Crepitus-cracking joints

Crepitus Treatment for Neck and Joints

What Is Crepitus?

Periodic cracking of the joints is a fairly common, harmless occurrence; however, regular or recurring crackling and grating noises are not typical and are signs of a more serious condition. The condition is typically defined or characterized as frequent grinding or crunching within a joint. The noise or sensation is the result of the joint surfaces or tissues rubbing together.

A symptom of previous joint injury or arthritis, crepitus can be categorized into several different types. The most common are bone, joint and bursitis. Bone crepitus involves two fractured bone fragments moving against one another. Joint crepitus deals more specifically with the movement of the joint, exhibiting the characteristic sensation as the joint is moved. Bursitis actually is the result of inflammation of bursae within the body and is felt if the fluid within the bursae contains fibrous segments.

Crepitus typically affects the weight bearing joints of the body including the hips, knees, wrists, and ankles. Crepitus neck is another fairly common form of the condition. While crepitus is not normally painful, it can cause pain if the cartilage between the joints is becoming coarse or rough or if a bone is broken exposing jagged edges.

Natural Treatment for Crepitus

By definition, crepitus is actually a symptom of an underlying condition. As such, the underlying condition must be determined before an effective treatment can be found. In any case, a number of common natural treatments are available to help mediate the condition. Taking a daily supplement of magnesium chloride or vitamin D has been shown to relieve symptoms and eradicate crackling bones. Additional treatments involve increased physical activity and weight loss. Physical therapy is often used to treat crepitus neck.

10 Tips to Stop Your Knees from Popping and Cracking

Squatting deep is bad for your knees. You’ve heard that before and it’s true. Squatting deep is bad for your knees if you don’t Squat with proper technique.

The truth is that Squats are a good indicator of health. If your knees hurt you’re Squatting incorrectly or something prevents you to Squat correctly. Here are 10 tips to stop your knees from popping and cracking.

1. Strengthen Your Knees.
Your knee joint is made for stability. Strengthening your leg muscles “” quadriceps, but especially hamstrings & glutes “” increases the stability of your knee joint by adding support.

Squatting below parallel is the best exercise for overall leg strength. Start with an empty bar, focus on Squat technique, add weight each workout. After 2-3 months Squatting with good technique your knees will feel better.

2. Squat Correctly.
The length of your legs & torso influences the knee position on Squats. Your knees may or may not come over your toes depending on your built. Knee position is therefore irrelevant. What matters:

  • Squat Below Parallel. Partial Squats don’t strengthen your posterior chain, causing muscle imbalances. Your hip joint must come lower than your knee joint. Tape yourself or ask someone to check depth.
  • Sit Back. You risk bouncing on your knees if you Squat straight down. Squat down by moving your hips first. Push your hip back as far as you can. Lower the weight and stretch your hamstrings if necessary.
  • Knees out, Toes out. Knees out strengthens your adductors. Your feet must be inline with your thighs. Squatting with your knees out & toes in (or knees in & toes out) puts uneven compressive forces on your knees.
  • Heels on The Floor. Squatting with your heels off the floor stresses your knees. Read how to keep your heels on the floor on Squats.

Many other weight lifting exercises can cause knee pain. The Push Press for example can hurt your knees if you dip on your toes. Read the articles on exercise technique and get Starting Strength.

3. Warm-up.
Warm-ups lubricate your joints, raise the temperature of your body, let you practice technique, etc. Do some dynamic stretching. Start each exercise with an empty bar. Read how to do proper warm-ups.

4. Improve Hip Mobility.
Your knees are designed for stability. Your hips are designed for mobility. Lack of hip mobility forces your knees to compensate & causes technique problems. Read how to improve your hip mobility.

5. Improve Ankle Moblity.
Same story as for the hips. Lack of ankle mobility forces your knees to compensate, causing knee pain. Tight calves can cause posterior knee pain. Improve your ankle mobility.

6. Glute Activation.
Tight hip flexors “” lack of hip mobility “” are linked to dormant glutes. Weak glutes lead to several problems on the Squat: heels coming off the floor, knees buckling in, etc. Work on glute activation.

7. Soft Tissue Work.
Popping knees is evidence of trigger points causing joint stress. You can remove the knots through soft tissue therapy using a tennis ball or foam roller. Lauren wrote a guide on soft tissue work using a tennis ball.

Trigger points in your peroneals can cause knee pain. Massage them using a tennis ball. Massage all your leg muscles while you’re at it. I recommend the trigger therapy handbook for a definitive guide on soft tissue work.

Soft tissue work for Peroneals. Image credit:

8. Learn to Jump
. Landing with straight knees forces your joints to absorb force. This is bad for your knees, but also for your lower back, hips, ankles, …

The correct way is landing into a Half Squat. This way your muscles & tendons absorb the force, not your joints. This is for any kind of jumping: basketball, plyometrics, Power Cleans, etc.

9. Eat Healthy.
You are what you eat. Healthy nutrition improves the quality of your skin, digestion, joints, …

  • Fish Oil. Inflammation is linked to joint destruction. Fish oil helps against inflammation. Eat fatty fish and supplement with fish oil.
  • Veggies & Fruits. Full of vitamins, minerals & antioxidants. Especially antioxidants (berries) improve connective tissue health.

10. Stop Doing What Hurts.
Watch out with leg extensions, straight-legged deadlifts, hamstring/adductor static stretches with locked knees, etc. All put pressure on your knee joints. Avoid.