Get-Fit Guy podcast listener named Brian wrote to me earlier today:
“Hi, Brock. I just received the news from my doctor that I have Crepitus in my right knee. It does not hurt a lot and I have not seen a PT yet. I stopped running and am using the RICE protocol on my knee. But do you have any other suggestions? What exercises do you suggest? Should I put a knee brace on? Thank you for your help.”
After doing some deep breathing relaxation exercises so I don’t lose my cool, this is what I wrote back to him:
“First off, Crepitus is not a condition. It’s simply a fancy way of saying ‘noisy body part.’ It doesn’t mean that anything is wrong, per se, especially if it isn’t paired with pain. Although it can be annoying, most of us get crepitus in one joint or another as we age.
Yes there are things we can do to minimize it, but please don’t wear a knee brace. Unless you have pain and a very particular type of injury, a knee brace will most often make matters worse. You need to allow your joints to move through their full range of motion. It’s when we stop using our full range of motion that we allow problems to become bigger and harder to correct.
If you are concerned about this issue, go see a physical therapist (or sports doctor) who specializes in joint function. Frankly, your doctor doesn’t sound like they have a lot of training or understanding of this stuff—especially if the diagnosis was ‘crepitus.’”
Yes, I know I could have gone easier on Brian’s doctor but Brian sounds worried and rightly so. Crepitus sounds like a scary problem if you don’t know what it is. So, let’s take a closer look and hopefully put Brian’s mind (and yours) at ease.