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How to pop an elbow joint

The elbow joint, like many other major joints in the body, is susceptible to injury and dislocation. A dislocated elbow joint is the second most common dislocation injury among athletes. The bones of the elbow joint include the humerus in the arm and radius and ulna bone in the forearm. These bones meet at the elbow joint and are surrounded by a viscous material. Dislocation of the elbow joint can cause pain and swelling; this requires immediate attention. Some dislocations are recurring and need to be realigned. While it is advised that you see a profession to pop the elbow joint back into place, in some cases you can do it yourself or with the help of a friend.

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  1. Check to see if there is any pain or swelling around the elbow joint, to determine whether the joint needs medical attention. If you hear a snap or pop followed by pain, it could be several possible injuries including a torn ligament, torn tendon, displaced cartilage, bone fracture or dislocation. If the elbow does not need medical attention, proceed with the next step.

  2. Flex your triceps. Stretching allows you to expand your muscle and relieve any tension build-up. Flexing your triceps initiates the rubbing between the bones, and that friction is exactly what will make the "pop" sound in your elbow joint. The pop is not necessarily harmful to the body.

  3. Relax your arm after hearing the "pop" sound; this relaxes all the muscles associated with the joint. Several joints in the body can be popped more than once a day without harm to the body, including hips, elbows and fingers. However, over-popping joints like the knee joint will cause harm in the long run.

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About the Author

Sonya Kanti

Sonya Kanti has more than five years of experience writing professionally. Currently in medical school, she focuses her writing on health-related issues. She's written for the "PITT MED" medical magazine published by the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in biochemistry from Loyola University Chicago.

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