Knee Clicking: What It All Means
Knee Clicking Is Common
If you knee keeps popping, it may be some comfort to know you’re not alone. All joints are somewhat prone to cracking and popping, and knee clicking happens the most frequently. Lots of people hear a knee cracking when they go through a full range of motion or squat.
Most of us would agree that knee clicking is nothing to get excited about if it doesn’t come with swelling or pain. Unfortunately, for some people, it does, and in that case, it can arise from a number of problems including arthritis and ACL tears.
If you’re one of those sufferers, here’s what you need to know about your knee cracking and knee popping pain.
Why Is Your Knee Clicking?
You hear your knee popping when the joint is extended as it may be when you climb stairs, walking around, or perhaps even just sit. The knee cracking often means the knee structure is not in the right position. It can also indicate that soft tissue’s catching part of the knee structure. It’s possible that tendons and ligaments are stretching over a portion of knee structure before popping back into place, or that air bubbles are popping inside the knee.
Knee Clicking That Comes with Swelling and Pain
Unfortunately, if the knee popping is accompanied by swelling and discomfort, the cause of the knee cracking is unlikely to go away on its own. You may well need to see a doctor to diagnose and treat the injury responsible for your knee popping pain.
Injuries That Can Cause Knee Clicking
- Runner’s knee. This happens when running stresses the tibia and put the kneecap out of line with the femur.
- ACL/MCL injury.You have an ACL injury if you have an overstretched or torn ligament in the middle of the knee. An MCL injury is when the Medial Collateral Ligament on the inner side of the knee has suffered a comparable injury.
- Arthritis. When you have arthritis, the cartilage in the knee can wear down and possibly tear. People over age 50 are particularly prone to arthritis.
- Cartilage/Meniscus tear.The meniscus is the lining of your knee. Should it tear, small parts of it can catch in the joint.
How Do You Treat Knee Clicking?
When knee popping comes with swelling and pain, you’ll naturally want to deal with the problem. Depending on the nature and severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend one or more of a number of treatment options:
- Icing. It can help to ice the knee after you’ve been using it.
- Rest. Naturally, rest gives whatever’s wrong with the knee a chance to heal.
- Knee brace.A knee brace will hold the knee structure in the proper alignment.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy strengthens your knee and the muscles that support it.
- Stem cell therapy. Stem cell injections have been effective in improving blood and oxygen flow, restoring nerve function, repairing damage, accelerating healing, enhanced mobility and flexibility, and strengthening the knee.
- Surgery. Surgery is an intervention for the most severe cases. It removes or repairs damaged tissue. Recovery times can vary considerably.
How Can You Avoid the Knee Clicking and Associated Injuries?
The best way to keep your knees strong is regular exercise. Riding a bike or stationary bike, climbing stairs or hills, and doing squats are all great for your knees. Just make sure to stretch and warm up before you exercise. Otherwise you could hurt your knee instead of helping it.