The popping and snapping of one’s knees are common occurrences. In fact, most cases of this knee popping are not indicative of any knee problems. Knee popping without any symptom of pain is deemed normal but in case it leads to pain and limited range of movement, medical care and attention may be required. This article contains information about the common causes of knee popping and snapping and some remedies which can be performed to prevent recurrence of such condition.
Normally, the knees are made of different bone structures such as the patella (kneecap), lower end of the femur and upper end of the tibia. There are also ligamentous structures which connect all these structures together with muscles. The meniscus also maintains the proper positioning of these structures as well as the correct distribution of body weight.
Causes of Knee Popping
A healthy knee joint has the correct amount of muscle strength and correct positioning of the joints leading to absence of these popping sounds. Most incidences of knee popping are due to one simple cause—improper tracking of the knee joints. There are basically four groups of muscles in the legs that tug the knee joints each time we move. Instances may happen that these muscles may be too tight that it may excessively tug the knee, or may be too weak not to tug them efficiently. When this condition occurs, popping, snapping, clicking and all the relative noises may take place.
Also cases of Cruciate Ligament damages may occur and lead to occurrences of knee popping. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) may be damaged due to several conditions like arthritis, traumatic injury and the like. When ACL occurs, the movement of the knees may become too limited and stiff leading to frequent popping.
Lastly, subluxation or an incomplete dislocation of the knee cap may also lead to knee popping. This is very common among adolescents and adults. In the former case, pain may not accompany the popping.
Treatment of Knee Popping
- Leg and knee exercises. These forms of exercises are effective means of treating knee popping. In a few weeks time, you will experience lesser instances of knee popping and clicking.
- Medications that will promote muscle relaxation may also be prescribed by your physician in order to lessen the tension of the muscles surrounding the knees.
- If a certain activity or performance is the usual cause of knee popping, you may be advised to lessen the frequency of performing such activity, if not do some preventive measures.
Preventing Knee Popping
Isometric exercises can help a lot in preventing the occurrence of knee popping and snapping. You can do simple exercises like sitting in a chair with back rest and straightening your leg and performing rotations of your feet clockwise and counterclockwise. You will notice that while you rotate your feet, the muscles near your knees.
Keeping an active lifestyle by jogging or performing exercises at least twice or thrice weekly can help your knees perform well and tolerate the pressure while doing strenuous activities.