Knots and crunch sound in quad tendons and knees

by rich jayne
(lansing ny usa)

My knees make crunching sounds.

As well you can hold your finger on the quad tendons and when you flex knees you can feel snapping knot like bumps that seem to stick and snap loose.

Hard to explain.

Anyway I have had serious trouble with quad tendon pain the last year. To the point where cannot stand up from chair without using arms to push.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Rich.

Hmmm. Interesting.

I'm going to throw some stuff at you, and whatever makes sense for you, try it out.

1. Could be calcification. See my Calcific Tendonitis page for reference.

This tends to be from Magnesium Deficiency. Read my Magnesium for Tendonitis page and then my Kerri's Magnesium Dosage page.

Start supplementing as described, stay at your tolerance level for a couple months, and see what happens.

2. Most everybody in the US is Vitamin D deficient. Probably not the primary issue, but Vitamin D levels could absolutely be playing a role here.

Get your Vitamin D level checked. Then get your Vitamin D levels up asap.

Having a hard time getting up out of a chair is actually one of the side effects of Vitamin D deficiency (though this is usually more from weakness than the pain you describe). Check out the Vitamin D pages on Kerri's

3. Pretty much any time there's Quad pain, it's a safe bet to look at Patellar Femoral Syndrome.

I don't deal much with the muscle balance side of things with knees, so I'm going to point you to my friend Barton's

You may want to get
this ebook about hip tightness and muscle balance and how it causes patellar tendonitis and quad tendon issues.

My Kerri historically had a lot of constant, ongoing patella/quad tendon pain, she did the exercises and presto, no
pain. Now she occasionally has to do them to keep herself out of pain.

The body just doesn't work with singluarity. It's more likely that ALL of the above factors are at play, probably more. But let's start with that.

If I were to investigate more, I would ask these questions:

A. Is it tendons making the crunching noise, or is it the knee joint?

B. Tendon pain, or joint pain?

C. History of injury?

D. Why might this have started happen in the last year?

E. History of being athletic?

F. Any big life changes the last few years?

G. Overall health?

H. Age?

I. Any other problems?

Answers to the above questions won't change my earlier suggestions, but I always like more information.

Answer the above, keep me updated, and as always, more questions, more answers.

Joshua Answers:

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Feb 27, 2010
PART 2 - answer to questions - Knots and crunch sound in quad tendons and knees
by: rich

Thanks Joshua. Responding to your question...

A. It is the tendons making the noise. In fact you can hold your finger on the tendon, flex the knee, and hear and feel the tendon "crunch".

Difficult to explain but its like a tight elastic band being drawn over a bumpy surface and feeling the band snap as it goes over the bumps.

B. Pain is concentrated right at the quad tendons

C.D. I race motocross. A lot of stress on quads and knees with bumps ,jumps,and repeated sitting to standing moves. The pain started early in the season and go worse over time.

When I rode it would hurt for a lap or two and go away BUT after ride it would hurt. Eventually it got to point where had to stop riding and sitting up was so painful had to use arms.

E. I raced motocross from 15 to 21 yrs old. Then no riding at all till I was about 43. I have been racing from 43 to present. I am now 47. I have also skied all my life. I have always weight trained and do about 20 miles a week on bicycle. I dont do heavy weights more lighter weight higher reps.

F. The life change started at about 43. I had to raise 3 girls on my own. At 43 I was free to have my own life as the girls are grown up. This meant time to race ,ski, etc. Not really a huge life change. Just time for myself.

G. I seem to be in very good health. Most people cannot believe I am 47. They think Im 37. I compete with men less than half my age. I eat well and have no bad habits.

I. Yes. 1- I have leg pain when I stand in one place for more than 15 min. They ache. As well my lower legs have edema swelling at the end of the day. You can see the sock line.


Joshua Comments:

Ok, I'm sticking with my original thoughts.

Magnesium, and as much as you can get in you.

That Patellar Femoral ebook for hip strength to protect your knees.

2. And, go get some peanut oil. Long story short, I had squeaky knees once. Acupuncturist told me to slather on peanut oil for a couple days. I did, and the creaky squeaking stopped.

You don't have squeaking necessarily, but I bet you some lube would help your tendons there. Technically it shouldn't work/help, but it does.

3. Start massaging your quads. However you want to: rub them, beat on them, roll them, etc. They are too tight, stuck too tight, and you have too much chronic tension on the tendon structure at the knee.

Hit all that hard for a week and then give me an update.

And as always, more questions, more answers.

Mar 16, 2010
very interesting
by: rich

Ok three things, very interesting. About 3 weeks before posting this question I stated doing 2 things. Stretching and taking magnesium. I started taking magnesium because my sister said it helps her sleep. I too dont seem to sleep well so I thought I would try it. I wasnt thinking about taking it for tendon issues at the time.

Also I started getting serious about stretching. Somthing ive never taken seriously before. I was suprised when Joshua responded to my post saying take some magnesium. I thought , cool I have been for a couple weeks now.This otta be interesting.

Heres the good part. I feel a marked reduction in the pain in my quad tendons! Seriously I am not easly impressed but somthing is definatly happening. There is still a ways to go. If I try to work out at usuall intensity the pain quickly returns but there seems to be hope.

As well somthing else is also happening. My adema in lower leg and the upper leg pain I usually get from standing in one place is also reduced considerably. Not eliminated but reduced quite a bit.

Now lets see what ya do with this. I started the magnesium and the stretching at the same time. I havent done the massaging/rolling thing yet but plan to start. I mention this because I wonder wich one is doing the most good here? This leg pain and adema makes me think that stretching has loosened things up and perhaps better circulation is clearing the adema and less pressure causing reduction in pain? I am sooo tight! As well I actually feel my pulse in my legs around ny kness at bed time. Ive never felt that before. Whats up with that?

I will get some peanut oil and try that too.As I said still have a ways to go and will keep you posted.

last thing, dude you rock!


Joshua Comments:

See, pain is such a great learning tool.....

Magnesium certainly isn't a cure all, but if magnesium deficiency is contributing to a problem, getting magnesium -sufficient- and staying that way will absolutely help, and will help your body help itself by causing it to work better.

In my experience, just a single thing will rarely fix most problems (though it can, depending).

So yeah, do all the self care!

Jun 30, 2010
Knee pains from Googo
by: Googo

I started having pains in my knee when i was 16 years old. The sharp pain comes unexpectedly. It could happen to either knee. Sometimes it gets so bad and walking hurts. The pain may last for 4 days and not return for over a year, or several months.

I've had an xray twice yet the result said i was perfect. I used to be an athlete. Been running since i was 8 years but stopped competing at 17 years. I honestly dont know what triggers it.

Dont know if its lack of magnesium cos i dont take milk or any product that i can smell or taste milk. I work out regularly and i believe i'm fit. I'm 5ft 4inches and weigh 58kg.

Would appreciate it if you'd respond.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Googo.

Well, it could be a combination of growing pains plus athleticism.

How old are you now?

There's two options other than that, really.

1. Your body is responding with pain to nutritional deficiency. It's a lot more complicated than that, of course, but basically...

2. Something is rubbing wrong in the knee. Due to muscle imbalance, or misalignment of the knee, or a too tight ankle that causes problem in the knee at the meniscus, for instance.

I would need a much more detailed description fo the pain. Where exactly, how bad, etc.

Nov 06, 2012
crunching sound from tendon
by: tom

some kind of crunching sound comes from my knee.It comes from both lower and upper tendons.Their is no pain associated with it.
If you are holding your finger on the tendons and when you flex knees you can feel that on your finger.
I am 23 years old.I was a badminton player.But now stopped playing.3 times my knee was injured with ACL injury.After the 3rd time(one year ago) my quadriceps muscles lost significantly.But now it is developing slowly.Also i fell less strength to my entire leg and if pain on my butt muscle while sitting on a chair.


Joshua Comments:

If you're in the US, I'd definitely look into The ARPwave System.

Overall, that sounds like a bad compensation pattern. The grinding in the knee isn't a horrible thing necessarily, but it's a symptom to pay attention to because it's telling you your muscle structures aren't doing their job properly.

Jul 24, 2013
Weird come and go pain in my left knee from clutch
by: Josh

Hey Joshua

So this all started from me in my car, i drive standard and the clutch pedal is REALLYY stiff but i never really had any problems with it.

then recently i started feeling pain, i felt my seat was too far backwards and i moved my seat forward and the pain went away.

i didn't like how close i was to the steering wheel and felt cramped so i moved my seat backwards.

i had learned that the pain comes from when you extend your knee too much on the clutch so i tried to push down the clutch half way (thinking it would be better because the knee wasn't 'extending')

later i find i am getting pain in my knee that doesnt go away. i noticed when you push the clutch pedal all the way down, your whole leg keeps it pushed down, but by me doing it just halfway, all the pressure was sent to my knee, and the pressure must of been terrible because of the stiffness of this clutch.

so a few weeks later i don't drive and i feel the pain goes away until.....

i start jogging on the spot and i get like this squishy clogged watery feeling in my knee which makes me think i have to click my knee to get rid of it.

i swing my leg at mild speed as if i am kicking a soccer ball lightly and i get this pain come back?

so ive been ice massaging my knee and the sensation feels good. most of the time my knee feels ok, like when im sitting down, resting.

but when i walk it feels stiff, sometimes it does like a clicking sound when i walk and bend my knee then goes away.... and sometimes that squishy watery feeling comes back

my right leg feels absolutely great but my left knee just feels like there isn't something right and i feel like there's a tear/sharp pain in my kneecap? and again sometimes that goes away

and when i get up from my chair, sometimes i feel a little 1 second pain then it disappears?

sometimes i think, oh yeah the pain's gone, then it just randomly comes back?

I don't get it?

and im only 20 btw and never had problems like this until out of no where my car clutch started giving me problems?

Please help Joshua


Joshua Comments:

I'd massage and ice massage the thighs as well. Tight muscle compresses the knee.

Make sure your Magnesium is covered. see: Magnesium For Tendonitis

Theoretically just bad mechanics of driving/clutch use can irritate things such that you have the pain you have. Might be worth it to get the clutch worked on such that it's an easier action.

At the very least, keep moving the seat around so your body has to constantly adjust differently.

DO you think you actually have a rip/tear?

Feb 25, 2017
Quad crunch arthritic hips spasm in hip joints cant climb stars or get out of chairs
by: Hurt so bad

Age 67. First hip flareups 10 years ago would improve after a couple days. Still flared up with stress strain at times. But as of a year ago april of 2016 flare up has not eased. By june gave up pushmowing. By july gave up on climbing steps.

By sept xrays confirm arthritis mild to moderate both hips. December hip doctor prescribes physical therapy which have just finished this week with no improvement.

I feel half crippled from both hip joints front and sides and butt and low groin pain both sides quad muscle crunch noise half or midway mostly and spasms mostly from right joint but both quads.

Average pain level a 5 and hitting 7 and 8 with activity a slow baby step walk.

Pain nearly stops ability to enter exit any chair and bed. I take vitamin supplements including magnesium.

Have been on cymbalta over a year and just realized a side affect is muscle rigidity.

Stopped taking cymbalta a week ago with no improvement yet.


Joshua Comments:


What's your Vitamin D level?

For your particular scenario, that's the starting point of any 'getting better' conversation (and not much else to talk about until we get that handled).

Feb 27, 2017
pain the cause not the weekness
by: hurtsobad

Exit and enter chairs beds vehicle. I have to agree the hammer and knife is PAIN not the weakness developing from condition that's worsening this past 12 months.

Feb 28, 2017
Cipro- 4 pills
by: Ellen

Hi Joshua,
I forgot to mention about the exercising the arms, I am not opposed to exercise, but that nite, both in the upper back muscles started shaking uncontrollably for 2-3 days & weakness(nerve pain?).

Also, with the head dizziness, back of skull movements also trigger.

Thanks! Ellen


Joshua Comments:

If your body isn't working properly, exercise (while in general a good thing to keep things moving) isn't going to fix anything.

The muscle shaking is just a clue that muscles aren't operating/can't operate properly. That usually indicates a need for more nutrition, a decrease in systemic and local inflammation, etc.

Cymbalta takes a while to come off of, as I recall.

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