In the last week, I’ve had 4 people ask me the same question, “Rosa, my knee cap creaks when I walk and/or when going up the stairs. It doesn’t hurt, should I be worried and what’s going on?” I always respond with further questioning, “Can you tell me about your level of physical activity?”. Often, they respond with, “I run twice a week, I spin twice a week, I do a lot of road cycling, or I do weight training….. and the list goes on!
Ok, so here’s the deal with knee creaking or popping…..Anything can be the cause!
The Knee is a complex joint. It could be as simple as bubbles of air popping in the fluid of the knee joint. It can be muscle tendons flicking over the joint and bone with movement.
In most cases, painless popping knees during movement is the knee cap tracking incorrectly. This is usually do to imbalances of thigh muscles and misaligned joints during repetitive exercise with increase pressure and load forces. For example, spinning and not wearing the correct shoes that clip into the pedals, or squatting and the knees are not in line with the feet, or even just deep squatting that’s just too deep!
Painless popping is often not something to worry to much about, but if you’re active, it might indicate an imbalance somewhere in the mechanics of the hips, knees, or feet, and occasionally the mechanics in the spine are’t aligned.
If the knee is noisy with pain, then this is when you really must have the knee examined by a specialist to further investigate why this is happening. When pain and inflammation are implicated there’s definitely something wrong structurally. The best thing to do is get it checked out by your osteopath. They will provide you with a thorough examination so that they can rule out anything that may be underlying. Together, you can discover what the cause is and the best protocol and course of action is for you.