Why Your Knee Feels Like It Needs To Pop
Your joints are coated in lubricant called synovial fluid. This fluid contains oxygen and nitrogen, among other elements. Occasionally, the gases from this lubricant can build up and need to be released, causing a crack in your knees.
But the causes of crepitus arent always so straightforward. In fact, researchers are still working to learn more about what causes these popping and cracking sounds in our joints.
Bones that break and dont heal correctly and tendons that catch on the ridges of your bones and muscles as you move are other causes of knee cracking.
As you age, the cartilage in your knees can become worn. This deterioration of your knee joint can cause it to feel creaky as bone rubs on bone when you move your knees.
Sometimes, pain in your knee joint can be a red flag indicating a knee injury or other developing health condition.
- osteoarthritis of the knee
If youre ever injured and feel a pop at your knee at the time of injury, theres a chance a tendon cracked or a bone fractured. Seek medical attention to see if you need further testing.
Make a doctors appointment for your knee if you notice:
- redness or swelling around your kneecap that occasionally appears
- fever after exercising or injury
- tenderness or pain when you touch your knee
- consistent pain with walking or jogging
Serious symptoms mean you might need to go to the emergency room. These include:
- inability to bend your knee
- knee popping or cracking at the time of an injury
- intense pain
Who Is Most Often Affected By Knee Instability Symptoms
The following individuals are more likely to experience knee instability.
- Young athletes: Fit, active athletes in their teens and twenties are the ones who most often suffer sports injuries.
- Anyone doing hard physical labor
- Anyone who is overweight or obese
- Women: Women may be more prone to knee problems, due to naturally having a wider pelvis. Therefore, women have a predisposition to misalignment between the top of the kneecap and the bottom of the thighbone.
- Older people: May experience gradual wearing away of the cartilage of the knee
- If you have a prior injury: This can predispose you to another one.
How Is It Treated
Patellar tracking disorder can be a frustrating problem, but be patient. Most people feel better after a few months of treatment. As a rule, the longer you have had this problem, the longer it will take to get better.
Treatment of patellar tracking disorder has two goals: to reduce your pain and to strengthen the muscles around your kneecap to help it stay in place. If you don’t have severe pain or other signs of a dislocated kneecap, you can try home treatment for a week or two to see if it will reduce your pain.
- Take a break from activities that cause knee pain, like squatting, kneeling, running, and jumping.
- Put ice on your knee, especially before and after activity. After 2 or 3 days, you can try heat to see if that helps.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce pain and swelling. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
As your knee pain starts to decrease, do exercises to increase strength and flexibility in your leg and hip. Your doctor or a physiotherapist can help you plan an exercise program that fits your condition. You will probably start with one or two exercises and add others over time. Make sure to closely follow the instructions you’re given.
Your doctor or physiotherapist may also suggest that you:
- Use a knee brace for extra knee support.
- Try shoe inserts to improve the position of your feet.
Most people with patellar tracking disorder can slowly return to their previous activity level if they:
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Knee Pain Can Be Caused By A Cartilage Injury Like A Cartilage Flap Or Floating Loose Body
The next possibility when it comes to locking or popping in the knee is a cartilage injury within the actual lining itself, which is along here. And this is actually a cartilage lining that you see here, the blue area of the joint and you can have cartilage flaps actually detach from this area and create a flap, or even create a little punch hole or a little crater within the cartilage itself. This is more chronic. These are more arthritic changes, because after you lose a portion of this cartilage, you have exposed bone underneath there and thats basically wear and tear, but sometimes these can occur acutely as well from a fall or an injury because of an impaction injury occurring here.
So that can create actually a loose body, or a loose piece of cartilage that may be either hinged open like a flap, or a loose floating body within the joint and that little floating body can get stuck anywhere in the joint. And depending on where it is will determine how much knee pain you feel, whether or not your knee locks up on you.
What Causes Your Knee To Pop After An Injury
Some of the other symptoms associated with ligament injuries are swelling and pain immediately following the injury along with instability of the knee. At times an individual can experience Knee Popping without any known traumatic cause. There are certain medical conditions which tend to cause this popping of knees. These conditions are:
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Can Patellar Tracking Disorder Be Prevented
You can take steps to prevent patellar tracking disorder.
- Avoid activity that overloads and overuses the knee.
- Keep the muscles around your knees and hips strong and flexible.
- Stretch your legs and hips well, both before and after activity.
- Do activities that work different parts of the leg, especially if you’re a runner. Cycling and swimming are good choices.
- Stay at a healthy weight to reduce stress on your knees.
Can Physio Help With Clicking Knees
YesPhysio can definitely help anyone who has a kneecap thats clicking or mal-tracking. We can help by looking for any muscular imbalances – you need to keep all the muscles around the hips and thighs strong enough to support the kneecap efficiently. We use a variety of techniques here at the clinic including: k-tape, massage, rehab exercises and custom insoles.
So there you have it, the main reasons why your knees click!
If you or a friend are struggling with knee pain at the moment then click the link below to get in touch. Remember If in any doubt then get it checked out – is our motto!
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Knee Popping: Causes Concerns And Treatments
Have you noticed that your joints are making snap, crackle, and pop sounds? Breakfast cereals aside, noisy knees are not atypical. They affect everyone, from those who play sports to those who are getting up in age. It usually isn’t a cause for concern that is unless you experience pain with those pops. If so, it’s time to find out what’s going on and what you can do to prevent further injuries.
There are three types of sounds that help determine what’s causing your knee pain. They are:
Mechanical popping is usually caused by a torn meniscus or loose cartilage. Commonly a sports injury, a torn meniscus occurs by forceful twisting or hyper-flexing of the knee joint. In addition to popping sounds, symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty extending the knee. The pain may come and go for years without proper diagnosis and treatment. Loose cartilage causes similar sounds. It occurs when the underside of your kneecap unevenly rubs on the front of your thigh bone. It wears down the cartilage over time and results in a popping sound. Pain from cartilage wear is often felt from climbing stairs, squatting, and getting up from prolonged sitting.
Treatments for knee popping
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Treatment For A Dislocated Kneecap
If your kneecap has not corrected itself by the time you get to hospital, a doctor will manipulate it back into place. This is known as a reduction.
You may be given medicine to ensure you’re relaxed and free from pain while this is done.
Once the kneecap is back in place, you may have an X-ray to check the bones are in the correct position and there’s no other damage.
You’ll be sent home with painkillers and your leg will normally be immobilised in a removable splint to begin with.
A few weeks of physiotherapy will be recommended to aid your recovery.
Surgery is usually only necessary if there was a fracture or another associated injury, such as a ligament tear.
It may also be done if you have dislocated your kneecap at least once before.
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Most Common Knee Instability Causes
The most common causes of knee instability include the following.
- Ligament sprain: Sprain of the knee ligaments, which means these ligaments have had their fibers damaged due to wear and tear, sudden stress, or direct trauma.
- Ligament tear: Tear of the ligaments, meaning the fibers have been partially or completely torn through. This usually happens when you run and then make a sudden change of direction the knee stays pointing one way while the rest of you twists the other way.
Simple Stretch To Pop Your Knee
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.
Causes Of Crepitus Or Joint Sounds
Often, crepitus is harmless. It happens when air seeps into the soft tissues around the joint . When you bend the joint, the air bubbles burst, and you hear a cracking sound.
While most crepitus is harmless, some forms of crepitus signal a problem. If the popping or crunching sound comes with pain, you should see a doctor to evaluate the cause.
Causes of painful joint popping may include:
- Osteoarthritis: Arthritis is a condition in which cartilage begins to rub away, leaving bones unprotected and creating inflammation. When bones rub and grind, it causes pain and stiffness that usually gets worse with activity. Read more about arthritis.
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome : Also known as runners knee, PFS causes crepitus along with pain behind the kneecap . It can happen when you suddenly increase your activity level and is often caused by running, squatting or jumping. PFS is more common in women than in men. Learn more about knee pain.
- Torn cartilage: A cartilage tear can happen because of a sports injury, a fall or an accident. Cartilage damage is another possible cause of painful crepitus. Find out more about cartilage damage.
When To See A Doctor
If there is pain, have a doctor look at your knee as soon as possible. Doing so may prevent a more serious knee injury including anterior cruciate ligament injuries. They affect between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans each year.
Even if the knee popping does not cause pain, you may still want to have it checked out. In some cases, it may be an early warning sign of a repetitive use injury. This may require weight loss, a change of footwear, or knee-strengthening exercises to better protect the joint.
The best treatments are targeted directly at the specific problem that is causing the abnormal popping or snapping inside the knee joint. Most mechanical problems are best treated with arthroscopic knee surgery. You can ease crepitus and tendon problems by taking care of the inflammation in the knee joint.
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What Natural Home Remedies Relieve Knee Pain
Over-the-counter pain medications can frequently alleviate the pain. If someone is taking these medications on a regular basis, he or she should see a health care professional to evaluate the knee pain for proper diagnosis and to avoid the potential side effects of chronic medication use.
The RICE mnemonic is often helpful, especially for minor injuries:
Rest: Rest the joint, and take a break from your usually activities involving the knee joint.
Ice: Applying ice can help with pain and inflammation.
Compress: A compression bandage can help prevent swelling and help knee alignment. It should not be tight and should be removed at night.
Elevate: Elevation can help with swelling and resting of the knee.
Limited Mobility Or Range Of Motion
For men and women who develop arthritis in their knees, activities that were once simple, easy, or routine may become difficult or even impossible to do without limitations and discomfort. Walking, running, or getting in and out of a car can, oftentimes, prove disproportionately challenging for patients with arthritis of the knee. The damage and loss of cartilage associated with arthritis are usually to blame for this phenomenon.
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Consult With A Physical Therapist If
- The knee pain increased progressively or it affects your daily activities.
- The noise is like a creaky door. It could indicate an early stage of knee osteoarthritis, best treated with exercises and physical therapy.
- The noise appeared suddenly, with or without pain. This could be a sign of patellofemoral pain syndrome or arthritis.
- If any of the sounds in the normal section suddenly become painful.
If You Feel A Pop Or Lock Of The Knee With Knee Pain Dont Ignore It
So once again, if you do feel a pop or lock of the knee followed by a pain and diffusion, I highly recommend being evaluated by an orthopedic specialist for further recommendations. I hope this sums up some of the basic answers regarding knee pain and feeling popping in the knee. If you have any further questions, please call my office at 281-633-8600. Thank you very much.
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When I Move My Knee I Can Hear A Popping Sound Is This Serious Should I See My Doctor
Noises within the knee joint are common. Crackling, clicking, or popping can occur, and it is important to differentiate the cause of its occurrence as they might mean different things. It may be from simple soft tissue catching or more serious damage to the bearing surface of the joint, the articular cartilage. Usually if it does not cause pain or swelling then it might not be as concerning.
One common cause for painless popping in the knee is something called a plica. Plicas are soft tissue connections within the knee that go over a bony lump and pop when they snap back into place. When the popping sounds are accompanied by swelling and pain, or they produce a catching sensation or the knee gives way, then those are times when you should contact a doctor sooner rather than later. Popping in these situations could be due to meniscus injuries, small pieces of broken cartilage or loose bodies within the knee. Painful popping could also be because of osteoarthritis, where the smooth cartilage has worn down and the bones cause friction when they rub against one another. This painful popping would be more persistent. If you felt a pop and your knee swelled while playing a sport it is unquestionably a cause for concern. This might represent torn ligaments anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament or medial collateral ligament or the meniscus or articular cartilage.
When Should I Be Concerned About Clicking In Knee
Infrequent clicking in the knee that is not associated with other symptoms typically does not warrant concern or further evaluation. Clicking in the knee that is increasing in frequency and associated with any of the following symptoms warrants further evaluation.
- Locking episodes
- Limited range of motion
Who should evaluate the clicking in your knee? Bypass your surgeon and schedule a consultation with a physician trained in interventional orthopedics. Surgeons provide surgical solutions that are not always in your best interest. What is interventional orthopedics? It is a board-certified physician in PM& R or anesthesia with advanced orthopedic training with nonsurgical treatment options. They use orthobiologics to heal injured orthopedic tissue. Orthobioligcs are biological substances naturally found in the body that are used to promote quicker healing of muscle, tendon, and bone injuries. To learn more please click on the video below.
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Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
The PCL is located in the back of the knee and connects the big thigh bone to the big shin bone . It keeps the tibia from moving backwards. An injury to the PCL requires a huge force, making it much rarer than an ACL tear.
Rarity: Ultra rare
Top Symptoms: constant knee pain, severe knee pain, pain in one knee, knee pain from an injury, swollen knee
Symptoms that always occur with posterior cruciate ligament injury: inability to bear weight immediately after injury, pain in one knee, knee pain from an injury, severe knee pain, constant knee pain
Urgency: Hospital emergency room