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popping noise in knee - Masseuse massing the knee of an athletic woman

Masseuse massing the knee of an athletic woman

Popping noise in your knee ? is this something you should be worried about?


Here we explain a little more about that unnerving pop people hear when standing and stretching!

Not everyone suffers the weird sensation of popping knees. Sometimes it’s just the sound that causes the concern and other times it can be as sinister as joint degeneration. So it’s best not to just ignore this issue.


Your joints are designed to move freely, smoothly and easily, to achieve this each joint in the body contains synovial fluid. This helps lubricate the joint.


Occasionally gas bubbles build up in the fluid, causing nearby ligaments to make that POP sound. Technically known as crepitus, this term is used to describe any grinding, creaking, cracking, grating, crunching, or popping that occurs when moving a joint.


Generally this is not a cause for concern.


Can the popping noise in your knee become serious ?


As Crepitus is just a term for the popping noise in your knee, it doesn’t indicate why the joint would become painful. Simple air bubbles in the joint should not cause pain. However, ongoing noises from the joint can be an indication of arthritis or another medical condition.


Another cause for the popping noise in your knee can be the tendons and ligaments snapping over the joint structure, again this shouldn’t be too painful and can happen to us all.


Joint degeneration can be caused by a number of different joint elements breaking down over time.


Occurring in one or both knees, arthritis is a diagnoses of the breakdown of cartilage which cushions the joint.


The Three most common types of arthritis which affect the knee joint are:


  • Osteoarthritis – A form of arthritis caused by the inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints.
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis  – This can develop after a trauma or injury to the knee, such as a bone fracture, ligament injury or meniscus tear.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – Caused when white blood cells (which normally help your body) start attacking the synovial lining of the joint.


Other medical causes of crepitus


Although “any wear and tear” over time can lead to arthritis, the disease may not have set in yet. Recognising these niggles and sounds, then adjusting your lifestyle short or long term, can save problems down the line.


Runners knee also known as Patellofemoral syndrome is caused by an overload of force and repetitive impact. This can lead to Chondromalacia Patella. So it is always best to rest your knee if you are feeling pain when, while and/or after running.


Chondromalacia patella is a dull ache behind the kneecap, caused by wear and tear or injury.  Again this should not be ignored, rest the knee or seek treatment.


What treatment should I get ?


Crepitus is harmless and will not need treating unless you are experiencing pain. If this is the case the first thing we recommend is finding the cause.


Seek medical attention, get diagnosed and then you can treat the problem effectively.


There are a variety of treatments depending on the cause of your pain.


Your doctor may feel you will benefit from anti-inflammatory medication. It may be best to get a brace to support your knee along with physical therapy to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint.


What ever your end treatment is, always rest, ice, and support your knee until you have an answer to that popping sound that is causing you concern.


For more information or to book a appointment with our specialist team then get in touch.


We’re here to answer any questions or help you on your way to recovery.