Crackle! Pop! Crunch! If that is a familiar sound in the morning and you are not a Rice Crispies aficionado, it is likely you have Crepitus. Fortunately, Crepitus is not as horrible as it sounds, as most people experience it at one time or another during their lifespan. Crepitus is the crackle, pop, and crunch sound the knees make. The noise, much like the scientific diagnosis itself, is often much less menacing than it sounds.
Check out what it means when your knee clicks and how you can avoid it:
What does it mean when your knee clicks?
There are many different reasons why your knee might be clicking. Some of those reasons are normal and nothing to worry about while others may be a prelude to Arthritis and other serious joint issues.
Here is how you can tell the difference:
Air Bubbles: Air pockets are the most common (and safest) form of Crepitus. This is when air bubbles form inside the joint fluid. When this happens, the bubbles change the pressure on the knee joints. The clicking is due to the popping of the air bubbles and the knee returning to normal pressure.
There is nothing inherently dangerous about this. It is simply something that occurs within the knee from time to time.
Meniscus Tears: Meniscus Tears occur when the knee is turned a certain way. This causes the meniscus, a C-shaped piece of cartilage that helps distribute weight, to be forcibly rotated or twisted. This is especially serious when the injury occurs while you are putting your full weight on it.
While it takes a lot for a younger person to tear their meniscus, elderly people are much more susceptible to this injury while doing everyday tasks.
A Meniscus Tear is painful and can cause swelling to the affected knee. Fortunately, with the right care and rest, a torn Meniscus will heal and your knee will likely maintain normal function.
Cartilage Wear: After decades of use, or possibly a sports or other injury, the cartilage in your knee can be weakened. Scar tissue and other age factors cause the knee’s cartilage to wear away. This is called Arthritis. Sometimes, the deterioration can get so bad that pieces of cartilage break away. These pieces float freely within the joint fluid. In addition to clicking, this result of an injury can feel like something is loose in the knee and it can make a knee feel like it is locking up.
How do you avoid clicking in your knees?
If the clicking in your knees is accompanied by pain or swelling, you need to see a doctor. Only a medical professional can help you determine the best course of care if you have a meniscus tear or cartilage wear.
Fortunately, for the more common causes of clicking in your knees, there are a few easy methods of avoidance. Most of these methods of avoidance have to do with some kind of exercise, stretching and self-care products. Thankfully, even if you have low mobility, there are ways to help keep your knees healthy and minimize the clicking. Here are the most effective ways to avoid clicking in your knees:
- Riding a stationary bike
- Stretch before exercising
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Apply the WholyMe Relief Balm to knees before and after exercising
In summation, if something in your body doesn’t sound or feel right, it is always good to check with a professional. Although, when it comes to clicking in the knees, without pain or swelling, you are not alone. This is common and can be controlled with light exercise and stretching!