Why do knees crunch and what to do about it

A crunch in various parts of the musculoskeletal system is the first bell of the onset of diseases of the joints or spine, which is not yet accompanied by pain or other unpleasant sensations, but hints that the body is malfunctioning, and the process of tissue degeneration has already begun and is developing rapidly.

A knee crunch is no exception. This is the sign that you need to pay attention to and start treatment, depending on the diagnosis. Why are knees crunching, what are the causes of this phenomenon, what to do, what treatment should be taken, which doctor should be consulted for – you will read about all this in this article.

Causes of a knee crunch

Crunch in the knee can occur in various situations: when walking, squatting, running, cornering. One of the specialists in the treatment of such problems say for sure – just like that, without a reason, a crunch in the knee joint cannot occur if it is not an episode. Why can there be a strong crunch in the knees, and why is this symptom dangerous to health?

If your knees crackle, this is a sign of an incipient knee joint disease or injury, which may include:

This list is specific knee diseases that are indicated by an initial, warning symptom. There are also individual reasons that led to the occurrence of this unpleasant sign. Among them:

  1. Obesity or overweight.
  2. Hypodynamia is a sedentary lifestyle.
  3. Use overly tight, tight clothing.
  4. Wearing uncomfortable shoes (high-heeled shoes, with an uncomfortable shoe).
  5. Heavy loads, heavy physical labor, sports, carrying weights.
  6. Improper nutrition, abuse of “harmful” products (pickles, smoked, spicy, alcohol).

What is dangerous crunch for the joint

Having understood the question of why the joints crack, what are the reasons, it is necessary to understand the question of what is the danger of the symptom.

Is crunching so dangerous and is it worth it to worry when it appears, if there is no pain, the movement of the knee joint is not impaired, and the general well-being of a person is satisfactory?

Crunch in the knee joint is the first and almost the only sign of the beginning of the development of destructive processes in the tissues of the joint, which precedes pain, deformation, swelling.

If you do not consult a doctor in time, then irreversible processes may occur:

  1. Partial or even complete destruction of the cartilage tissue of the knee joint (if the cause of the crunch was knee arthrosis).
  2. Joint deformation (if the cause is arthritis of the knee joint or diseases accompanied by inflammation of the joint).
  3. Immobility of the knee.
  4. Loss of the joint and, as a consequence, disability.
  5. Serious knee injury (with dislocations, torn meniscus).

It can be seen from the above that the consequences of ignoring the crunch of the knee joint are quite serious, so the first thing to do is to seek help from a doctor.

Specialists in the treatment of crunching in the knee joint

Many patients, if something bothers them, postpone a visit to the doctor not because of a negligent attitude to their health or because of a lack of time, but because they simply don’t know who to contact with pain and a crunch in the knee joint.

The following specialists treat crunching and pain in the knee joints:

  1. The therapist – most likely, the first one will have to turn to him to find out the cause of clicking in the knee, for which it will be necessary to pass the necessary tests and get a referral to a highly specialized doctor who will undertake treatment of the knee joint.
  2. Neurologist, who will have to turn to eliminate neurological problems, for example, when pinched nerve roots in the knee.
  3. Orthopedist, if a crack in the knee is the result of clubfoot, flat feet or dysplasia.
  4. An osteopath if treatment with hands is needed (for example, to relieve the tone of the knee muscles).
  5. Traumatologist who will treat the injuries received (bruises during falls, fractures, sprains).
  6. A chiropractor whose function will be to recover from treatment. The healing knee massage will help to complete the treatment of the knee.
  7. Surgeon, if conservative treatment is not possible. In this case, you will have to get rid of the crunch in the knee joint by surgical intervention (stapling, arthroscopy, arthroplasty).

Even “neglected” joint problems can be cured at home! Just remember to smear it once a day.

If you know exactly the factors that cause clicking in the knee, you have the results of the necessary tests on your hands and you can independently determine who to see the doctor for, then therapist’s help is not needed.

Knee joint treatment

Treatment of the knee joint will depend on the diagnosis of cod in the knee. How to treat, in what doses, for what period to prescribe the medicine – this should be determined only by the doctor. Self-medication, and even more so without the results of the study, not only threatens with disability, but is also fraught with death.

How quickly it will be possible to get rid of unpleasant signs will depend on the degree of neglect of the disease, the diagnosis.

If, except for cod in the joints, no other symptoms are observed, then the treatment will not take much time, and its outcome will be favorable.

It is more difficult if the crackle in the joints appeared a very long time ago (several years ago), there are additional symptoms: pain, heaviness, swelling and redness. In this case, it will take a long time to heal. You may need to try more than one medicine to not only get rid of the crunch, but also to eliminate pain, stiffness in movements and deformation.

What if the crack in the joint appeared a long time ago, and the pain just started to bother? It is necessary:

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Depending on the diagnosis, the following drugs and methods may be prescribed:

  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that help relieve the inflammatory process will reduce pain.
  2. Corticosteroids, which are prescribed if NSAIDs are found to be powerless.
  3. Chondroprotectors that help restore a normal amount of synovial fluid inside the joint, thereby helping to get rid of the dry unpleasant cod that occurs in the knee during movement.

Surgery is another way to help the patient. Of course, no one will do the operation without trying to restore the knee.

If the conservative technique turned out to be powerless, then surgical methods are used for the treatment, involving the restoration of the knee with surgical intervention. Crunching in the knee joint with surgery is possible by replacing the joint with an artificial implant, stitching the meniscus, and injecting.


If you find any sounds in your knee joint, then the first thing to do is to see a doctor before additional symptoms appear. The specialist will prescribe treatment with minimal loss to the body. The sooner therapy is started, the more favorable the prognosis. It is possible to stop the destructive processes occurring in the knee joint, but to restore the tissue that began to collapse is not. Therefore, the speed of seeking a doctor is important for success in treatment. Ignoring the symptoms is not the best solution to the problem, which can lead to disability and complete immobility.

Treatment of the knee will depend on the diagnosis, degree of neglect of the disease, age and individual characteristics of the patient’s body. After therapy, you will have to reconsider your lifestyle, abandon bad habits, normalize your motor activity, get rid of excess weight.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

I have been treating joints for many years. I can say with confidence that the joints are always treatable, even in the very ripe old age.

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Anatoly Kudravets

Anatoly Kudravets, Orthopedic Traumatologist. He works with severe cases, practices operative methods of treating connective tissues