If your knees hurt and crunch, how to be treated

Knees hurt, knees crunch – unpleasant sensations, the occurrence of which can be triggered by physiological or pathological factors. If such symptoms are regular and cause discomfort, you should consult a doctor to undergo a comprehensive examination and determine the causes.

Every day, the knee joints are subjected to severe stress: bend, unbend, rotate. Normally, their work is not accompanied by any sounds or painful sensations.

Causes of pain and crunch in the knee joints

Cracking in the knees and pain – these signs can appear when stretching the limbs, extension, bending, or during movement. Do not immediately panic, as the reasons can be completely harmless. In some cases, the knees crunch but do not hurt. A dull crunch when squatting accompanies a ligament hook on bone tissue. If the crunch resembles a vacuum clap, it is likely that the bubbles in the synovial fluid burst. Painful sensations with such manifestations are weak and short-term, do not cause a person discomfort, do not interfere with normal movement.

Trauma, sprain, bruises, systemic and joint diseases can provoke the occurrence of unpleasant symptoms. Knee pain and crunch appear for the following reasons:

  • overweight;
  • hard physical work;
  • sedentary lifestyle;
  • hormonal imbalance;
  • exposure to the body at high or low temperatures;
  • the development of an infectious or inflammatory process;
  • abnormal structure of the joint;
  • salt deposition due to eating junk food;
  • hereditary predisposition;
  • calcium and collagen deficiency;
  • natural age-related changes.

Due to various factors, pathological changes can occur in the knee joint. A crunch appears more often, painful sensations become more intense.

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

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Why do knees crunch and hurt? The cause may be the development of arthritis. The term is used to refer to inflammation that occurs in the knee joint and is accompanied by the destruction of cartilage. Most often, reactive arthritis is diagnosed. The development of pathology can be triggered by hypothermia, injuries. The most severe form of the disease is rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs against the background of incorrect functioning of the immune system. This condition is very dangerous, as it leads to destructive processes in the joints.

Crunching and knee pain are not the only signs of arthritis. The clinical picture is supplemented by the following symptoms:

  • characteristic clicks when changing position;
  • swelling;
  • the appearance of red spots on the skin;
  • hyperthermia.


The disease is accompanied by delamination, thinning of the cartilage of the knee joint. The reasons for its development include a violation of the blood supply to tissues. With gonarthrosis, severe pain occurs that restricts movement, and the crunch is caused by friction of the bones. The articulation of the joint is deformed, osteophytes, cones and outgrowths are formed.

The basis of therapy for this disease is drugs whose action is aimed at restoring and strengthening cartilage tissue (chondroprotectors). As auxiliary agents, ointments and gels with a warming effect are prescribed.


Calcium pyrophosphate and other substances are necessary for the formation of cartilage. In violation of metabolic processes, excessive use of salty, spicy foods, calcium crystals accumulate on the surface of the cartilage. Patients complain of the following symptoms:

With calcification, it is necessary to adjust the daily diet, minimize the amount of junk food, include foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Therapy may include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, the introduction of synovial fluid substitutes, shock wave effects.


Menisci are elements of the knee joint that have cushioning properties. With bruises, falls, they can be damaged, torn. At risk are athletes, people who have already been diagnosed with diseases of the musculoskeletal system (sarcomatosis, arthrosis, arthritis). It is possible to understand that a meniscus rupture occurred if the knee suddenly cracked, then intense pain appeared, which intensifies when you try to change the position.

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Conservative treatment of meniscopathy can produce results if the gap is small. The patient is prescribed drugs with anti-inflammatory properties, chondroprotectors. Physiotherapeutic techniques stimulate blood circulation in this area, improving the supply of oxygen and nutrients to tissues. In severe cases, prescribe arthroscopy. During the operation, damaged tissue is removed, injections of a synovial fluid substitute are made.

Subchondral sclerosis

The essence of the pathology is in violation of the blood supply to the soft tissues of the knee joint. The cartilage, which receives nutrients and oxygen from the blood, is degrading, thinning. The situation is aggravated if the knee is injured, periodically squeeze or start inflammation. The clinical picture of subchondral sclerosis is characteristic of many pathologies of the musculoskeletal system. The knees hurt and crackle, deformation processes occur in the joint, the joint loses mobility. To alleviate the condition, the patient is prescribed:

  • painkillers;
  • drugs that stimulate the formation of cartilage;
  • physiotherapy exercises;
  • electrophoresis;
  • massage.

The disease is often encountered by people of advanced age, in the body of which there is not enough hyaline, which is involved in the formation of cartilage.

Diagnostic measures

At the initial treatment, the doctor collects an anamnesis, analyzes the clinical picture. Various factors are of importance: lifestyle, nutrition, type of activity, chronic diseases, heredity. Based on the data obtained, the specialist makes a preliminary diagnosis, to clarify which a number of diagnostic measures are prescribed:

If the knee is cracked and sore, you should consult a therapist. He is involved in the treatment of reactive arthritis in the initial stage, osteochondrosis in elderly patients. With the progression of the inflammatory process in the joint, a consultation of a rheumatologist will be needed. In cases where the occurrence of unpleasant symptoms is associated with sprains, injuries, faces, bruises, you need to visit a traumatologist. If the pain and crunch in the knee appeared against the background of excess weight, you can not do without the help of a nutritionist.

How to get rid of pain and crunch in the knee joints

Often patients take these symptoms as normal, but you need to know when your knees hurt and crunch, how to treat and how to eliminate unpleasant symptoms. To relieve pain, use improvised devices, folk remedies or buy some medications on their own at the pharmacy. Self-medication is dangerous to health. Untimely access to a doctor and, as a result, the lack of proper treatment can lead to limited mobility and disability.

Therapy is determined individually depending on the intensity of the pain, sound characteristics, other symptoms, concomitant diseases. Results can be achieved only with an integrated approach to the treatment of pathologies of the musculoskeletal system. Therapy may include:

The knee joint needs rest. Avoid unnecessary loads on the lower extremities, apply non-tight, elastic dressings for fixation, do not allow overcooling or overheating of the body. You can use folk remedies for home treatment only after consulting a specialist. It is important to first find out why your knees hurt and crackle, and then take measures to eliminate unpleasant symptoms.

Therapeutic exercise

If your knees crunch and hurt, this does not mean that you can lie or sit all the time. On the contrary, all conditions should be provided for restoring joint mobility. Excessive stress can harm, but special exercises and their regular performance will increase the effectiveness of therapy and will quickly relieve pain and crunch, prevent complications. The complex of physiotherapy exercises is determined by the doctor. It includes exercises aimed at kneading the knee joint.

Traditional medicine

In folk medicine, there are also tools to help cure crunch and pain in the knees. They enhance the effect of drugs, stimulate blood circulation in this area, and relieve pain. Compresses, therapeutic baths, lotions have a positive effect as part of complex therapy:

  • nutritional compress. Grind wheat bran, pour them with hot boiled milk, mix until a homogeneous gruel is formed. Put a compress on the sore joint, cover with plastic wrap on top, keep warm for an hour. Remove the remnants of the product, wash the skin with warm water and grease with a cream;
  • compress of citrus fruits. Squeeze juice from lemon and orange, add a little sunflower oil, mix thoroughly. Dip gauze in the mixture, squeeze and apply to the knee, wrapping it with a warm towel or scarf. Leave the compress for several hours, but better – at night;
  • healing bath. When your knees crunch and hurt, you can improve your well-being with water procedures. A hot bath with the addition of decoctions of medicinal plants, needles or birch branches relaxes, relieves pain, improves blood circulation to tissues;
  • lotions from baking soda. Dilute a tablespoon of the main ingredient in warm water, mix. In the product, moisten the gauze bandage, apply to the sore knee for 15 minutes. After lotion, treat the skin with a nourishing cream with the addition of an oily solution of vitamin A;
  • gelatin drink. Dilute 20 g of gelatin in 1 liter of warm water, mix until smooth. Means to take a glass every morning on an empty stomach. It helps strengthen the ligaments and menisci;
  • fortifying infusion. In equal proportions mix the crushed grass of yarrow, ledum, eucalyptus and St. John’s wort. Pour boiling water over the mixture, cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Strain the finished infusion, cool, drink 100 ml 3 times a day.

Means prepared according to folk recipes will help accelerate recovery, saturate the body with micronutrients. They are accessible, safe, have a limited list of contraindications, practically do not cause side effects. If your knees hurt and crunch, what to do, the attending physician will tell you. Without his knowledge, the use of traditional medicine is not recommended, because there is a risk of aggravating the course of the disease and provoking the progression of pathology.

diet therapy

With pathologies, when the knees crunch and hurt, you need a special diet. Proper nutrition will help to remove harmful substances from the body, saturate it with vitamins and minerals. This is especially true if crunching and pain in the knee joint are associated with an overweight patient. Often the cause of such symptoms is a deficiency of synovial fluid. To increase the production of this substance, you should abandon bad habits, introduce the following products into the diet:

  • dairy (goat milk, cottage cheese, whey);
  • fresh vegetables and fruits;
  • bread with bran;
  • seafood and oily fish (tuna, salmon, salmon);
  • meat (chicken, beef, lamb).

If you do not know when your knees crunch and hurt, what to do, how to eat, consult a nutritionist. Based on your state of health, symptoms, the reasons for the appearance of such signs, he will make the correct, effective diet. To restore the normal functioning of the knee joint, you need to enrich the diet with foods rich in vitamins B2, B5, B9, C, collagen.

Fatty, fried, salty foods in excess – the reason for the formation of deposits on the surface of the cartilage. Limit the use of such dishes, while cooking, giving preference to baking, boiling, stewing.

Prevention of complications

Diseases in which the joints crack and hurt are quite common in patients of different ages. They affect children and adolescents, adults and the elderly. At risk are athletes, people whose activities are associated with excessive physical exertion on the lower limbs, overweight patients, diseases of the endocrine system, digestive organs. Ignoring the symptoms can lead to the development of dangerous complications, partial or complete limitation of mobility.

If the knee is cracked and sore, you should review your diet, refuse to use high-heeled shoes, lead an active lifestyle, normalize weight, and reduce physical stress on the joints. Excellent prevention of complications is swimming, yoga or aerobics. Timely treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system is the main condition for a successful recovery. Follow the doctor’s recommendations, eat right, do not self-medicate, then you can quickly and easily get rid of the crunch and pain in the knees.

Shishkevich Vladimir

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews. It specializes in the treatment of diseases in orthopedic, traumatological, vertebrological profiles