The knee is basically a joint which is positioned between regions where bones connect. As the biggest joint in the body, the knees are responsible for providing flexibility and stability which enables the legs to bend, straighten and swivel. It is important to note that the knee is in the center of three bones – femur, tibia and patella. Tendons, ligaments, muscles as well as the cartilage surround the area to provide cushioning. The symptoms of knee joint pain can indicate a possible underlying issue that entails diagnosis by a healthcare professional.
Once an individual experiences knee joint pain, it might be due to an injury or an underlying health condition. It is recommended to set an appointment with a doctor to determine the exact cause as well as start the suitable treatment.
Stiffness and swelling
The knee joint pain can initially start or occur along with stiffness and swelling. Once a sprain occurs, the surrounding tissue becomes inflamed which results to swelling of the area around the knee and generalized stiffness that makes flexing difficulty.
In most cases, the pain can originate inside the knee, especially during movement which indicates a sprain in varying severity. Serious cases of sprains involve full tearing of one or more knee ligaments. In addition, the severity and location of the knee pain can also vary and depends on the exact cause of the knee joint pain.
The locking of the knee can lead to inability to completely straighten the affected joint. Take note that this locking often occurs along with knee joint pain particularly during movements from side to side and can indicate a meniscus tear.
Initially, the injury might only be minor which causes minimal pain while engaging in activities that require movement. On the other hand, if subjected to constant irritation or persistent injury, the tear can progress to a severe one in which fluid accumulates behind the knee which is called effusion. Remember that this form of knee joint pain is quite prevalent in sports-related injuries.
Crunching or popping sounds
The crunching or popping sounds can manifest during the time of injury or during movement. It is important to note that this sound is due to the damage on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
The popping or crunching sound is not considered serious if pain is not present. On the other hand, if knee joint pain is present, it simply indicates that the cartilage is gone and results to bone interaction in the knee. After some time, this can lead to recurrent pain, swelling and popping sensation. In such cases, the treatment usually involves resting the affected knee, casting or even surgery.