Cracking the Mystery of Creaky knees (Crepitus): What You Need to Know

knee osteoarthritis, knee pain. kneecap pain

You might have heard those odd noises your knees make when you move them—grating, cracking, or popping sounds. This is what we call crepitus. For many people, crepitus is linked to the idea that their joints are wearing out, and they fear it could lead to more damage. This fear often makes them reduce their activity levels and change how they move to avoid the sound. When they seek advice about crepitus, they expect their healthcare professionals to have solid evidence-based knowledge on how to deal with it.

Key Takeaways from the Study:

A recent study by Drum et al. dove into the world of crepitus in people with knee issues. They wanted to understand what these folks believed about crepitus, how these beliefs influenced their exercise and physical activity, and how healthcare professionals played a role in shaping these beliefs.

  1. Understanding Crepitus: The study involved individuals who experienced crepitus in their knees. What they found was that some had crepitus without any pain, while others had both crepitus and pain. However, only some of them thought the sound had a connection to the timing or severity of pain or stiffness. This connection was more common in people with knee osteoarthritis.
  2. Worry About Crepitus: When they first heard the sound, some were worried, while others weren’t. But as time passed, people generally became less worried. Their main concern was pain and function, not the crepitus sound.
  3. Exercise is Good: All participants believed that exercise was beneficial for their knees as long as it was the right type. Most remained physically active, but many adjusted their movements to avoid crepitus and related pain.
  4. Lack of Contact with Professionals: Interestingly, many people were curious about what crepitus meant but never talked to a healthcare professional about it. Of those who did, some were reassured that it wasn’t a big issue. Many participants expressed the desire to learn more about what exercises they should do and what crepitus means.

Implementing in Practice:

  1. Debunking Crepitus Myths: As healthcare professionals, we should educate our clients about what it means and reassure them about the benefits of exercise and physical activity.
  2. Personalized Approach: It’s vital to help clients find the types of exercise and physical activity that work best for them personally. Every individual’s needs and preferences are unique.

In conclusion, while creaky knees might sound unsettling, it doesn’t typically raise a major red flag for those who experience it. However, it’s important for healthcare professionals to provide clarity, reassurance, and guidance to ensure that clients stay active, maintain their overall health, and manage any related discomfort effectively.

If you are suffering from creaky or popping knees, book in with one of our clinician to get an individual exercise program.


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