Knee problems are inevitable in people engaging in a lot of sport or who generally lead an active lifestyle. When doing any repetitive or strenuous activity using your knees, you should expect some problems arising from that area. Where a clicking knee is concerned, you need to understand that the body is only trying to tell you that something might be wrong. Or maybe you’re just doing too much. Nevertheless, a clicking knee is not uncommon and a lot of the time, it’s really nothing to worry about.
To be on the safe side though, if the clicking of the knee is accompanied by pain which you can’t ignore, then there might be some underlying problem. You need to try and identify the root of the problem, whether it’s excessive exercise or just putting too much strain on your knees by lifting too many heavy things. Since the knee is one of the major joints in the body which we use everyday, there are many types of injuries which occur
Here is a short checklist to help you identify a clicking knee and if it’s any cause to see a doctor.
The cracking may come from a torn meniscus or joint surface within the knee. Meniscal tears are most commonly caused by twisting or over-flexing the joint. It usually snaps in and out place when bending and straightening the leg. You can get away with just putting ice on it or taking anti-inflammatory drugs with supervision. Only in very serious cases will the doctor suggest any kind of surgery.
You may have sprained your knee and you haven’t paid much attention afterwards. The knee will start compensating any injury caused by clicking or swelling in that area. From the activities we do, joints can take a lot of strain which we don’t notice straight away and later causes problems with our movements.
In some instances, deterioration of the cartilage in the knee cap called Chondromalacia patella, which maybe due to arthritis, can cause the pressure to be built up in the knee cap and when released makes the popping sound you are hearing. Some tenderness and swelling may be present as well. Again, rest is probably best in order to relieve swelling and if you have to do some activity, choose low impact exercises like swimming.
Then there are serious knee clicks which you don’t want to ignore, like a popping sound resulting from sudden trauma to the knee. Usually you’ll find it difficult to walk afterwards. The best thing to do is get help in putting a splinter on it to keep it straight and stay off your feet until a doctor has had a look at it.
Generally experiencing a click in your knees is no cause for alarm but if you are quite an active person or have had any surgery or injury related to the knee, then it’s a good idea to have it checked out. It is only really worth treating if there is swelling, pain and you’re feeling a bit unstable when standing. Using heat treatment is also an option to alleviate minor symptoms. In many cases just taking a rest from what you have been doing recently can give the joints a chance to heal.
Naturally you should avoid any activity that will put stress on your knees, whether it is carrying heavy loads, squatting, running or jumping. Physiotherapy is also good in that the practitioner will give you some strengthening exercises to do which will help keep your muscles strong and flexible. If you are experiencing constant clicking there is medication which can help lubricate the knee joint for smoother movement. Speak to you doctor about this.
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