Crepitus, also known as knee cracking, is fairly typical. It can happen for a variety of reasons, though it may sound strange because it feels like your knuckles or back popping. Imagine it as tiny bubbles that slowly accumulate in the knee joint and pop when the knee bends or extends in a particular way, similar to popping bubble wrap. Overall, this procedure is secure and not something I would worry about, but if the click is persistent and occurs frequently, the situation changes somewhat. Therefore, we always advise consulting a physiotherapist if you experience discomfort, pain, or instability so they can determine the underlying causes.
Learn how to stop your knees from cracking (if necessary) by reading on.
Causes of Knee Cracking
Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)
You might have knee osteoarthritis if you’re in your 50s. Arthritis is brought on by long-term joint inflammation that breaks down cartilage. Your knee joint may consequently start to creak and make noises.
Due to your age and the state of the wear and tear on your joints, we would advise consulting a physiotherapist in order to determine the best rehabilitation strategies.
Your knee’s meniscus, a rubbery disc with a C shape, absorbs shock and cushions your knee. Additionally, it aids in distributing weight evenly to prevent bone friction. Meniscus tears are frequently the result of sudden twisting or other actions during athletic activity. Tears typically occur during traumatic events in young people, but as we get older, the meniscus is more prone to tearing.
Both falling on your knee and sudden, intense pressure can harm your kneecap. When squatting in these circumstances, your knees might crack. There are many possible causes for this condition
- Meniscus tears
- Chondromalacia patella
- Patellofemoral syndrome, or runner’s knee
Be sure to see a physiotherapist if you hear a crunching or grinding sound when you move your knee because this is not normal. Even the smallest delay or carelessness can cause irreparable knee damage and pain.
How to Stop Knee Clicking & Cracking
Understanding the underlying causes of knee cracking and buckling is the first step in managing the condition. After realizing this, you can select the following strategy that will help your knee heal the fastest. Consider getting physical therapy if you are unsure of where to begin or what might be causing your knee to pop. A physical therapist can assist in identifying any imbalances in the knee that require one or more of the following treatments.
Proper Warm Up
With the right warm-up, one of the simplest ways to avoid unnecessary knee cracking can be achieved. When local tissues are “cold” and stiff in the knee, they are more likely to rub and pop. Low-intensity movements that warm up the muscles you’ll be using during your formal exercise routine or other daily activities should be included in a warm-up.
Although the majority of people consider stretching to be a warm-up, it’s not always necessary to perform formal stretches. Unless you are aware that your legs, specifically your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, hips, or calves, are particularly tight and could benefit from a good stretch. Otherwise, choose one of the following options to get your blood circulating:
- Light jogging
- Marching in place
- Leg swings (sideways or front to back)
In order to achieve proper joint mechanics, it’s crucial to comprehend how connected the entire body is. It can put stress on the knees and cause unnecessary symptoms like cracking or crepitus if the foot and ankle are stiff or poorly supported. Numerous factors, including flexibility, level of activity, and foot arch type (flat feet, high arch, etc.), determine the best kind of shoe for your feet.) In the end, it’s best to look into orthotic options that are specific to your requirements. Ask a local podiatrist, physical therapist, or shoe expert for advice if you’re unsure of what is best for you.
Any type of regular exercise is beneficial for overall health. Unfortunately, exercising certain muscle groups near your knee too frequently can cause overuse injuries. There may be imbalances in the knee that result in a popping sensation if one muscle in the leg becomes overly dominant. For instance, it is typical to have dominant hamstrings, which can significantly increase the amount of strain on the knee’s posterior. In order to maintain a healthy balance of all your muscle groups, it is crucial to vary your workouts throughout the week. If you typically exercise on a bike or on the road, switch it up once or twice a week with some swimming, weightlifting, yoga, or other activity that works your legs while giving them a break from your usual form of motion.
Sometimes all the knee needs is a little extra support to help lessen the impact of knee pain and crepitus. The main benefit of knee support, such as a knee sleeve or even a slightly bulkier knee brace, is the feedback you get when carrying out regular movements. The ability to better perceive and modify your movement, or proprioception, is made possible by knee support. Additionally, it keeps the tissues around your knee joints warm and flexible. In order to lessen knee pain brought on by cracking, these affordable options are unquestionably worthwhile trying. Patella straps, which directly relieve pressure on the tendon and encourage blood flow, may also be an option if your pain is being brought on by patellar (kneecap) problems, as is the case with runner’s knee.
Choose Right Food
One of turmeric’s many advantages is its high curcumin content, a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Due to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, people with arthritis may experience less pain. One popular use for turmeric is to treat pain.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, including inflammatory eicosanoids and mediators, can lower the levels of inflammatory molecules and substances. Inflammation can be fought by including common foods like salmon, oysters, chia seeds, walnuts, and flax seeds.
Tips for Healthy Knees
- Your knees and legs can become stronger with regular exercise. At least twice a week, engage in resistance training with weights or bands, or perform bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges. For muscle to support your knees, walk up stairs or up hills, or ride a stationary bike.
- Before working out, warm up. Injury can result from a vigorous workout on icy muscles and joints.
- Maintain flexibility by engaging in dynamic stretches before working out, which involve moving a muscle through its full range of motion. Stretch statically by holding a stretch for 30 seconds after working out. This lessens the risk of harm. Regularly stretch the quadriceps and hamstrings, the muscles in the front and back of your thighs.
- If you already exercise, gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
- Put on comfortable, well-maintained shoes.
- maintain a healthy weight. Your knees will experience less stress. An early onset of knee arthritis is significantly increased by being overweight.
The advice we just discussed is excellent for improving overall knee health, regardless of whether you’re dealing with a cracking sound in your knee or any other type of knee dysfunction. Just keep in mind that you should modify your daily routine for better knee health one step at a time. It is therefore best to pick one recommendation at a time and implement it. You’ll be able to make changes gradually without feeling overwhelmed because you’ll know what works best for you. Speak with your healthcare provider or physical therapist for additional medical advice if the process still feels too much or if your symptoms are becoming intolerable.