Why does my knee hurt when I bend or squat?

You squat for multiple reasons, and during that time, you may experience a cracking or popping sound in your knees. Most of you may wonder, “Why do my knees hurt when I squat?” The answer is simple. It is because squatting puts pressure on your knees. The cracking sound is called crepitus, and if this sound is followed by knee pain, it means you may have knee problems.

Experts believe that knee cracking is not a serious problem until it results in pain. However, knee pain while squatting can result from an underlying condition. Before understanding those underlying conditions, you must understand the knee’s anatomy.

Knee joint anatomy 

Your knees are among the most delicate parts of your body. It is made of bones, cartilages, ligaments, and synovium. The knee joint comprises bones, including the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella. In addition, it consists of a meniscus that aims to reduce the friction between the tibia and the femur. The synovium fluid maintains the lubrication in the knee joint, and the ligaments connect the significant bones. You must take care of your knee as a sudden blow to the joints or an improper lifestyle can hamper your health.

Why do my knees crack and hurt when I squat? 

If you exercise regularly or perform any activity that puts pressure on the knees, you may experience cracking of your knees. In addition, you may experience a cracking sound while bending your knees. However, it is not a cause of concern. Some of the reasons that may cause knee cracking include:

  • Gas bubbles in the synovial fluid

Synovial fluid maintains the swiftness in your knees. However, it can get affected by the gas bubbles. Over time, gas bubbles develop in this fluid. As a result, when you bend or flex your knees, you may hear a cracking or popping sound. However, you must not worry as it does not cause any pain.

  • Knee surgery

Knee surgery may make your knees noisy. It can occur because of changes in the knee anatomy or alteration in the joints. If you experience knee cracking after surgery, do not worry. It does not affect your well being or cause pain in any manner. Doctors believe that noisy knees after knee surgery make patients more concerned about their health and often lead to questions such as ‘Why do my knees crack when I squat?’ or ‘why do my knees crackle when I squat?’. In such cases, you may try to find the answer in your health history. If you have undergone knee surgery, you are likely to experience knee cracking after the surgery.

  • Knee osteoarthritis

Why do my knees crack and hurt when I squat? It could be due to knee osteoarthritis. If you are aged over 50, you may experience knee osteoarthritis. It is a common knee problem in men and women. It happens due to the breakdown of the knee cartilage and may cause pain and inflammation in the joints. Therefore, you must visit a doctor to diagnose your knee health.

  • Knee injury

You may hurt your kneecap after a sudden fall or accident. It can cause a noisy sound while bending or squatting. Knee injuries can be classified into the following three conditions:

  • Meniscus tears
  • Runner’s knee
  • Chondromalacia patella

Understanding these conditions will help you understand the root cause of your pain. If you experience crunching or popping sound in your knees followed by pain and discomfort, you must visit an orthopaedic doctor for treatment.