From kneeling to crouching to jogging, knees take a beating, leaving some with joints that simply don't function as well as they were designed to. As MayoClinic.com reports, an array of different maladies can leave your knees out of order, ranging from ruptured ligaments to the remnants of an old injury. If you suspect that your knees might not be as functional as they once were, consider the signs to be on the look out for.
Pay attention to knee pain. For many, the first sign of knees that have gone bad is pain. This pain can be sharp pain when the knees bend past a certain point or a constant, dull ache that alerts you to the fact that something just isn't right.
Bend and feel for stiffness. This stiffness can feel as if there is an inflated balloon within the joint, leading to a feeling of pressure or fullness. It can simply feel as if a muscle or tendon simply won't move past a certain point, leaving you with a reduced level of flexibility.
Consider the fluidity of motion. Ideally the bending of the knee should be a fluid motion free of stops, starts or clicks. If you have knee damage, you may notice a lack of fluidity in this motion. You might feel noticeable clicks when you bend your knees or feel a series of pops as you bend and straighten your legs.
Listen for noise. Sometimes the signs of bad knees are audible. In some instances, damage to tendons or cartilage within the knee can create a noticeable popping or cracking sound that can be heard when you walk around a quiet room.
Feel your knee for heat. Some knee damage leads to a noticeable temperature change in the surface of the knee. If a knee was recently damaged or is still healing, the surface of the skin on the knee may be noticeably hotter to the touch than the skin in the surrounding areas. In most cases, this temperature change is only temporary and will stop after the knee has, to a certain extent, healed.