Knee Feels Tight and Seems Like It Needs Popping

Does your knee feel like needing to pop it but won't? Some people have this uncomfortable feeling and when they try to extend the leg back and forth to make the knee pop, they hurt. Some experience this feeling after training and it can get worse over a few weeks. Find out what causes your knee to feel like popping.

Knee Feels Like It Needs to Pop, but Won’t. Why?

Knee pain can be felt as a sensation of tightness and at times, your knee feels like it needs popping. Although it may not be a serious condition, you may need to see your doctor if your symptoms do not improve over time.

Most knee problems occur because of overuse. Your knees carry most of your weight and this joint can be damaged when overused from intense physical activity. A feeling of tightness and pain may occur whenever you kneel, sit or climb stairs. Here are some of the common causes of knee problems that cause pain and tightness.

1. Runner’s Knee (Chondromalacia Patella)

A common knee problem is runner's knee, which causes knee tightness and pain. It makes your knee feels like it needs to pop especially when sitting, kneeling, or climbing stairs. It is caused by damage to the cartilage under the kneecap, which usually acts as a natural shock absorber. Injury or overuse of the knee can lead to a condition called chondromalacia patella or patellofemoral pain syndrome. This condition is more popularly known as runner's knee because it commonly affects runners, as well as other athletes who do a lot of bending in the knees like walking, jumping, orbiking.

The most common complaint is aching pain around the kneecap that increases when walking up or down the stairs. Simple remedies such as rest, ice application andanti-inflammatory medications often help, but persistent pain may necessitate physical therapy or surgery. Below are stretches for runner’s knee:

2. Knee Arthritis

Osteoarthritis of the knee is a degenerative condition often associated with injury or overweight. It is also associated with other risk factors like heredity, age, gender, and more. Symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include joint pain, swelling, warmth, stiffness, and decreased mobility. If your knee feels like it needs to pop, you may have symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. Consult your doctor, who may prescribe prescription medications, knee braces, and other therapies, including surgery. Below are10 best exercises for knee Arthritis:

3. Bursitis

Your knee joint is surrounded by potential spaces or busae. One of the major bursae affected is the one at the tip of the knee, over your kneecap (prepatellar bursa), which can become swollen, causing prepatellar bursitis. This can result from direct trauma to the front of your knee, which commonly occurs during prolonged kneeling positions. This condition is also called "roofer's knee," "housemaid's knee," or "carpet layer's knee," depending on one’s occupational history.

Bursitis leads to varying degrees of swelling, tenderness, warmth, and redness in the area of the knee. Compared to knee arthritis, it is less painful, but can cause stiffness and pain when walking. Fortunately, the knee range of motion is usually preserved.

How to Get Relief

You can prevent tightness around the knee joint by increasing the strength of the muscle groups involved in bending or straightening the knee. This includes doing regular leg exercises like cyclingorjogging, which can significantly reduce knee tightness. Stretching is an important exercise before and after strenuous physical activities because it improves muscle flexibility and helps prevent runner's knee. Individuals who have poorly-developed joints or muscle weakness can also choose to use knee supports and orthopedic footwear to reduce knee strain. Corrective surgery may be necessary for serious knee damage.

Leg Lifts

Knee tightness usually leads to pain beneath, in the front, or around the kneecap. The affected knee feels like it needs to pop. To strengthen the supporting muscles around the knee(quadriceps), do straight leg lifts without putting stress beneath the kneecap. Do these by lying on the floor, then hold one leg straight up while your other leg remains on the floorslightly bent. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise with the other leg. Do this exercise 10 times on each leg.

Quadriceps Stretch

The quadriceps muscles assist in lifting the knees. Tightness in these muscles and the knee joint can make lifting your feet off the ground difficult. To relieve stiffness in these muscles, perform stretches while standing straight and holding onto a stationary object for balance with one hand, and using the other hand to grasp one leg around the ankle. Lift the leg toward the buttocks, keeping your back straight, and preventing the other knee from gravitating forward. Do the same to the other side.

Static Inner Quads Contraction

Another type of knee strengthening exercise is called static inner quadriceps contraction. Sit flat on a table with a rolled towel under one knee. Push your knee down into the towel to tighten the quadriceps muscle. Put your fingers on the inner quadriceps so you can feel the muscle tighten during the contraction. Hold position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times as best you can before feeling pain. Gradually increase repetitions and strength of contractions as you gain more strength.

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