Knee clicking when squatting

Fact Checked

The knee clicking that occurs in some individuals is considered as a common symptom and does not always indicate a health issue to worry about. Due to the complex connection of tendons, ligaments and muscles that support the knee joint, they have to support the entire weight of the body during normal activities. The additional force while exercising especially during high-impact activities such as running can put a strain on these structures which oftentimes lead to certain injuries or conditions.

If the individual experiences knee clicking or popping when squatting or bending the knee, it does not necessarily indicate a serious issue. On the other hand, knee clicking can be an indication of an injury or underlying issues. By enrolling in a class on first aid today, you can readily manage this symptom properly.

Arthritis

Knee clicking

When it comes to meniscal tears, they are considered as common injuries that occur once the knee twists while bearing weight during certain activities. Take note that this injury is often characterized by the clicking or popping sound.

Osteoarthritis typically occurs as an individual starts to age. The knee joint is comprised of three bones – patella, end of the femur and top part of the tibia. Take note that these bones fit together and held in place by ligaments, cartilage, tendons and muscles. Once the membranes and cartilage that support the knee starts to wear down due to the aging process, there is knee clicking or grinding sound while squatting since parts of the bone rub against each other. While there is no pain with this condition, the knee clicking is often accompanied by stiffness of the joint. Remember that this condition slowly develops and can affect one knee or both.

Strength imbalances

If there is strength imbalance in the knee muscles, it can cause knee clicking especially while squatting. The quad muscles are responsible for lining up the kneecap as the knee is bent and straightened. The exterior quad muscles are often stronger than the interior quad muscles, thus pulling the kneecap off its track as the individual moves. This is called as runner’s knee which causes knee clicking.

Meniscal tear

The meniscus is responsible for protecting and cushioning the knee joint. When it comes to meniscal tears, they are considered as common injuries that occur once the knee twists while bearing weight during certain activities. Take note that this injury is often characterized by the clicking or popping sound. For minor meniscal tears, it can result to weakness of the knee and continuous knee clicking that can subside as the meniscus starts to repair itself. As for severe cases, it is best to consult a doctor so that proper treatment can be started.

Synovial plicae

The soft tissue that surrounds the knee joint is called the synovium. The folds in the synovium which are called as plicae can develop and cause knee clicking especially during bending. Take note that these plicae will not cause issues aside from clicking but in some cases, they can become sore and inflamed.

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At St Mark James Training we work hard to ensure accurate and useful information on our blog website. However, the information that we post on our website is purely for educational purposes and should not be used as diagnosis or treatment. If you need medical advise please contact a medical professional

  • All stmarkjamestraining.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.