Cracking or popping knees can be an annoyance more than a medical concern, especially when squatting down or bending over. Your knees are lined with cartilage that assists in cushioning your knee joints and allowing for fluidity in the joint when flexed and extended. Fortunately, there are a few supplements or medications that you can take that might help alleviate knee popping to help lessen this annoyance over time. Talk with your doctor before taking any supplements to treat ailments.
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According to MayoClinic.com, glucosomine is an example of a medication supplement that can be taken to help alleviate knee popping symptoms often associated with osteoarthritis. However, as the website suggests, there is little documented evidence to suggest the degree to which glucosamine actually helps rebuild cartilage in your popping knee. Glucosamine is a natural compound found in your body that helps make your cartilage stronger and tougher to allow for added support and cushioning while squatting, jumping, running, and walking.
Another supplement that you can take to potentially alleviate joint popping symptoms is chondroitin. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, chondroitin is another molecule that occurs naturally in your body and has been shown to help regenerate cartilage lost to conditions like osteoarthritis. When used in conjunction with glucosamine, symptoms can be further alleviated over time and with regular supplement use.
According to Dale Gordon, ND, for Alive.com, fish oil can be used to help lubricate the cartilage in your joints when taken as a supplement. As Gordon suggests, "essential fatty acids found in fish oils modulate the expression and activity of degradative and inflammatory factors that cause cartilage destruction during arthritis." This inflammation and cartilage degradation can otherwise cause the popping or cracking sounds you hear in your knees when squatting or bending over.
Bilberry and Grape Seed
Gordon also suggests that taking supplements such as bilberry and grapeseed can help replenish nutrients in your knee joint cartilage that is otherwise lost to osteoarthritis. Bilberry increases blood flow to the small arteries and vessels surrounding your cartilage, which can help carry nutrients to your joints. Grapeseed is a strong antioxidant that can help fight off inflammation in your joints that otherwise also could cause popping or pain in your knee.
Cracking in your knee, while usually a common symptom associated with knee cartilage degradation or fluid in the joint, also can be the sign of a more serious medical condition or injury. For example, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center suggests that knee popping or cracking coupled with pain when squatting might be a sign of a kneecap fracture. A thorough examination of your knee joint will properly diagnose the source of the popping noise and determine if further treatment is necessary.