QUESTION: My knee is popping and clicking. What can I do?
I’m hoping (praying) that you might be able to shed a little light on a long-term condition I’ve had with my knee. About ten years ago I began noticing some minor “popping” whenever I’d ride my bike. This seemed to occur immediately under the kneecap. It would occur about once or twice a week; as the knee bent and extended, there would be a few ‘clicks’ and then one big ‘pop’. After that it would be quiet again. Lately, however, the same knee has been much worse; noisier than ever and feeling like it’s not snugly jointed. I’ve been noticing that the tendons behind the knee are much more present when I’m sitting on my board waiting for waves. Nothing seems to be tender or painful, however I’m constantly stiffening and tightening the muscles around the knee when I walk to help snug-up the area.
Any advice on what I can do to help improve the situation would be appreciated. Am I looking at surgery? Heard anything about glucosamine sulfate?Thanks, Michael
Sorry for the delayed response. I have not been in the mood for dealing with responsibilities since the horrific crisis hit last week. But I am back….
Your condition sounds awfully familiar to many of “us” who have been heavy recreationalists our whole lives. And in the past the old adage would be applied, “If it doesn’t hurt, don’t fix it.” It is common to have noisy joints and as long as pain is not affiliated with it, it is typically okay to let it go. But now you sound as if stiffness is getting in the way of things. Did you have any major trauma to that knee in the past? Is it your dominant leg? I have a few recommendations for you.
First off, I would DEFINITELY start to stretch the muscles surrounding that knee joint along with your hip and lower back muscles. Tight muscles can do a number on your joints. As long as you are at it, you may as well stretch the other side as well. A good stretch is held for at least 30 sec and you should stretch each muscle group 2 times. Next, it sounds to me like you have a bit of internal swelling in your knee joint. You may not be able to see the swelling but based on your complaints, the joint may be swollen. I suggest taking an anti inflammatory for at least 1 week consistently. So if you take Advil, take the recommended dosage for seven straight days unless you have stomach issues. Ice helps as well. I would also consider making an appointment with your orthopoedic surgeon in order to rule out any major problems. Glucosamine has been helpful to people in most cases. Again, it may cause stomach issues and it depends upon what is going on in your knee as to whether or not it would help. Thus the need for a doctor’s visit.
If you can afford a massage, I would seek out a good sports massage therapist with a background in rehab. This will help loosen up your muscles and it promotes healing due to an increase in blood flow and circulation to the area. Let me know if you need more info. Good luck to you and let’s hope for world peace and off shore winds! Hasta, Beth