Jun 2013

When should you be concerned about that noise in your joint?

I recently had a new patient with knee pain.  It was a great case.  The patient presented with about 3 weeks of knee pain with no trauma involved.  Essentially, the knee hurt with everything the patient did, walk, sit, running was out of the question.  This was a big problem because she was a very active individual!

After taking the patients history and performing a good physical exam, I felt that she was an excellent candidate for my services.  I treated her for 4 visits.  At the end of those visits, she had absolutely no pain in the knee.  She was able to walk, sit, even jog with no pain.  However, the knee was making noise, but there was no pain.  I explained that when you hear noise in the joint, but there is no pain, it is typically the soft tissues of the joint making the noise.  When there is noise associated with joint pain, that is an entirely different problem.

When the joint pops or makes a cracking noise through normal movement, it is called crepitus.  In the knee, it can be associated with osteoarthritis and meniscus tears.  If you have crepitus in the joint, and their is no pain, it can lead to an extremely costly endeavor to isolate the source.   This often leads individuals extremely frustrated.  If there is pain, then you should have an evaluation by a chiropractic orthopedist so that he/she may lead you to the most appropriate treatment option, which may be conservative care with him/her or a referral to an orthopedic knee specialist.  Okay, back to my prior patient.....

She was discharged from my care after her 4th visit as we accomplished her goals with care.  She decided to have her knee looked at by the orthopedic surgeon and undergo several weeks of physical therapy.  All said and done, after several thousands of dollars, she still had a noisy joint with no pain and no explanation!  If you are interested in possible prevention of osteoarthritis, you can try
glucosamine chondroitin, which has been shown to help with knee pain associated with mild to moderate arthritis.

Conservative options can save money, time and worry, don't overlook the power of conservative care in conjunction with traditional therapy.