like feeling or seeing the tendon move under the skin as opposed to just moving with a click?

Cheers
Gavin
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:37 AM   #9
crbateman
 
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Re: Clicking Ankle

Gavin, I would opt for an MRI or other medical investigation. That way, you'll know if there is anything wrong, and if not, you can stop worrying and enjoy the music...
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:42 AM   #10
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
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Re: Clicking Ankle

You will not necessarily feel much difference.

Also, you might check with a podiatrist. Orthotics may be useful if you can walk differently and make it stop-especially if you have fallen arches.
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Old 10-13-2006, 09:45 AM   #11
Hogan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 106
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Re: Clicking Ankle

Quote:
Gavin Pay wrote:
...Would it be possible to feel the difference between a snapping tendon and the 'knuckle crack' type of click? Like feeling or seeing the tendon move under the skin as opposed to just moving with a click?

Cheers
Gavin
My foot (or sometimes both feet) have clicked (cracked) all my life, and I am in my 40's. No effect on my feet whatsoever, so far, & I wouldn't worry about it.

There is a difference between snapping tendon & cracking. The snapping tendon, which I have had happen to the bottoms of the feet, can be painful - & not a good pain - but it is quick. You can feel it move under the skin.
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