FEELING GREAT: Click, clunk, crack ... sounds familiar?

Paul Gough

Paul Gough

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Is it happening to your knees yet?

Unfortunately, clicking, clunking and cracking is an inevitable consequence of growing older and really common some where in the 40-60 age bracket.

It might even be the first sound that you hear when you get out of bed on a morning?

The question of “why does my knee click”? is one of the most popular I get asked by patients at my physio clinics, but is also one of the easiest to explain.

Your knee joint is designed to cushion and even absorb the shock it receives from the impact of hard surfaces or twisting repeatedly, say, if your playing a game of five a side after work at Mill House, run along Seaton Front or even take a long walk around Summerhill.

But over time, this cartilage wears thin and instead of the ones in your knee rubbing smoothly against each other, somewhere around the age of 40, these bones are now rubbing directly against each other because the cartilage has worn.

And because these bones are very tough and very hard, inevitably it causes a noise.

But the noises aren’t necessarily associated with pain.

It’s often just the first sign that trouble is on the way.

Eventually the bones clunking and rubbing together will have the same effect as two bits of sandpaper rubbing together and you could end up with rough surfaces and even holes in the bones of your knee.

This is usually where the pain sets in and your knee begins to swell and will take longer to recover after activity. At this point, some might opt for a physio for advice, some do nothing and some even try a knee support.

And the latter will help, but only for a while.

Inevitably these things have a habit of getting more and more painful and you need to be doing more and more strengthening of the muscle to help your knee.

But this type of problem needs the right type of exercises that specifically strengthen your muscles.

There’s a big difference between exercising and doing exercises. And one of the big mistakes I see people doing when the pain gets really bad is to think that running and doing even more walking will make the knee stronger. It doesn’t, in fact it often makes a swollen painful knee, even worse. You need to stop and strengthen your quad, hamstring and back muscles so that your knee has enough support to let you do the type of activity you love doing.

Do this and you’ll be hugely reducing the impact of the sand paper effect and the pain that a-waits, as the holes inevitably appear. If you’d like to know the specific exercises you should be doing, then please feel free to email me paul@paulgoughphysio.com and I’ll be happy to send you them.

- by Paul Gough