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Why is there a crunching sound in my knee?

December 7th, 2020
crunching sound in knee

Do you hear or feel a crunching sensation in your knee when walking, running or jumping? An occasional crack of the knee might not be much to worry about, similar to popping the knuckles in your fingers. However, a constant crunching sound in your knee can be understandably concerning.

You might hear crunching in your knee for several reasons, but if there is no pain, swelling or other symptoms, it’s likely due to a mild condition known as crepitus.

What is crepitus and can it be treated?

Crepitus is the term for a condition in which the cartilage of your knees or other soft tissue in your knees is rubbing against one another. This might be the result of a previous injury or condition that caused the buildup of scar tissue in your knee.

The crunching might not be painful and you might not have any other issues that affect you right now, but you should see a physical therapist for treatment. Over time, the constant rubbing between the cartilage can wear it down, leading to the development of arthritis. Other conditions, such as tendinitis, can develop if crepitus is related to rubbing among your tendons and other soft tissue as well.

Other reasons you may have a crunching sound in the knee

If crunching in your knee is accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, swelling, redness or tenderness, you may have a more serious condition, such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Torn meniscus
  • Torn ligament
  • Fracture
  • Bone fragments
  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Tendinitis 

Regardless of whether you have crepitus or one of the other conditions above, visiting a physical therapist can help you address the issue. Physical therapists can examine your condition and develop a personalized treatment routine to help you manage your knee crunching and other symptoms that may be bothering you.

Treatments vary depending on the cause and severity of your condition, but generally, you can expect physical therapy for a crunching sound in the knee to include:

  • Gentle stretches and exercises
  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Joint mobilization
  • Posture guidance
  • Gait analysis

Visit Rehab Access for knee pain treatment

Do you have a crunching sound in your knee or other symptoms that make it difficult to use your knees on a regular basis? Our team at Rehab Access is here to help. Contact our team today for more information about treating a crunching sound in your knee or to schedule an initial appointment.