Throbbing knee and leg pain at night

Patient : Hi. I used to have knee and leg pain ever since i was really young (i think since grade 1). It happens during the night. The pain is so severe that I can't sleep during the night because of it. It doesn't come so often, just a few times in a year, but lately, its been coming frequently, i think i got 10 of them just this month alone. The pain is a throbbing pain from the thigh down to my knee and i could also feel it on my foot. When i bend my toes, I hear some cracking sounds. It usually happens on my right leg, but sometimes it also happens on my left leg. I saw a post similar to my pain and the doctor answered that it could be patellofemoral pain syndrome. So i just want to confirm if that's the case with me, given that i experience throbbing pain in my thighs in addition to the knee pain. The way i usually relieve the pain is to rub efficascent oil (which contails methyl salicylate) on my leg or put something heavy on my knee I also have another issue with my left leg (but i never experience it on the right), which could happen during the day also. Whenever I walk at around 7000 steps (i used a pedometer app), i just feel a pain in my knee and it's painful to walk. It feels like something was locked on my knee that's preventing me from flexing it. Thanks in advance!
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