The knees are the largest joints in the body, and they bear the forces of the weight of the upper and lower body every time we take a step, walk, or run. Even though the knees are designed to withstand a lot of impact, it’s easy to injure them, either through repetitive movements that wear down their structures, through quick, jarring movements that might accidentally lead to acute injury, or even through good, old wear and tear. What are some common knee problems, and how can we ease the symptoms?

Snaps, Crackles, Pops

One usually benign symptom that we notice as we age is that our knees become a little noisier than usual. We might hear and feel little snaps and pops when we squat or kneel and deeply bend the knees, and these noises can actually get loud enough for others to hear. Although it sounds worrisome, this phenomenon, also known as “crepitus,” is usually not much to be concerned about. Typically, it’s caused by the movement and popping of tiny air bubbles in the lubricating fluid in the joint, or from soft tissues rubbing against each other when we move, but if the sounds are paired with any pain, stiffness or inflammation, it could be a symptom of a more serious knee problem, and requires medical attention.

Twist Like This

The knee joint is a “hinge” joint, and operates with a simple front to back movement that extends and flexes the lower leg and foot. It’s well stabilized by a web of ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that pass through and around the joint to keep everything in place. One thing that often leads to injury and knee problems is when we experience instability from imbalanced strength around the knee, which results in poor alignment in the joint. Common activities like jumping, golfing, dancing, or walking can become risky when the muscles in the hamstrings, quads and calves aren’t strong enough to maintain alignment. Working with a chiropractor and physical therapist can help support healing when you’re experiencing symptoms of imbalance.

Wear and Tear

Adults and seniors today are active longer than ever before, so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing steady increases in the number of reports of osteoarthritis annually, which results in pain, swelling and stiffness in the knee joint from the wear and tear of being active. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Knee Osteoarthritis is described as a progressively worsening condition, which begins “as the cartilage wears away [and] becomes frayed and rough, and the protective space between the bones decreases.” As the protective cartilage thins, it results in a bone-on-bone sensation that leaves patients with symptoms of knee damage and strain. Bracing, strengthening, and knee injections can help replace lost lubrication and ease pain and inflammation to restore function and mobility.

Considering Non-Surgical Alternatives for your Knee Problems?

At B3 Medical, our goal is simple. We aim to use our medical skill and expertise to provide innovative, non-surgical solutions with no downtime and at a fraction of the cost of surgery to successfully alleviate pain and dysfunction in your joints. Through proactive nutritional, physical therapy, exercise and lifestyle care, we can help you focus on health and wellness so you can thrive and return to an active, pain-free life. Contact us today to learn more about our services and about how we can help!