Schedule Appointment

What is Causing Our Knees to Click…

It’s the fear of anyone who leads an active lifestyle; going about our daily business and suddenly being confronted with the sound of clicking knees. Often associated with pain within the knee joint, clicking knees can lead to anxiety about one’s health and even end up limiting your ability to enjoy certain physical activities. If you find your knees making loud noises at all hours of the day, here are some common causes of knee clicking and some simple exercises that will have you feeling better in no time.


Damaged Tissue Around the Knee

A normal, healthy knee joint contains bone, cartilage and ligaments all working in unison to keep the leg stabilized and prevent unnecessary lateral movement. Sometimes, whether through intense physical exercise or through degeneration, the knee may sustain damage to some of its primary tissues. Minor tears in the cartilage that acts as a cushion between the femur and the tibia may go largely unnoticed. As these tissues heal, they may form unnecessary tissue around parts of the joint, which creates a clicking sound during extension.



For those who enjoy exercise, few things can feel as great as a nice, long jog. Unfortunately, jogging can place a tremendous strain on your knee joints. Repeatedly running without giving your body the time to properly heal or recover is a surefire way to come down with a case of the dreaded “Runner’s Knee.”

As you run, the kneecap is held in place by the quadriceps muscle tendon and the patellar ligament. If the kneecap doesn’t track correctly and the bones become misaligned, it can cause issues with the knee’s normal function. This can result in both pain and loud clicking during use.


Ligament Tears

Two of the primary ligaments that help stabilize the knee joint are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL). Both are capable of handling a tremendous amount of strain, and as a result, the ACL and the MCL are some of the most common locations for tears, sprains and injuries.

After damage to the ACL and the MCL occurs, the knee will no longer be able to properly stabilize itself during movement. This can cause the knee to move side to side or feel weak and stiff. This unnatural movement can cause clicking and pain. A loud popping at the moment of injury followed by repeated clicking in the days after can indicate a ligament injury.


How to Treat Clicking Knees

Although you may be alarmed to hear your knees making unusual clicking sounds, thankfully, they can usually be treated with a few simple, physical therapy exercises. Rehabbing one’s knees after suffering overuse injuries or certain ligament tears is often a successful and preferable option to more invasive options like surgery.


Calf Releases

Calf Releases are a great way to help relieve muscle tension and tightness around the knee. All you need is a tennis ball and some space within your home. Simply put the tennis ball under your leg, and then point your toes at the ceiling. Tighten your calf muscles, release and then repeat.


Hip Flexor Releases

Using the same tennis ball, lay on your stomach with your knee bent at a ninety-degree angle. Swing your leg from side to side as far as comfortably possible. Repeat at 2-minute intervals as needed.

Knee issues can be a frustrating, debilitating occurrence. Thankfully, consulting with your physical therapist about the proper exercises and rehab techniques will help you get back to your lifestyle and feeling better than ever.

Visit our website for more information!

You don’t have to live in discomfort! Call LSTC today, at 703-450-4300, to schedule your evaluation.


Click Below to follow us on Social Media:

FACEBOOK                                     INSTAGRAM                                        YOUTUBE


Tags: , , , , , ,