Sunday, April 14, 2024
HomeFactsHow To Pop Your Knees

How To Pop Your Knees

Exercises To Help Make Your Knees Stop Cracking And Popping

How To Crack Your Knee-Pain Relief From Self Adjustment

You stand up. Your knee cracks. You walk downstairs. Your knee pops. Whats up with all that noise?

Often its just the fluid that coats your joints being pushed through certain ranges of motionand is totally benign, explains Benjamin Butts, director of rehabilitation services and performance therapy at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica. But other times that constant cracking, coupled with consistent pain, can be a red flag that something is wrong.


So whats the cause? Generally, tight or misaligned muscles will pull the knee cap out of alignment, explains David Reavy, director of React Physical Therapy in Chicago. Over time that imbalance can cause clicking or popping, which could be a potential problem, says Butts, because the cartilage can become worn down and potentially lead to early onset arthritis, as well as many issues involved with deterioration of the joint.

To alleviate the awkward noises and keep potential injuries at bay, try these exercises 3 times a week for maximum results.

Calf Release

Why: Self myofascial release is a technique that helps relieve muscle tension and tightness through direct pressure. Stretching, by contrast, simply elongates the muscle. Releasing allows you to activate tight muscles that are shifting the balance of your muscle structure, says Reavy. Use this technique to release tight calf muscles and get your knee cap back on track.

Hip Flexor Release

Ballet Squats Or Plies For Knees

  • Start in with your heels together, toes apart, legs straight.
  • Slowly bend knees as far as possible while keeping heels on the floor and tracking knees over toes. Straighten back by spiraling inner thigh muscles forward and engaging the glutes.
  • Move to 2nd position, hips slightly wider than hip-width, toes pointing out, legs straight.
  • Slowly bend knees as far as possible while keeping heels on the floor and tracking knees over toes. Return to start.
  • Exercise : Calf Stretch

    • Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on a wall.
    • Step back with the foot of the affected leg, far enough so that you feel a stretch in your calf. Make sure your toes are pointed toward the wall, and your foot is perfectly straight.

    Avoid this common mistake: If you turn or angle your foot even slightly, you wont stretch the muscles and fascia youre supposed to.

    • Straighten the affected leg .
    • Bend the leg closest to the wall until you intensify the calf stretch to between 8 and 9 on your personal pain scale.
    • Hold for between 2 and 2.5 minutes.
    • Repeat on the other side.

    Dont Miss: How To Pop Your Knee Cap

    Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Inflammation In Knee

    When To See Your Medical Professional

    If youre ever injured and feel a pop at your knee at the time of injury, theres a possibility a tendon cracked or a bone fractured. Seek medical attention to see if you require additional testing.

    Make a medical professionals consultation for your knee if you see:

    • redness or swelling around your kneecap that occasionally appears.
    • fever after working out or injury.
    • inflammation or pain when you touch your knee.
    • constant pain with strolling or running.

    Serious symptoms suggest you might need to go to the emergency clinic. These consist of:

    • failure to bend your knee.
    • knee popping or cracking at the time of an injury.

    How Is Patellar Instability Diagnosed

    Why Does My Knee Feel Like It Wants to Pop?

    Our doctors do a thorough history and physical examination, which looks at the rotational profile of the lower extremities underlying looseness or laxity of the ligaments and muscles, as well as a focused examination of the knee. Emphasis is placed on how the patella tracks with range of motion of the knee. Radiographs are also essential to our initial evaluation.

    In addition, an MRI may be done after a traumatic dislocation if the knee remains unstable on range of motion or there is concern of an injury to the cartilage of the kneecap or femur loose in the joint.

    Read Also: Does Physical Therapy Help Knee Pain

    Why Do My Knees Pop

    It happens to us all: You stand up after sitting for a while and you hear a loud pop. Why do knees do that? Is it bad?

    Here are the short answers: 1) crepitus and 2) probably not, but possibly yes. Read on to find out why this happens, and when its worth worrying about.

    Popping knees can be alarming, but are usually not a cause for concern.Crepitus in the Knee

    Peace And Love Protocol

    Newer management techniques include the PEACE and LOVE protocol. Immediately after an injury a person should:

    • Protect: Restrict movement for 13 days. People should minimize rest as prolonged periods can compromise tissue strength and quality.
    • Elevate: Elevate the knee higher than the heart to promote interstitial fluid flow out of tissues.
    • Avoid anti-inflammatories: Inhibiting inflammation using medications may negatively affect long-term tissue healing, especially when doctors prescribe higher dosages.
    • Compress: Apply external pressure using a bandage or taping.
    • Educate: Physical therapists should educate patients on the benefits of an active approach to recovery.

    After the first days have passed, soft tissues need LOVE:

    • Load: A person should resume exercise as soon as symptoms allow. People can add optimal loads without exacerbating pain to:
    • enhance capacity of tendons, muscles, and ligaments
  • Optimism: Doctors associate optimistic expectations with better outcomes and prognosis for recovery.
  • Vascularization: People should start pain-free aerobic exercise a few days after injury to boost motivation and increase blood flow to the injured structures and improve physical function.
  • Exercise: Exercises help to restore mobility, strength, and proprioception early after injury. A person should try to avoid pain to ensure repair.
  • Read Also: What Rebuilds Cartilage In Knees

    What Causes The Patella To Dislocate

    Acute patellar dislocation is caused by force, either from a direct impact or a bad step that uses your own body weight against you. A heavy fall or collision can knock the kneecap out of place. However, it doesnt always take that much. It may be caused by something as simple as a sudden turn that twists the knee while the lower leg is still firmly planted. Athletes and dancers, who are prone to quick pivots, are common victims of this.

    Some people have patellar instability, which means that the tendons and ligaments that hold the kneecap in place are already loose and unstable. This might be caused by a previous injury or by another preexisting anatomical condition. An unstable kneecap will dislocate more easily.

    People with congenital patellar dislocation are born with the condition. It is often, but not always, related to other developmental abnormalities.

    Recommended Reading: How To Whiten Your Knees

    Whats Causing Your Knee To Feel Like It Needs To Pop

    How to Self Adjust an Achy Knee

    Synovial fluid is a lubricant that coats the surfaces of your joints. This fluid contains a variety of components, including oxygen and nitrogen. Sometimes the gases produced by this lubricant might build up in your knees and need to be expelled, which results in a crack in your knees.

    However, the reasons of crepitus are not always as easy as they appear. Rather than giving up, experts are still trying to figure out what is causing the popping and cracking sounds that we hear in our joints.

    Knee cracking can be caused by a number of factors, including broken bones that do not mend properly and tendons that catch on the ridges of your bones and muscles as you move.

    As you grow older, the cartilage in your knees may begin to wear out. When you move your knees, the degradation of your knee joint might cause it to feel creaky because the bones grind against one other.

    Pain in your knee joint might occasionally be a warning sign that you have a knee injury or another growing health concern.

    • Osteoarthritis of the knee.
    • Iliotibial band syndrome.
    • Plica syndrome.

    Don’t Miss: How Long To Get Over Knee Replacement Surgery

    Simple Stretch To Pop Your Knee

  • Take the pressure off your knee by sitting down.
  • Extend your leg straight in front of you and point your toe upward.
  • Raise your leg up as high as it can go. Bend your knee in and out toward the rest of your body until you hear a pop.
  • There are two types of knee pops:

    • Pathological knee pops are those that only you can feel or hear.
    • Physiological knee pops are loud enough that everyone can hear.

    Knee cracking thats physiological and frequent is a sign you may need physical therapy or further testing to determine the underlying issue with your knee joint.

    Knee Pain And Popping Causes

    Knee popping and clicking can be caused by a number of things. It may be something simple like the ligaments catching on a bony lump and snapping back in to place or gas bubbles popping. But in some cases, knee popping is linked to a more serious injury such as ligament or cartilage tear.

    Knee clicking and popping noises in the knee usually fall into one of three categories:

  • Pain-Free Popping Knee: Popping noises in the knee often occur without any pain, in which case they are nothing to worry about
  • Painful Popping Noise at time of Injury: Sometimes when the knee is injured e.g. twisting awkwardly, there is a sudden, loud pop at the same time indicating damage to part of the knee
  • Recurrent Painful Popping Noises not Caused by an Injury: Knee pain and popping can come on gradually with no obvious cause. It may happen sporadically or frequently depending on the cause.
  • Also Check: How To Wrap Knee For Torn Meniscus

    Is It Normal For My Knees To Crack All The Time

    Many people experience popping or cracking in their knees when squatting, and while this can sound concerning, it is actually very common. As long as you dont have pain or swelling associated with your knee popping, you most likely dont have anything to worry about. There are a few reasons why your knees may develop these sounds. As we get older, the cartilage in the knees can develop uneven areas due to wear and tear. The ligaments in the knee joint could also be tightening or shifting as you move, creating an audible sound.

    If the popping or cracking in your knees is painful or leads to swelling, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to be evaluated. An injury or chronic condition in the knee may require treatment to alleviate your pain and restore your range of motion. If the cartilage in your knee has undergone excessive wear and broken down, such as from arthritis, you will likely be recommended conservative therapies to manage your symptoms. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, can gradually damage the cartilage in your knee and make it difficult to move normally without pain. In these cases, knee replacement surgery may eventually become necessary if other treatments do not provide adequate relief.

    Knee Flexion Gapping Stretch

    why does my knee pop
    • Take one foot and sandwich the ankle behind the knee and let it sit for a few seconds
    • To open up the tighter restricted muscle areas, rock gently sideways and feel the muscles loosen up from the ankle which will release tension.
    • Try doing this for 2-5 minutes on each side.

    Knee Flxion Gapping Stretch

    Repeat these stretches over the next few weeks and see how you go. You will notice that you may achieve more range of motion or muscle elasticity in the coming days helping you with your squat. If you are experiencing light soreness in your routine there are certain foods that can help with inflammation as your body may be adjusting.

    Read Also: Why My Knee Hurts When I Bend It

    Why Does My Knee Feel Like It Wants To Pop

    Does your knee feel like it needs to pop and you cant get the sensation to go away? Whats causing this feeling, and what can you do about it? In this guide, we explain why your knee feels like it needs to pop, if you should see a doctor about it, the five most common causes behind your knee feeling like it needs to pop, and how to get relief from this problem.

    Knee Popping By Activity

    Knee Popping When Extending: Knee popping when you straighten your knee is usually due to gas bubbles , plica syndrome or patellofemoral pain syndrome.

    Knee Popping and Pain When Bending: If you get knee popping and pain when bending your knee e.g. squatting down, it is most likely due to a problem with the knee cartilage such as a meniscus tear or chondromalacia patella.

    Knee Popping When Extending And Bending: If you get knee pain and popping with both knee flexion and extension, it is likely that there is damage to the joint surface such as cartilage damage or knee arthritis. If there is no pain, it is likely to be gas bubbles popping.

    Knee Popping With Twisting: Sudden knee pain and popping when you twist is usually doe to a knee ligament injury, most often an ACL injury and/or MCL tear. If the knee swells up or feels unstable after hearing a pop as you twisted, seek medical attention immediately.

    Knee Popping When Walking: Almost all the possible causes of knee popping that we’ve looked at here can cause knee pain and popping when walking, be it arthritis, runners knee, cartilage tear or ligament injury. There will usually be other symptoms associated here that will lead to a clearer knee pain diagnosis.

    You May Like: Can Physical Therapy Help Arthritic Knees

    How To Stop Knee Cracking And Popping

    If youre having any type of pain, swelling, catching, or locking, those are warning signs that you need to see a doctor, Dr. Slabaugh says. But if youre not having any pain , then doing exercises on your own is very appropriate.

    To get started, youll need a few pieces of equipment you can easily find online.

    Trigger Point 2.5-Inch Massage Ball

    Youll need a long foam roller like this one to do the IT band release.

    To alleviate the awkward noises and keep potential injuries at bay, try these exercises, courtesy of Eun Jung Decker at React Physical Therapy, three times a week for maximum results.

    Looking For A Physio To Help Manage Any Concerns Or Pain In Your Body

    How to self adjust your knees (loud crack!)

    Primal Physiotherapy offers the best physiotherapy and rehabilitation for your needs. Clicks and pops are normal but as you have now learnt that stretches and correct mobility rehab exercises can help reduce them. You can visit us for a further assessment.

    Book an assessment at your closest location here: /

    Primal Physiotherapy

    Recommended Reading: Why Would Your Knee Hurt

    How To Get Relief

    You can prevent tightness around the knee joint by increasing the strength of the muscle groups involved in bending or straightening the knee. This includes doing regular leg exercises like cyclingorjogging, which can significantly reduce knee tightness. Stretching is an important exercise before and after strenuous physical activities because it improves muscle flexibility and helps prevent runnerâs knee. Individuals who have poorly-developed joints or muscle weakness can also choose to use knee supports and orthopedic footwear to reduce knee strain. Corrective surgery may be necessary for serious knee damage.

    Leg Lifts

    Knee tightness usually leads to pain beneath, in the front, or around the kneecap. The affected knee feels like it needs to pop. To strengthen the supporting muscles around the knee, do straight leg lifts without putting stress beneath the kneecap. Do these by lying on the floor, then hold one leg straight up while your other leg remains on the floorslightly bent. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise with the other leg. Do this exercise 10 times on each leg.

    Quadriceps Stretch

    You May Like: What Knee Brace Is Best For Torn Meniscus

    Tips To Stop The Clicking In Your Knees

    Now that you know the potential causes and exercises for knee clicking, here are some other tips to help stop the clicking in your knees.

    • Strengthen your knees with exercise and stretches.
    • Squat correctly by sitting back, keeping your feet on the floor.
    • Always warm up prior to any physical activity.
    • Improve hip mobility.
    • Use a foam roller to target soft tissue trigger points.
    • Learn to jump properly by landing with knees slightly bent, not straight.
    • Eat healthy what you eat can help lubricate your joints.
    • Stop activities that cause pain.
    • Wear proper footwear.

    Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.

    Donât Miss: How Much Is Total Knee Replacement Surgery

    Recommended Reading: What’s The Recovery Time For Knee Replacement

    How Is A Fractured Kneecap Diagnosed

    A doctor can often diagnose a fractured kneecap by asking you about the details of your accident and examining you. Your doctor will look at your knee, focusing on where it is tender, swollen or misshapen. Your doctor may also ask you to raise your leg or extend your knee, possibly after giving you a local anesthetic to eliminate pain. This helps the doctor see if there are other injuries in and around your knee.

    X-rays, taken from several angles, are the best way to learn the extent of a fractured kneecap and to check for other injuries. If other injuries are suspected, a computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scan may be done.

    Also Check: Regrow Knee Cartilage Naturally

    Side Steps With Resistance Band

    6 Exercises To Help Make Your Knees Stop Cracking And Popping in 2020 ...

    The outer quad muscle tends to be weaker than the muscle that runs along the top of your thigh, which leads to the kind of imbalance that causes your kneecap to pull out of line. The solution? Strengthen that outer muscle, says Butts.

    How to do it:

  • Pull a medium resistance band up right below your knees and lower down into a squat .
  • Move two steps to the right then two steps to the left, working hard to pull your legs apart and stretch the band.
  • Repeat one 30-second to 1-minute set three times.
  • Go here to join Prevention Premium , subscribe to the magazine, or get digital-only access.

    Also Check: What Is The Best Exercise Machine For Bad Knees


    Popular Articles