View Full Version : Crackling knees

Benjamin Peters
29th July 2002, 03:53
Anyone have crackling knees? Everytime I crouch down or something with that motion, I hear crackling. Doc says that it's normal and if it don't hurt; not to worry about it. What do you think? What's going on anyway?

29th July 2002, 04:11
Benjamin, I have the same problem. It makes Iaido practice a little noisy;) . I have not asked a doctor about it so I am glad to hear that it is probably normal if not accompanied by pain.

Though I am slightly concerned since I am only 23.:eek:
I would like to know what is happening myself, is it like cracking your knuckles maybe?

Benjamin Peters
29th July 2002, 04:32
I know what you mean cause I practice seated forms too. But what you mention about the knuckle cracking, I guess my knees are a lighter version of that. It's not as heavy as a finger crack, more like Rice Krispies all the way through the motion of kneeling up and down. :( Although occasionally I do get the big BOOM type crack. What I hate is walking up stairs too...crackle crackle.:mad:

Doug Daulton
29th July 2002, 11:33
The condition is called crepitus (http://my.webmd.com/content/asset/miller_keane_8465) and it is pretty common (per my orthopedic surgeon). No damage is necessarily being done. It is just annoying. The louder pops and hitches happen when the fascia (muscle lining sheath) gets loose and are pinched by the knee joint. This causes the sharp pain that causes a knee to momentarily give/fail.

The solution is lots of leg extensions, leg curls and other exercises to increase and maintain muscle tone in the quadriceps and hamstrings. When one's muscles are well toned, one's fascia are taut and crepitus is significantly less noticeable.

That is my experience. Hope it helps.


Doug Daulton

PS: "Cracking your knuckles" is not a good idea. It can cause or at least exacerbate arthritis.

10th August 2002, 14:26
My wife is a chiropractor. Crepitus is also known as "joint mice". It is usually benign and is symptomatic of some wear and tear in the joint. The best treatment is usually exercise to keep the joint mobile. If the joint crackles the first several times then quiets down with motion that night, don't worry about it and train intelligently. You'll being doing whats best for you and your knees.

Dennis P. McGeehan

19th August 2002, 04:47
Originally posted by Michael_Moore3
Though I am slightly concerned since I am only 23.:eek:

I have this exact problem and I'm only 17.

I really, really hope it's not going to make me crippled.

29th August 2002, 00:35
If you practice a kicking intensive art, and you are being encouraged to do a lot of kicking in the air with full knee extension, you will run into this problem quickly.

The plain fact is that most kicking done today is poorly taught and poorly executed as a result. For example, if your round house is hitting at a perfect line to your rear leg and shoulder, taught in many competitive karate and TKD schools, you are damaging your joints.

Front kicks are not long range kicks and the knee should not straighten. Kick against targets that can absorb the power which allows your joints to remain in a more natural position and develop supportive strength against impacts.

Don't let aesthetics affect the proper anatomical execution of a technique, a major problem in many schools. Ugly technique is usually more correct than pretty technique, as a general rule.

Mr. Dalton's advice is very sound. MAs often ignore proper physical training, in particular for kicking- the development of the quads, hamstrings and hips (all the machines that women use and men foolishly avoid).

Only an honest look at your technique will allow you to avoid permanent and progressive injury.

Jeff Hamacher
29th August 2002, 02:22
in my case, Ben, "cracking" or "popping" in one of my knees signalled the onset of a rather serious injury which eventually required an operation. if only i'd had it checked out sooner ... (every martial artist's famous last words, i know)

Mr. Daulton's "preventative medicine" advice is probably the best you'll find. in addition to a good balance of stretching and strength training, you might also want to look into the benefits of icing. last march at a budo seminar i attended, a sports doctor gave us a very compelling talk and demonstration about proper icing for both trauma and preventative care. he pointed to examples such as Mark "Homerun" McGuire (sp?), who apparently has started a regime of post-game icing for preventative care. if you want more info, i can dig up a copy of his report and pass along useful tidbits. naturally, a Google search will also help to turn up sources in english, too.

29th August 2002, 07:45
Jeff Hamacher wrote: "if you want more info, i can dig up a copy of his report and pass along useful tidbits."

Mr Hamacher, that would be most useful. I'm beginning to experience some discomfort in my knees especially after training and am afraid that it could be the precursor to bigger problems.

Ty Fong

Tom D
30th August 2002, 02:55
I can't agree enough with Glenn. I had a pretty strong TKD backround when I was younger. I was lucky though and had a great instructor who taught us well when it came to injury in the knees. Mostly because the sport is 70% kicking. I also agree strongly with the extention of the knees. We all agree a straight arm is a broken arm. In my opinion, the same goes for the legs. A good TKD student can still look good at a test or kata competition without squashing that meniscus. Keep stretching!!! Can't say it enough.

Tom Duffy