As part of a regular exercise regimen, you may do squats and lunges. Indeed, squats and lunges are beneficial forms of exercise. In recent times, you may have started to notice one or both of your knees making a clicking (or cracking) sound while you do squats or lunges. Naturally, you may be wondering what causes this sound and whether it is a symptom that requires professional attention.
Oftentimes sounds made by the knees when doing squats and lunges, as well as most sounds from other joints in the human body, are classified as "normal." In the end, the mechanics of the knees and other joints simply make some level of noise -- including clicks, cracks and pops -- when they are in use. Provided a person does not experience any pain when the clicking (or similar) sound occurs when doing squats and lunges, the noise medically is classified as benign crepitus, according to the Mayo Clinic. (Benign crepitus essentially means harmless noise.)
Even though benign crepitus or a harmless knee clicking sound is not harmful (or typically indicative of anything unhealthy), it can be annoying to a person working out. The most effective way of lessening or eliminating a knee clicking sound is to engage in a thorough stretching routine before working out. In addition, enhancing strength training exercises that focus on the knees and legs represents another strategy to lessen this issue.
Massage therapy can also be useful in lessening or eliminating knee clicking sounds associated with squats and lunges. (In addition, a person garners an array of other benefits from massage therapy, including stress reduction.
A very persistent myth surrounding knee clicking when doing squats, lunges or other exercises is that it can lead to arthritis. In fact, there is no support for such a proposition in medical research, according to the John Hopkins University School of Medicine.
If a person does experience pain together with knee clicking, that individual should seek a professional evaluation of the problem. Similarly, if a person is not experiencing pain but nonetheless has concerns about joint related sounds, a professional consultation is the course to take. In these types of situations, a physician or physiotherapist can evaluate the situation and provide an individual with useful advice and guidance.