Why Knees & Joints Snap, Crackle and Pop!
Popping and snapping knees bring numerous patients to the doctors. There are some patients who experience painful snapping of their knees, while others have knees that just make snap noises and encounter zero pain.
Similar to what it’s like when you crack your knuckles, loud popping noises from your knees are most likely caused by, “cavitation.” Cavitation results from a change in joint pressure that allows carbon dioxide, which is normally dissolved in your joint fluid to come out of the solution and form gas bubbles in the joint. This creates a small cavity in the joint, and when the cavity closes quickly, the bubble essentially “pops” and makes the familiar cracking noise.
Popping of the knees can occur at any age. Even young people describe a popping sound with certain movements in their knees. In most cases, this ‘joint noise’ is nothing to be concerned about. As a matter of fact, the common theory I’m sure you’ve heard of that popping your joints leads to arthritis holds absolutely zero support in research literature.
If knee popping occurs without any associated pain, it is usually due to either gas bubbles building up inside the joint and bursting, or ligaments/tendons snapping over the joint.
Let’s explore what are some of the reasons that our knees tend to make snap, crackle, and pop noises…….
Ligaments and tendons are soft tissues that are positioned around all the joints in our body. Sometimes, when you move a joint (ex: your knee), a ligament or tendon may stretch slightly as it goes over a small bony lump around the joint and then snaps back into place making a popping sound. Again, there is no harm with this knee popping no pain and it doesn’t make you more prone to an injury.
2) Gas Bubbles
Gas bubbles popping is a common cause of noisy knees!
Changes in joint pressure can cause tiny bubbles of gas to slowly form in joints. When these gas bubbles burst quickly, they make a popping sound, in a similar way to when you pop bubble-wrap. The technical term for this is cavitation. There is no harm in this and the myth that it makes you prone to arthritis is unfounded.
If you are experiencing pain in the joints, please see a physician. Michigan Sports & Spine treats all sorts for joint pain and injuries for all ages. Call to schedule an appointment today and we can help you get back to doing the things you love.
248-680-9000 offices in Clinton Twp., Livonia and Southfield
ABOUT MICHIGAN SPORTS & SPINE CENTER:
We’re innovative leaders utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as musculoskeletal ultrasounds, PRP, stem cell treatment, and other innovative procedures. Michigan Sports & Spine Center is committed to resolving your pain, not simply masking it. We treat the whole body, not just the injury, and perform preventative treatment so your injury doesn’t come back. Our studies prove that Michigan Sports & Spine Center has patient success rates much higher than the national average. We treat everyone from high-profile athletes to your neighbor next door. Our primary focus is getting our patients back into the game of life!