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by Abigail Van Buren

Popping Joints Draw Criticism From Family and Friends

DEAR ABBY: I have very loud joints. When I stretch out my neck, back, fingers, etc., my joints pop, click, crack, whatever you call it. They've always done this, and it isn't painful. The noise just happens when I stretch my body.

Some of my family and friends tell me they find it gross and don't want to hear it. I want to be considerate, but sometimes I pop my joints automatically without thinking or because I really need to stretch. Is making this sound rude? I don't try to make a lot of noise, but I can't help it. -- NOISY LADY IN MICHIGAN

DEAR NOISY LADY: According to the Cleveland Clinic, the older a person gets, the more noise one's joints can make. This is normal. However, if there is pain along with it, it may be time to consult a doctor.

Because the noise is disconcerting to those around you, try to be mindful and refrain from doing it in their presence, or gently stretch the muscles around those joints, which may eliminate your need to "pop off" entirely.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics | Friends & Neighbors