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We’ve all had times when we’ve gone to pick something up from the ground only to be left frozen in the spot. With a loud pop, snap, or crackle echoing from your knee, the fear of displacing your kneecap is real. But don’t worry. The sound you hear is known as ‘crepitus.’ It’s a specific sound that only radiates as a result of joints cracking. Not to mention, cracking knees are not uncommon. But if you find yourself in such a situation frequently, the question you should be asking is, ‘why do my knees crack?’

Why Do My Knees Crack?

The main reason knees pop is because of carbon dioxide buildup. That is to say, when carbon dioxide gathers around in your joint’s synovial fluid, applying pressure against it can cause it to crack. The sound is just the gas bubbles popping from the friction. It’s pretty much the same thing as cracking your knuckles.
In most cases, this is not something to worry about. Cracking joints are as normal as it gets. However, if they occur frequently, it could be due to the following reasons:

  • Tight Muscles
    Stiff muscles, especially in your thigh, can pull on your kneecap. This causes problems when you move your knee since the free-gliding movement gets restricted.
  • Misaligned Muscles
    If you pull a muscle or are dealing with a strain, it could cause a lot of knee cracking. The misalignment and dissonance of your leg muscles can greatly affect day-to-day activities.
  • Inflammation
    Due to overexertion or inflammation of your knee, the overall movements might be a little stiff. Moreover, when the synovial fluids are running low, it can also lead to constant gas bubble formation.
  • Pre-existing Knee Injury
    Athletes and weightlifters are usually the ones who suffer from this phenomenon. This is especially true if the injury occurred in their early teens or twenties.
  • Cartilage InjuryA knee cartilage is a type of connective tissue responsible for the lubrication and cushioning of your knee. So, if the cartilage is loose or misplaced, it can keep the knee from operating normally. Instead, it can lead to a lot of knee locking, cracking, popping, etc.

Do Cracking Knees Lead to Arthritis?

People have been linking arthritis to cracking bones for the longest time. However, that’s not always the case. Usually, if your knees crack, it’s nothing more than a small gas bubble bursting. It doesn’t automatically mean you’re suffering from severe arthritis.
This is because those who have knee arthritis lose the mobility of their joints, resulting in minimum noise. So a cracking knee is a sign your knee is well-lubricated and intact. It does not mean you are dealing with arthritis of any kind.

The Final Takeaway

If you were wondering why your knees crack, the reason is due to tiny carbon dioxide bubbles popping within your kneecap. It’s nothing to worry about unless it occurs frequently. That is to say, if you find your knees painfully cracking out loud every day, it’s best to get it checked. A medical professional will be able to identify the root cause of the problem.
If you want to know more or would like to schedule an appointment, head over to 27721 Tomball Pkwy Ste #200, Tomball, TX 77377. You can find our clinic, Family Diagnostic Clinic, right around the corner from MS Pharmacy. Furthermore, you can also reach out to us at (281) 351-6800.

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