I have pain in my knee joints. The pain increases when I squat, run or walk. My knee joints also make a cracking noise. I have not had proper treatment and I am worried. Please help.
Understanding the cause of the pain may not be easy, but the clues you give may help with diagnosis. The clues point to factors such as age and lifestyle. How old are you and what type of activities do you do?
Has the knee pain been constant, or it just started? Have you had an injury recently? I suggest that you seek medical advice to determine the cause and treatment.
A popping and snapping sound in the knees is common and often not a symptom of specific problems or conditions. If the ‘pops’ are painless, there is usually no problem, but painful pops and snaps should be evaluated.
A pop can be heard or felt during an injury, usually when a ligament is torn. The crack-like noise, on the other hand, can be a symptom of cartilage problems. Cartilage is connective tissue that covers the ends of the bones at a joint. It also gives shape and support to other parts of the body.
If the cartilage under the kneecap is injured, a crunchy sensation is often felt by placing the hand over the kneecap and bending the knee. A similar grinding sensation may be felt with knee arthritis — a condition in which the natural cushioning between joints wears away. This is usually caused by age.
The ability of the cartilage to heal after injury decreases, with age and can also be caused by weight since every pound of weight a person gains adds extra weight on the body.
Sometimes, the condition is hereditary. If the knee joint pain increases when you squat, run or walk, you could be having a condition known as locking. Locking is a symptom that occurs when a person cannot bend or straighten the knee. Locking is due to pain that prevents normal knee motion caused by cartilage wear, or knee injury.
A doctor may have to inject the knee with a numbing medication to establish whether it is knee injury or cartilage wear. After the medication has taken effect, you can try bending the knee to determine if the pain was inhibiting the motion or if there is a structure, such as a torn cartilage that is blocking normal motion.