The symptoms will depend on the cause of the pain, and the pain can come on suddenly, especially if it’s from an injury, or slowly and over time. It can be felt deep in the knee joint, meaning it may be due to wearing down of cartilage and from bone on bone grinding, and be accompanied by stiffness and gait abnormalities. Some people even notice popping or crunching noises during certain activities. These sounds can be heard in a healthy joint, too, but when it is coupled with pain then there is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. More symptoms include soreness, bruising, inflammation, redness, warmth to the touch, weakness, instability, and even joint destruction if left untreated. Pain and swelling can be worse in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time. Injuries to the knee can cause bleeding or lead to infection, which can come with a fever.
Knee pain can worsen with improper movement such as exercising with poor form, improper stretching, or not warming up and cooling down when performing physical activities. Improper form leads to an uneven wear of the cartilage in the knee joint. The pain can result in a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to a further weakening of the joint, limited range of motion, less-than smooth movement of the joint, an inability to fully straighten or bend the leg, and imbalances in the structure of the knee.