Knee Popping: What is Your Body Trying to Tell You? – Part 1

Chances are you’ve heard your knees let out a symphony of pops when squatting down or standing up, but what are they really trying to tell you? In most cases, the popping you hear is no cause for concern.

As we age, knee cartilage can develop uneven surfaces that create cracking sounds as they slide against each other. Popping can also be caused by the tightening of your knee’s ligaments or the joint lining adjusting to bones. However, if the pops and cracks in your knees are accompanied by pain, there may be a reason for worry.

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Listen to Your Body

In many cases, painful popping in the knees can be the result of two conditions:

  • Meniscus tears – The meniscus, a c-shaped disc cushion in the knee, helps absorb impact to the knee while spreading the weight of the body evenly to prevent any bones from rubbing together. A meniscus tear can occur due to an abrupt twisting movement of the knee in a sport. It’s important to understand that this injury can become more prevalent with age.
  • Cartilage lesion or wear – The cartilage surrounding our bones can sometimes be injured as a result of advanced age or arthritis. When this happens, a piece of the cartilage can break off and lodge itself in the joints, leading to inflammation. Keep in mind that normal wear-and-tear of the cartilage is common in older people.
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No More Pain

At Total Pain Care, we understand how hard leading an active life can be when you’re suffering knee pain. Our pain-management specialists are determined to help you take the first step toward a pain-free life.

Don’t hesitate to contact us in New Jersey for more information, and stay tuned for part 2 of our series where we’ll discuss tips to help keep your knees strong and healthy.

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  1. Ronald Amaya, PA-C is a Physician Assistant. He attended Weill Cornell Medical College and received his physician assistant degree in NYC. He has 18 years of experience in cardiothoracic surgery and over 8 years in pain management. Dr. Amaya is NCCPA board-certified in medicine and surgery.

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  3. Andrew D. Bunn, MD is a pain management specialist. Dr. Bunn also serves as the co-director of East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, as well as the Program Director for Lahey Hospital & Medical Center and Newborn Services | MassGeneral Hospital for Children. After earning his medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine, he completed his anesthesia residency at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he also completed his fellowship in pain management. He is board-certified in both anesthesiology and pain management.

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