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Why Do My Knees Crack When I Squat

Are Your Noisy Knees Complaining About Pain Or Swelling

Why does my Knee Crack when I Squat or Lunge?

Cracking and popping noises from the knees are typical, but when the sounds are accompanied by knee pain or swelling, its time to seek professional assistance. Flexogenix offers safe and effective results and our innovative;Knee-Flex 5-Step Program can keep you in an active lifestyle. Contact us today for your free consultation!

Is It Bad That My Knees Crack When I Squat

Q: Why do my knees crack when I do squats? And is it bad?Will P., Chicago, IL

A: Joints and soft-tissues can make all kinds of noises, from loud popping noises to grating sounds to quiet rubbing sensations. Most of these sounds are categorized by the term crepitus, which essentially means joint noise.

Much like when crack your knuckles, loud popping noises from your knees are most likely caused by what is called cavitation. Cavitation results from a change in joint pressure that allows carbon dioxide, which is normally dissolved in your joint fluida.k.a. synovial fluidto come out of the solution and form gas bubbles in the joint. This createa a small cavity in the joint, and when the cavity closes quickly, the bubble essentially pops and makes the familiar cracking noise.

In most cases, this is nothing to be concerned about. In fact, the theory that popping your joints will lead to arthritis has absolutely no support in the research literature.

Now some folks will notice a grinding noise in the knee joint when they squat. If it’s not painful, its categorized as benign creptius which, again. is nothing to be concerned about. Many people experience this throughout their lives and never have any problems.

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If this is the case, physical therapy, or in worst cases, surgery, will be required to resolve the condition to allow you to return to normal activities.

1. Make sure you have normal ankle mobility

2. Make sure you have normal hip rotation

What Are Some Of The Causes Of Knee Cracking

Now we go into the details of what actually produces the cracking sound with any movement of the knee. For this, we need to first understand about a fluid which is present in the body called the synovial fluid. This fluid is present between the joints in the body and acts as a lubricant or shock absorber. This synovial fluid is present in the synovial membrane which encompasses the end of our bones.

The synovial fluid prevents the bone from rubbing against each other such that there is increased friction between bones which may lead to degeneration of the bones, a condition called as arthritis.

Coming to the cracking sound, when we move a tight or stiff knee, the space between the bones gets expanded which results in a gap being created between the bones where synovial fluid rushes in to fill the gap.1 The movement of the synovial fluid in this gap is what that produces cracking Sound.

There are certain other causes for Knee Cracking as well and these are:

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Why Do My Knees Pop So Much

If the thigh muscle is too tight, it can pull the kneecap and affect its free gliding movement, generating a knee crack. If the various soft tissues such as cartilage or meniscus have degenerated, resulting in loss of smooth cover of the knee joint, and leading to knee cracks during various activities.

Tips To Stop The Clicking In Your Knees

Why Do My Knees Crack?

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.

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When I Am Squat My Knees Crack

Crepitus can be entirely innocuous and very similar to knuckle or back popping. However, the strength of the knee joint can squash all gas hung up in the synovial liquid around your knees during exercises like squats and lungs, causing the blowing sensation and possibly even an audible crack.

Although this sort of crepitus can be nervousness if you dont know what it is. It is often not painful and damaging. It is prevalent in persons of all ages, and a 2013 study by Clinical Orthopedics and Related Researches has found. That pain-free popping is not caused for concern even in patients who experience crepitus following knee surgery.

It doesnt signal anything is wrong when you are around the 30s and at a gym and weightlifting, or when youre troubled and listen to popping noises and knocking, explains Dr. Rebecca Shepherd, Head of the Lancaster Health Penn Medicine Department of Rheuma. However, if you are 65 and you have harmed your knees on the stairs and feel that you have a grin, it could be a symptom of osteoarthritis, the typical kind of arthritic wear and tear.

In many, crepitus may be the rattle of your joint structures and it is an indication of possible knee difficulties to occur. The above information is from Tony DAngelo, certified physical therapist and conditioning specialist, Senior Vice President, Professional Physical Therapy, New York City.

Following Are Some Tips To Maintain The Knee Pressure And Avoid The Crack Sound To Some Extent:

Choosing the right exercise style as well as incorporating knee-stabilizing exercises into your exercise regimen

Make sure youre squatting with proper form

You may need to work to sit back on your butt instead of putting your weight on your knee.

Strengthening the quadriceps and gluteal muscles by squatting and lung exercise

Wear any prescribed orthotics to keep your leg in proper alignment

If you feel uncomfortable, make the activity easier

Lose weight in case you are obese. Since the condition can be improvised when you are overweight.

Be sure to warm up and cool down before and after all athletic activities

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Crepitus And Synovial Plicae

Soft tissue surrounding your knee joint is called synovium. Folds in the synovium, called plicae, can develop and cause clicking in your knee, particularly when you’re squatting.

Synovial plica syndrome might not cause problems other than clicking. However in some cases they become inflamed and painful. This pain typically occurs in the front of the knee and can be accompanied by crepitus and clunking. In these cases, they might be surgically removed.

Is It A Problem If My Knees Crack When Squatting

How to Fix Knees That Crack & Pop When Squatting |#AskSquatU Show Ep. 7|

you squat for various reasons, and you may hear a popping or cracking sound in your knees. Knee crack when squatting is a problem or not? Read in this article

During the day, you may squat for various reasons, such as exercising, lifting heavy objects, or picking up your baby’s toys. And most of you may hear a popping or cracking sound in your knees when you squat. This sound, commonly called Crepitus, may be overlooked by some people, but it may be worrying for people who are concerned about the health of their knees. Are you worried about this too, and do you think your knee has a problem? The knees crack when squatting, which is normal if you do not have a knee problem. Although crepitus is painful, it can indicate a problem affecting your knee, and you should take it seriously. Knee crack when squatting is a problem or not; you will read more about it in the rest of this article.

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Why Your Knees Pop When You Squat

Do you hear a sound from your knee and the surrounding joints? Perhaps more noticeable when you squat?

This condition is called knee popping. It usually comes with a sudden sharp and well-perceived noise from the knee joints.

These sounds vary and may sound like grinding, crackling, grating, or crunching. They are more prevalent when performing repetitive knee extensions and flexions or squats.

A normal knee pop may not signify a debilitating or severe problem. However, if it comes with pain and swelling of the affected area, it may likely be a serious case.

Exercises To Stop Knee Clicking

Prior to beginning any exercises for knee clicking, you should always consult with your doctor, as some exercises can make your condition worse, for example, if you have a tear or misalignment. If your doctor has given you the green light to exercise, then a good place to begin is strengthening the quadriceps, as the muscles that run through the thigh can help better support the knee.

Beneficial exercises for quads include leg extensions or static contractions. An example is quad-setting exercise, which is performed by sitting on the floor with both legs straight. Bend your left knee and put your foot flat on the floor and place a rolled towel beneath your right thigh near the knee. Flex your foot, and lift your heel and calf off the floor. Lower back down. Do not lift your thigh off the towel.

Its also important to have equal strength between your quadriceps and hamstrings, so if your quads are strong but your hamstrings are weak your knees could be feeling the burden. Hamstrings are located at the back of the thigh. To strengthen these muscles, lay face up on the floor with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle. Lift your toes up and press your heels down, contracting the hamstrings in the process. Hold this for up to 10 seconds, relax, and repeat. Generally, the quads should be only 25 percent stronger than the hamstrings.

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What Causes Knee Clicking Sound When You Move

Here are some possible causes of knee clicking sounds while moving.

Unnecessary tissue or plica: In some individuals, unnecessary tissue develops around the knee and can get trapped in parts of the knee, causing the clicking sound you hear.

Runners knee: When the knee cap becomes out of line and does not track properly with the femur, this is known as runners knee. This condition is often caused by an injury or added stress to the tibia. When bones get out of alignment, it results in a clicking sound when the knee is bent. Runners knee may also occur if the muscles in the quadriceps are overworked.

Damage of the meniscus and shock absorber: The meniscus is the shock absorber in the knee which works as a lubricator between the bones, causing clicking when damaged. The meniscus involves two C-shaped discs, and if one becomes torn it can throw the knee off balance. Along with clicking of the knee, damage to the meniscus can cause bruising and chronic pain.

Arthritis: When arthritis affects the knees, it can result in clicking sounds as a result of inflammation, which misaligns the knee. Stiffness may also accompany knee clicking in arthritis, too.

An ACL tear or MCL tear: An ACL or MCL injury can cause chronic pain, stiffness, and knee clicking. Bruising may appear as well.

Natural Home Remedies For Knee Pain

why do my knees crack when i squat

Sometimes knee pain does not always require a complicated procedure for treatment. There are simple home remedies that can help ease pain and provide relief. Such as;

Assess And Diagnose Your Pain

Consider the type of pain you experience. Is it moderate or severe?

Pain from strain, sprains, minor injury, or inflammation are easily self-managed, however, persistent pain requires immediate medical attention.

RICE Therapy

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation are applicable for knee strains or sprains from twisting your legs or falling. Raise the affected leg or feet, apply a cold compress to your knee and wrap with a compression bandage.

Do not tightly wrap around the affected area so you dont cut off circulation. Keep your legs and feet elevated.


Daily exercise can go a long way in promoting strong muscles and mobility.

Physical activities such as cycling, walking, swimming, and yoga not only improve your muscles but also your overall functionality.

However, rest if you have an injury, severe knee pain, or a flare-up of symptoms.

Hot And Cold Therapy

Heat therapy helps ease the pain, while cold therapy reduces inflammation. Alternate between the two, but start with cold therapy for the first two days. Warm baths and showers can help ease stiff joints.


Research shows that several herbal remedies and ointments can be as effective as some over-the-counter creams. Consult your doctor or physician before using herbal ointments.

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Crackling How To Deal

Crepitus and the red flag are linked. The presence of discomfort along with cracking is the primary indicator of whether this is a cause for concern, Wesselman explained.

In knee problems, crepitus usually combines with a pain ranking over 2 in 1 to 10, adding DAngelo. In addition, the disorder may linger up to 24 hours after you leave the gym. Also commonly accompany joint edema, he explains.

If the client has discomfort, something else can happen that has to be handled such as joint inflammation or tendon inflammation, explains Wesselman. It could be a pain, malaise, or aching of any kind. Its a heavy discomfort.

Nutrition Supplements For Knee Pain And Crackles

If you want to prevent joint injuries and damages, or you are intensively preparing for competitions, we have prepared a list of nutritional supplements and active substances for joint pain. Most of them are also used by patients suffering from arthritis. If you plan to take nutrition supplements for knee and joint pain, consult with your doctor in advance.

We hope that you have learned important instructions on how to maintain the health of your knees and joints. Using tips and exercises in this article, you can get rid of crackles and snaps in your knees, as well as protect yourself from unpleasant injuries.

Will you try these exercises for your knees? Write in the comments if you are struggling with a loud crackling sounds in your knees and what do you think is the most helpful tip for this problem. If you liked the article and you think that it would be helpful for someone you know, then support us with a repost.

Also Check: Why Does My Knee Stiffen Up After Sitting

Reason #: Meniscus Problems

Problems with the meniscus in your knee joint are a common cause of knee pain from squatting. In fact, Ive experienced this type of knee pain from squats.

This pain is usually caused by small tears in the meniscus, a disc of cartilage that sits between your femur and tibia and absorbs shock and pressure in the knee .

A major meniscus tear can be a serious problem that requires surgery, but a minor or microtear can simply cause pain and irritation during certain movements like say, during squats.

The pain is typically felt on the medial side of your knee, and often it feels like your knee joint suddenly locks or catches with pain as you squat.

I have a slight meniscus tear and find the pain comes and goes randomly. I find my knee will just click into place and then I wont have any problems for months until something clicks back out of place.

One exercise that helps keep meniscus issues from causing me pain and interrupting my squats are SB Leg Curls.

This technique will help provide stability to the knee by strengthening the hamstrings as they flex at the knee and extend at the hip. Youll feel stronger and more stable at the knee joint by incorporating this move into your routine, especially since the hamstrings are often weak relative to the quads.

SB Leg Curls

Should You Worry If Your Knees Crack When You Squat

Why Do My Knees Crack When I Squat? How to Stop Knees From Popping

In most cases, a little cracking in your knees is harmless. Unless it’s accompanied by this

In most cases, if your knees crack but dont hurt, then the noise is just crepitusgas bubbles bursting, says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., cofounder of Cressey Sports Performance in Massachusetts.;

Sure, crepitus sounds scary, but those gasesoxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxideare just part of synovial fluid, a natural joint lubricant. So relax, you’re fine.

Another harmless knee noisemaker: Your tendons may be clicking back into place after shifting slightly out of their original position.

What isnt normal is popping accompanied by pain.

Some guys push their knees too far forward while squatting, and that puts a lot of undue stress on their joints, Gentilcore says.

Over time, this causes cartilage to wear down and lose its smoothness, resulting in an audible noise when your bones grind against each other as you bend.

Worst case? Youll tear your meniscus.

If your knees hurt, its probably best to have them checked out by a doctor. You may be told to take a few weeks off from working out to let any swelling die down.

When you return to lifting, check your form with the wall squat test: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and toes touching a wall. Then squat. If your knees hit the wall, try again, this time keeping your hips back and shins vertical. Do it right and youll be rewarded with silence.

Also Check: How To Relieve Arthritis In Knees

How Do I Get My Knee To Stop Clicking

Knee cracking when squatting is an unpleasant condition for most people. And people are looking for a way to get rid of this sound. In this regard, Dr. Stearns says, “motion is a lotion,” This means that the more you move, the more your joints will lubricate themselves. ” But if you do not move or lie down for a long time, the synovial fluid in the joints will increase, and as a result, gas bubbles will form in it. Other factors that can help keep a knee from popping include:

  • Choosing the right exercise style as well as incorporating knee-stabilizing exercises into your exercise regimen
  • Strengthening the quadriceps and gluteal muscles by squatting and lung exercise
  • Make sure you’re squatting with proper form
  • You may need to work to sit back on your butt instead of putting your weight on your knee
  • If you feel uncomfortable, make the activity easier
  • Be sure to warm up and cool down before and after all athletic activities
  • Lose weight
  • Wear any prescribed orthotics to keep your leg in proper alignment

Among all these tips, exercise has a special significance. You can say that I hear these sounds on my knee while exercising. This may be due to the inappropriate form of your workout, especially the squat. If you do the squat properly, not only will your knees not crack, but you will strengthen them.


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