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Treatment for a Clicking Knee Problem
Should I be worried about my clicking knee? It sounds very scary!Thankfully, most often, a clicking knee will respond to treatment and cause no further problems
Why do we get clicking knees?
They can be caused by injury, stress to the knee or leg, or over use, such as when training too hard. There can also be no known cause, just a worrying click that can turn very painful at any time. The knee must track in the correct position otherwise stresses can leave you with a dysfunction that results in the clicking sound. Normally, this is harmless, and easily treated.
Mostly, there are no symptoms other than the 'click', and it is the fact that no other attributable causes can be found which worries people the most.
Why do I get clicking knees?
There can be many reasons. Unnecessary tissue or plica can become trapped between the moving parts of the knee and can cause clicking when you move. The knee cap (patella) can be out of line and tracking off to one side or other of the groove between the femoral condyles. This can come from over training, injury or stress as the surrounding muscles are overworked or the IT band becomes unduly tight. An affiction called Runner's Knee.
The femoral condyles sit on two discs of cartilage called menisci, seen in the picture opposite as a blue band. The meniscus is the knee joint's shock absorber and sits atop the tibial plateau. They act as a lubricant and a spacer between the bones of the knee.
When meniscus become damaged, they can flake off and tear or split and allow the bones to touch as they move. This invariably causes pain and tenderness, inflammation and misalignment, all of which can contribute to loud clicking in the knee.
Inflammatory arthritis can cause clicking in the knee because of the potential for misalignment. Arthritis is usually accompanied by inflammation, stiffness, sometimes severe pain and bursitis, and as a result affect the way you walk. Eventually your gait changes and this can be a big factor in clicking knee.
Damage to the ligaments that hold the knee together can cause the knee to sit in a different position than normal. This will likely result in pain in the knee, along with varying degrees of stiffness and tenderness, and of course, clicking.
What's the best way to treat my clicking knees?
You could try wearing a supportive knee brace to help alleviate discomfort during training, or when it hurts the most. Icing for short periods may be beneficial. Only short periods mind you. The knee doesn't have much in the way of muscle, just ligaments, holding things together, and tendons that are just passing through. All the rest is bone. So ice short enough not to chill the bones, but long enough to strengthen ligaments and tendons. Around 5 mins max. should do it.
Most of the time, we find that the knee cap is tracking slightly laterally. This can be due to the anterior quads and the lateral quads doing all the work and growing stronger, pulling the knee towards that side. Conversely, the medial quad shows a degree of atrophy. So after working all the muscles in the area to remove any spasm, adhesions, trigger points or anything else that may be causing them to contract, I will show you a very effective medial quad exercise that will quickly strengthen it enough to take over its role with the others. This will have the effect of bringing the knee back into line and should resolve the clicking problem.
Who gets this problem in the main?
Cyclists are favourite. Runners come a close second. Sports athletes, or working out in the gym are other ways of developing a clicking knee. Which when you think if it is not justice. You spend time and energy keeping yourself fit and healthy, only to be floored by something as simple as this. 'Taint fair!
This is when you become the working man's hero.... Builders, carpet fitters, tilers, painters and decorators, electricians, plumbers, and many other professions, spend a large part of their day on their knees.
The worst of these, I'm reliably reminded by a builder friend recently, is when you kneel down for some time, sometimes not so long, and when you get up, the knee stays put. Then a second or two later, it snaps back into place, causing a big jump and a sharp stabbing pain to hit the knee that can buckle even the toughest brickie.
The long and the short of it is clicking knees are common among all age groups whenever there is overuse, instability, or a weakness in the muscle groups that support the knee. Treatment is usually very effective and a result can often be seen within one or two visits.
My message to you is simple. If you find your knees are clicking when running or walking or squatting; if you are worried or in pain because of clicking in your knees; if resting and time are not helping, then make your appointment as soon as possible, before you do any damage that will take much longer to heal. More and more people are coming to realize that regardless of any current circumstances, treatment is the best way forward to a more comfortable future. If this idea resonates with you, I invite you to visit The Haven Healing Centre in Cheddar for a course of treatments, conveniently spaced to suit your budget and availability. Appointments and advice are available by clicking here. I look forward to welcoming you soon. Phil.
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Note: DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
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