If you have ever experienced any knee-noises like crackling, clicking or popping you might have wondered whether it is a sign of something being wrong with your knees or if you shouldn’t worry about it at all. There are several reasons behind this sensation and we are breaking down the background of these somewhat annoying sounds.
The medical term describing these crunching feelings is crepitus and usually, knee crepitus is not a sign of something being wrong with your knees – it is considered to be a rather harmless condition as it is very common for joints to crack.
Crepitus can be caused by several things. For example, the reason you are experiencing these sounds can be just some tiny air bubbles bursting in the joint fluid. Crepitus can occur also due to uneven cartilage coverage or the ligaments and tendons snapping back into place after moving. As long as the clicking and crackling is not accompanied by pain and swelling, there is no reason to be worried – your knees are completely healthy.
You should be concerned when the crackling sensation comes with pain. Such popping sounds can be symptoms of meniscus tear or osteoarthritis – the cartilage is strained and worn out, resulting in friction when bones are rubbing against each other. One of the reasons behind crepitus can also be the runner’s knee syndrome that is often caused by overuse or injuries.
If your knees crack and pop without any pain or swelling there is no need for treatment, but once it starts hurting it can mean you have a more serious underlying cause and you should see a doctor for a professional examine. In most cases, all it takes to get rid of the problem is taking some time off from doing different sports and activities and giving the knee a cold compress. However, if the knees continue hurting, it is definitely time to see a doctor.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about getting these crackling and clicking sounds as it is a result of mechanical changes in your knee and these changes cannot be reversible on most cases. So, as long as it is not accompanied by pain, you should just get used to this condition.
To avoid your knees from getting any harm, you should pay attention to strengthening your knees. One of the exercises that brings out these knee-noises is squatting. Though squats are great for strengthening your quads, you need to be careful with maintaining right posture while doing the squats, otherwise you risk with developing much worse conditions than crepitus. Every time you are beginning your workout, do a proper warm-up with stretching as it helps to reduce the risk of injuring the legs. Healthy diet goes hand-in-hand with the exercise, especially as being overweight puts your knees under more stress and is a contributing factor when it comes to developing arthritis. As long as you exercise safely, crepitus will remain as an harmless though a bit annoying sensation and other knee-related worries shouldn’t trouble you.