Does your knee pops? What’s the problem with your knees?

“Mostly it is the fluid that envelops your joints as a result of some particular motion- and is completely benign,” says Benjamin Butts, director of rehabilitation services and performance therapy at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. But sometimes this constant popping along with continuous pain could be a sign that something is not right.

So, what is the reason for this? Usually, tight or misaligned muscles are pulling the knee cap out of alignment, says David Reavy, head of React Physical Therapy in Chicago. In time, this could result with popping or clicking, which could cause serious issues, according to Butts, “since the cartilage could be depleted and eventually result with early occurrence of arthritis, as well as many problems involved with worsening of the joint.”

In order to relieve the unpleasant popping and be safe from injuries, you should do the following exercises three times a week for optimum results.

Calf Release

Why: Self myofascial release is a method that allows you to relax the tension and tightness in your muscles with direct pressure. Stretching extends the muscle. “Releasing stimulates stressed muscles that are alternating the balance of your muscle structure,” explains Reavy. This technique will release your tight calf muscles and bring your knee cap at its place again.

How: Sit with your calf on a tennis ball and stack the other leg on top of it. Then you should roll yourself up and down over the ball. Soon you will locate the affected place. Then you can stop and lift your foot upwards and downwards for half a minute. Iterate the process again if necessary.

Hip Flexor Release

Why: “Many times the knee pain is caused by a misaligned hip,” explains Reavy, who advises a hop flexor release to fight this.

How: Fix two tennis balls together with some tape because the flexor is a big muscle. Lie with your face down and put the tennis balls under your hip bone. Lean by applying tolerable weight onto the tennis balls. Then, bend the knee to a 90-degree angle on the side of the release and flick your leg side to side as far as you can bare. Iterate this process if you must in 30-second to 2-minute intervals.

IT Band Release

Why: the illiotibial (IT) band is a ligament that goes through the outer edge of the thigh from the hip to the shin. It is connected with the knee and assists in the stabilization and moving the joint, which inflames when tight. This pulls out the knee from its alignment, explains Reavy.

How: Lie on the side on which you intend to release the muscle and put a foam roller beneath your bottom leg, halfway between the hip and knee. Roll over the foam up and down, going from the top of your knee to the base of the hip. Affect the tender areas as much as you can bare it. Iterate the process in 30 seconds to 2-minute periods. In order to concentrate on a particular area of the IT band, find the most tender spot with the foam roller and stop. Bend your knee at 90 degree angle and stretch out. Iterate this process of bending and stretching out for 10-15 seconds. Do the same thing with the rest of the tender areas of the IT band.

Side Steps with Resistance Band

Why: The outer quad muscle is weaker than the muscle that goes along the top of the thigh, which results with imbalance that makes the knee cap to be drawn out of alignment. Butts recommends you to strengthen your outer muscle.

How: Pull a moderate resistance band up just beneath your knees and lower down into a squat (if you feel uncomfortable, you can stand as well), and move two steps to the right and two steps on the left, working hard to pull your legs away and extend the band. Iterate one half a minute to one minute set three times, three days in a week.

Inner Thighs Squat

Why: Just like the outer thigh, the inner one is also usually weaker than the top paort of the quad muscle. In order to make it stronger, and be safe from knee pain Reavy advises you inner thighs squats.

How: put your feet apart aligned with your shoulder’s width with your toes out at a 45-degree angle, maintaining your weight on your heels. While squatting, take your hips back as if you are sitting on a chair that is far behind you. While doing this exercise, move your knees out to the sides and go down as low as you can tolerate-but make sure they aren’t lower than 90-degree angle and suppress back up through your heels. Make 3 sets of 15, three days a week.

Vastus Medialis Oblique (VMO) Activation

Why: The VMO also called the tear-drop shaped quad muscle that goes through the inner part of the knee cap is usually the weaker muscle on the thigh, according to Reavy. This could also pull your knee cap out of balance. The best thing you can do is to make it stronger.

How: Position yourself in split stance, maintaining all of your weight in the front leg. Squat downwards and stop at halfway. The front knee should be positioned just above your ankle. While doing this exercise, contort your front leg to the right and maintain this position for 3-5 seconds. Release and lift up, pushing through the balls of your feet. Make three sets of 15 on both legs, three days per week.