View Full Version : Crackling Knees

Michael Lynn
04-21-2009, 02:00 PM
I've been having discomfort mainly with my right knee.

Usually the sensation is akin to that pressure feeling before you crack a joint, or just stiff like waking up on a cold morning. Sometimes it hurts, but it's more of a dull pain, like an old twisted ankle.

I was seeing an ART, but her schedule was so full, I couldn't get in on a regular basis, and since I switched insurances, I won't be able to get back in.

Foam rolling helps, but everything is so tight, I don't know where to begin. I'd also like to include stretching, but again, I don't know where to start.

If someone could chime in with suggestions, I would appreciate it immensely.

Thank you,

Steven Low
04-21-2009, 07:34 PM
Foam rolling helps, huh. Keep doing it then.

Also consider using a tennis ball for more specific rolling. Do some myofascial release and cross friction massage as well. 30-60 mins per day if you can.

I suspect, if your quads are MUCH stronger and more hypertrophied than your hammies that it could be a simple muscular imbalance in which case you would need to stretch out your quads and strengthen your hammies.

Could also be something close to patellofemoral syndrome as well... so really stretch out those IT bands too. If your vastus medialis is smaller than your vastus lateralis and your IT band is very tight you consider searching for some of the patellofemoral syndrome/condromalacia patella/patella tracking disorder threads on this forum or CF forums.

Garrett Smith
04-21-2009, 09:32 PM
Can you do full ROM squats? If not, start working on it. Weights can come later.

Spend some time in the very bottom position. If you can't get there, spend time getting there.

Michael Lynn
04-22-2009, 02:24 AM
Garrett, I've never had much problem with squats as I still have full ROM, however squatting can be uncomfortable. Should I just push through it?

Generally weighted movements, such as DL and Squat, have aggravated it, but running (POSE) seems to not be so problematic.

Steven, does it matter if I'm warm when I stretch? Any specific stretches you can recommend?

Thank you gentlemen,

Garrett Smith
04-22-2009, 05:56 AM
Tight muscles = give some magnesium a try, I like Natural Calm. Try to get to 500mg/day unless you get bowel symptoms at that dose.

Stretching = www.yrgworkoutllc.com

Get some Vibram FiveFingers or some Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot shoes and make them your regular kicks.

I'm not a believer in pushing through pain, so I don't want to imply that from my post above. If it hurts, don't do it. Figure out why it hurts and fix it.

Gavin Harrison
04-22-2009, 01:38 PM
How do you squat? I have long legs/crackly knees/etc.. narrow stance full depth squats are the pits for my knees, they don't like them, the same way you're describing.. even unweighted. However, slightly wide squats to a bit bellow parallel is perfectly fine, so that's how I squat.

Garrett Smith
04-22-2009, 02:01 PM
My squats are shoulder width with toes turned out ~25 degrees. "Landing stance."

Whatever squats you can do the deepest without pain, do them.

Disclaimer--I have short legs, long torso. This is likely why I was able to be a baseball catcher for 8+ years and not have any residual knee problems...that and I used many different squat stances depending whether I was giving signals, actually catching, or resting.

Dave Van Skike
04-22-2009, 02:20 PM
as someone living with little articular cartilage i can say, the crackling is less important than pain. by a margin of 1000:1. do pay attention to pain and realize many otherwise healthy knees are noisy...

Garrett Smith
04-22-2009, 03:25 PM
as someone living with little articular cartilage i can say, the crackling is less important than pain. by a margin of 1000:1. do pay attention to pain and realize many otherwise healthy knees are noisy...
I agree...noisy knees are OK if no pain. People gasp at my knees cracking when I drop into a full squat in front of them, I'm not really concerned about it (and I tell them so).

It's only rarely that I get into the discussion of the possibility that the fact that they *don't* ever squat anymore (and haven't probably since high school or earlier) could be at the root of their knee or hip pain...

Mike ODonnell
04-22-2009, 03:49 PM
Add Fish Oil....no sugars...limit your grain intake...see if that doesn't help with any inflammation issues at hand.

Michael Lynn
04-22-2009, 07:23 PM
Quick background; this whole issue became apparent late '08 when I was deadlifting and felt something go "twang" in my right leg, right up the IT band. It didn't hurt, it just felt like someone has plucked it like a guitar string.

I warmed up in the hot tub today, and spent some good time stretching and using a tennis ball to dig deep into the tight areas of my calves and quads. Helped tremendously. Later I stopped by the gym and worked Straight-leg DLs with a kettlebell. Both have helped, so I'm excited where this recovery is going.

I'll pickup some more fish oil in the next day or so, and really focus on staying paleo (haven't been very strict as of late).

Thanks for all the help!