Many people usually ignore their knees until something substantial happens. The knee carries your weight. In fact, it is the most complex and the biggest joint in your body. So paying attention to your knee should be one of your priorities.
But do you know you can have fun with your knee? For instance, you pop your knee. While knee popping is common, you can learn how to do it. But before you learn how to crack your knee, let’s look at the anatomy of the knee.
How to Crack Your Knee?
Did you know that a simple stretch can pop your knee? Follow the step below to hear that crackling sound from your knee safely.
- Start by taking pressure off your knee. So you have to sit down or lie on your back.
- Then extend your leg to be straight in front of you, and then point your toe upwards.
- Raise your leg to the highest point you can reach, and then bend the knee in towards your body. Did you hear a crack? If not straighten and bed the leg until you hear the crack.
Be cautious: no doubt about it. Nonetheless, you have to be careful, especially if you have an underlying condition. Note that there are two kinds of knee pops:
- Pathological knee pops: you alone can feel or hear these types of pops when they occur.
- Physiological knee pops: these kinds of knee pops are loud that everyone can hear. If they occur frequently, I suggest you see a professional for further analysis.
Reasons the Knee Feels like Cracking
The tendency for knees to crack isn’t straightforward. But researchers are working on it so that they get more insights. So far, they have come up with some causes including:
- Runner’s Knee: it is also called Chondromalacia Patella. It is a common issue among runners, but it can also occur to anyone. It usually occurs when the soft cartilage beneath the kneecap breaks. This makes the knee joint weaker and unstable.
- Bursitis: it occurs when the bursa gets inflammation. It may be due to knee overuse, especially if in kneeling position.
- Baker’s Cyst: this occurs when part of fluids within a joint is pushed into a sac, which budges forming a cyst.
- Arthritis: osteoarthritis will make your knee feel like it wants to pop. This is a disease that affects most joints in the body. In all the cases, it results in stiffness because it causes the deterioration of the cushioning cartilage.
It is worth noting that when your knee feels like popping, it is not always a medical condition. Sometimes it just the accumulation of air within the knee cavity.
Look, joints have a fluid- a synovial fluid, which is a lubricant. The fluid is full of air and nitrogen, alongside other elements. At times the gasses from the synovial fluid built up, which results in a feeling of popping. And when these gasses are released, you’ll have a feeling crack in your knee.
Besides, the knee joint has tendons and ligaments. These fibrous structures tend to crisscross each other. Additionally, they may catch the ridges of the bones and muscles within the joint as you move the knee. Thus, it results to the crackling sound.
Still, if your bones break but do not heal correctly, it may result in crackling sounds. What I find fascinating is that when you age, the cartilage in your knees wears out. The deterioration at the knee results in adjacent bones rubbing on each other while moving.
The Bones Making Up the Knee
The complexity of the knee joint is amazing. It features 4 bones and a massive network of muscles and tendons. The bones include:
- Femur/thigh bone: this is the largest bone of the body. It runs from the hip joint to the knee joint.
- Tibia/shinbone/shank bone: runs from the knee to the ankle, i.e., it connects the knee to the ankle bones.
- Fibula/calf bone: fund on the lateral side of the tibia, where it connects both above and below. It makes the lateral part of the ankle joint.
- Patella/kneecap/kneepan: it a thick bone articulating with the femur. It covers and protects the anterior surface of the knee joint.
Typically, the knee joint is as a result of the thigh bone/femur meets the tibia. At this joint, you find the medial/inner and an outer/lateral compartment. The kneecap also called the patella, joins the femur to create a third joint – the patellofemoral joint. The role of the patella is to protect the front of the knee joint.
A joint capsule surrounds the knee joint. It has multiple ligaments strapping both the interior and the exterior of the joint, i.e., collateral ligaments. Still, some ligaments cross within the joints – cruciate ligaments.
The collateral ligaments are on both sides of the knee, and they limit sideways motion at the knee. On the other hand, there are two kinds of cruciate knee ligaments – posterior and anterior.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) joins the tibia to the femur at the center of the knee. Their principal function is to limit rotation and forward motion of the tibia. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is located behind the ACL, limiting the backward movement of the tibia. Both ligaments, however, work to provide stability and strength to the knee joint.
Knees usually produce popping sounds, and this is common in people 40 years and above. Crackling within your knees may be a regular thing. But it is not wise to assume it when you hit 50 years and above. Why? Your knees may be trying to communicate with you.
Popping noises in the knee usually are called crepitus. It is usually harmless, but with age, it might be an indicator of an underlying condition – present or developing. Sometimes you may feel that your knee wants to pop. It comes in the form of strange sensations such as locking into place or an inflation-like feel. The result: You feel like popping the knee back to the right place. It is possible and straightforward.
You can learn within minutes. Some people often hear this sound when they squat, kneel, get up from a sitting position, or climb stairs. It is common; it is harmless. However, it occurs at an advanced age; I recommend you see a doctor.