Knees are said to crack when they produce a loud popping sound. This may happen to individuals when bending, squatting, picking something or during yoga and gym classes. Much like when you crack your knuckles, loud popping noise is also referred can be heard
What does having cracking knees mean? In some individuals, it is not unusual to hear a noise or feel a cracking, crunching, or popping sensation when they move their knees. They may grind all the time they squat. This is commonly known as benign crepitus.
Often it’s just the fluid that coats your joints being pushed through certain ranges of motion and is totally benign. Knee crepitus can happen at any age. It can affect one or both knees and to some people, the sound of the cracking sound may be audible.
A person with crepitus can usually feel the crunching or cracking sensation by placing a hand over the kneecap as the knee bends and straightens. Occasional popping or cracking can be normal and is generally considered harmless. However, if the noise occurs regularly and is painful, it may indicate osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or patellar dysfunction.
People who have regular, noticeable popping noises accompanied by pain and/or swelling are adv9+87]4ised to seek a medical evaluation.
If the cracking of the knees causes pain then it should become a matter of concern, since it could due to arthritis
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms associated with cracking may comprise:
- Pain while walking or bending it.
- stiffness that improves with gentle stretching or exercise.
- Tenderness or soreness, most commonly on the inside of the knee.
- Occasional swelling of the knee.
- Cracking or popping sounds
- Loss of joint space
- Buckling and locking
- Poor range of motion
- In extreme cases, there are deformities.
Cracking knees (benign crepitus)
Pain or swelling, combined with the cracking noise, is a sign that something is out of alignment. It could be one of the following:
Cracked knee skin
The skin covering the kneecap with cracks may signify a skin condition or problem such as plaque psoriasis and extremely dry knees (i.e. the skin around it).
Tight or misaligned muscles
Misaligned muscles tend to pull the kneecap out of the normal alignment position. This causes a cracking/popping sound. This could be a potential problem because the cartilage can become worn down and potentially lead to early onset of arthritis problem,
Cartilage injury or wear
If one’s knee is injured, knee cartilage can break off and catch on the joint, which causes pain and swelling. Or, the cartilage may wear down from arthritis, which leads to a painful grinding feeling during movement.
The rubbery C-shaped disc (meniscus) is designed to cushion your knee, absorbing shock and spreading the weight of impact evenly across your bones. Tearing can happen because of an unexpected twist or turn, especially during athletic activity, often when the knee moves but the foot stays planted. Aging people have higher risks of tearing their meniscus with almost all the activities of the day.
Arthritis is simply the inflammation of a joint that is a place where two bones connect. The slippery tissue that protects the end of your bones in the joint gradually wears off. This causes pain, inflammation and popping or cracking of the knees. Cracking could be an early sign of arthritis.
Old age (also a risk factor)
Popping of knees in some individual could be as a result of old age.as one age, he or she doesn’t have agility and flexibility. Cartilages aren’t strong enough as opposed to the people with young age.
Overuse of cartilage
Overuse of cartilage occurs as a result of vigorous physical exercise involving the knees where the cartilages are overworked. This causes damage to the tissues leading to the clicking or cracking sound.
Treatment and remedies
There are many methods of treating both mild and severe cracking knees. Some of these methods include:
Enough rest is known as a solution and can do magic to a person whose knees crack or pop very often. Yoga is also a recommended form of relaxation that works well with people who this problem. Try to relax it so as to remove tension and unnecessary pressure.
Exercise is used to keep the joint structures sturdy and can slow the rate of deterioration. The following exercises are important when it comes to treatment this problem.
It is a technic that helps to relieve muscle tension and tightness through direct pressure. This exercise also elongates the muscle, as you release the pressure on the calf, you allow the tight muscles to get activated.
Inner thighs squat
The inner thigh needs to be strengthened so as to keep knee pain at bay.to do it effectively, you place your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed out at 45. As you squat, keep your hips back as if trying to sit in a far behind chair.
The exercise above can be done at least once per week for maximum results.
Gentle stretching improves your flexibility and increases your range of motion.
Use of knee braces
People with this problem are advised to try using knee braces while walking, running, and stretching and when doing other activities. Braces also provide support to your patella and surrounding ligaments while you play sports, recover from injury, prevent injuries, or get rid of knee pain. From mild to maximum support,
Minor surgeries are specifically designed for people with meniscus tears. This minor surgery helps to repair the tear or to remove the torn section either partial or total meniscectomy.
Diet and nutrition
Always feed on a diet that has nutrients which help in strong bone formation. Strong bones are known to withstand pressure.
Involve your daily living (if you are affected or not) in too many warm-up activities that will stimulate the proper working and the synovial fluid.
Other tips that help to stop cracking and clicking of the knees are:
- Improve hip mobility
- Improve ankle mobility
- Glute activation
- Soft tissue work
- Learn to jump
- Strengthen your knees
IMPORTANT: If you are intending to do any exercises with your joints for the first time, it is very important that you do under a qualified health physician.
A physiotherapist may physically examine your knees and prescribe the right activity or remedy for the cracking. For instance, he or she may ask you to bend or squat for painful cracking of the knee skin. The physiotherapist may advise you to see a doctor or dermatologist for medical assistance or diagnosis.
Diagnosis is crucial since conditions like plaque psoriasis may require you have a thorough skin examination prior to treatment or sometimes when there is no improvement after initial treatment.