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Ol' Crunchy Knees

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So, hi.


I'm Jess.  I'm 28.  I am one week (!) away from finishing college.  During this semester I took five classes and worked full time.  Which means I gained ten pounds from all of the horrible eating habits between class and zero physical activity.  (I even started taking the elevator to the third floor at school.  Low point, definitely.) 


I've been starting to get back to the gym and taking the bike out on weekends.  I've also tried doing the beginner bodyweight workout a few times, but I always have to stop by the second round of lunges due to knee pain.  My knees have been crunching for a few years.  I've seen a physical therapist who says that crunchy knees are nothing to worry about.  But they get sooo tired and sore lately, that I have grown concerned. 


I'm hypothesizing that my knees feel worse lately because I have not been active.  (plus, ten extra pounds all at once on a 5'0 frame could be a lot for the joints)   I have a feeling that once I strengthen them, they'll be okay, but until then I would like to know if there are any good squat/lunge alternatives for weak knees starting out? 







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I wouldn't listen to your physical therapist. What you have is called crepitus and it's basically your cartilage popping and crackling. I had it in both knees for years, tore them up when I was a catcher in softball. I also had chondromalacia patella in both knees. While strengthening your hamstrings and quads will help take off pressure on your knees, if you've had this sensation for years and you are stopping after only two rounds of lunges (depending on how many reps you are doing) I would advise you to seek advice from an Orthopedic Doctor. I ended up having to have bilateral arthroscopic surgery about 5 months ago to grind down the cartilage in both my knees to take away the pain and pressure and also have torn meniscus removed in both knees. With the crackling, your cartilage is basically degrading to what looks like silly string. Physical therapy and cortisone shots can help, but honestly it just delays the inevitable if surgery is recommended. I was up and walking about 3 days post-op and back in the gym one month later. I would recommend getting knee compression sleeves while you work out, that will also help with pain. This is just my experience and what you described sounds basically just like my knees before I broke down and got surgery, but as with everything in this world, YMMV

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Hmm, this is interesting information.  I guess I always just assume that I'm making a big deal out of nothing.  I told a trainer at a gym once and she said it was because my knees were simply weak.  Well, that didn't seem right, so that's when I went to the PT who said it "wasn't a big deal."  But you're right, they called it crepitus.   I will try to find an orthopedic doctor.   Thank you!

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