Whats A Typical Treatment Plan
Treatment depends on the severity of your injury.
Conservative measures to reduce pain, rest your leg, and stretch and strengthen your leg muscles are generally the first line of treatment. Your doctor will usually advise a period of controlled rest, where you avoid activity that puts force on the knee.
Knee Pain Diagnosis Chart
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board
A knee pain diagnosis chart can be a really useful tool to help you work out why you have pain in your knee. There are lots of different structures in and around the knee that can cause pain.
Knowing what typicallycauses pain in each area of the knee makesit easier to reach an accurate knee pain self diagnosis.
We have therefore devised these two knee pain location charts so that you can see what causes pain in the parts of the knee.
How Is Patellofemoral Pain Diagnosed
The diagnosis is made from your symptoms, the history of the problem, plus an examination of your knee.
Tests, such as X-rays or scans, cannot diagnose patellofemoral pain and are often not helpful. However, sometimes they might need to be done to diagnose maltracking or look for other conditions. This might be the case if your symptoms aren’t the usual ones. Or they might be needed if you have injured your knee. It is very rare to have any other kind of tests for patellofemoral pain.
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Rarer Causes Of Anterior Knee Pain
CLASSIC SYMPTOMS: Front knee pain just above the patella that gets worse with activity, weakness, stiffness, knee swelling.
What Is It: Small tears in the quadriceps tendon above the knee resulting in inflammation and degeneration
Onset: Tends to come on gradually over time, affecting people who do lots of jumping and sprinting activities
Treatment: Rest, ice, strengthening & stretching exercises, knee straps, physical therapy and sometimes surgery
Find Out More: Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatment in the Quadriceps Tendonitis section
How Bad Is My Jumpers Knee
Jumpers knee injuries are graded from 1 to 4 depending on how bad your pain is.
- 1: Pain only after training.
- 2: Pain before and after training but pain eases once warmed-up.
- 3: Pain during training which limits your performance
- 4: Pain during everyday activities
Other signs include a weak or atrophied vastus medialis oblique muscle on the inside of the thigh, as well as weakness in the calf muscles.
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Pain On The Inner Side Of The Knee
Pain on the inner side of the knee often comes on gradually. However, in some casesparticularly if caused by a sudden impact or injurythe onset of pain is immediate.
Medial knee pain is the term most commonly used to describe this type of pain, which can be experienced either as a dull, aching pain, or a sharp pain. Given the importance of the knee joint in our daily lives, the impact of pain can be significant.
Other Inner Knee Pain Treatments
If your inner knee pain worsens after several days, or if basic at-home remedies dont alleviate symptoms, you should go see your doctor.
Some treatment methods for more serious knee injuries include:
- Steroid injection. This injection is used to treat pes anserine bursitis.
- Physical therapy. Therapy often involves stretching, exercises, and ultrasound therapy.
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What Causes Jumpers Knee/patella Tendonitis
Jumpers knee is an overuse injury. In practice, the majority of chronic cases are more likely to be degeneration of the tendon rather than acute inflammation, which should settle down after a few days rest.
With repeated strain, micro-tears and collagen degeneration occurs in the tendon. This is known as patellar tendinopathy or Jumpers Knee.
Although it is an overuse injury there are a number of factors that make people more likely to suffer including poor foot biomechanics, weak quadriceps muscles, and incorrect training practices.
There Is No Easy Surgical Solution For Anterior Knee Pain
The mere fact that there are likely to be ten or more described surgical techniques to try and treat pain in the front of your knee should give you pause. That usually means that none have been very successful, so we keep trying new ones. Surgery for anterior knee pain has not been proven to be more effective than a proper exercise program.
Some procedures have drilled holes into the patella, thinking that excess pressure may have been the cause of pain. Did it work for some people? Maybe but with that pesky placebo thing, we always hear about, we dont know because this procedure was never tested against control or sham. Besides having holes drilled through your patella might cause it to break if you fall on it or if you are hit in front of your knee.
One prolific Spanish author wrote about burning the tissues around the patella. We call that a denervation procedure. Thats because when you heat the tissues, you will fry the nerves to that region. The thought behind this procedure was that the patella is fed by nerves that could easily be burned using an arthroscopic approach. This procedure was also never evaluated against a control group or a sham group- so we just dont know if it works.
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What Causes Chondromalacia Patella
Chondromalacia patella often occurs when the undersurface of the kneecap comes in contact with the thigh bone causing swelling and pain. Abnormal knee cap positioning, tightness or weakness of the muscles associated with the knee, too much activity involving the knee, and flat feet may increase the likelihood of chondromalacia patella.
Treating With Ice Or Heat
Heat or ice can be beneficial in the management of musculoskeletal pain.
Ice is most beneficial if your knee problem is related to an injury. You can try heat to help your pain levels if there’s no swelling and your symptoms are not related to a recent injury.
Never place ice or heat directly on your skin. Use a barrier, like a towel, to protect your skin from a burn.
How long you use ice as a treatment can vary. However, you should generally apply heat or ice for up to 15 minutes. You should also leave a few hours between treatments.
You should stop treating the area with ice or heat and seek advice from a medical professional if you notice an increase in redness, discolouration or blistering of the skin.
If you have any issues with circulation or sensation, you shouldn’t use ice or heat as a treatment for knee pain.
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Pain In The Front Of The Knee: 6 Common Causes
Howard J. Luks, MDUpdated May 23, 2022
Pain in the front of the knee or anterior knee pain is very common. Do any of these scenarios seem familiar to you? You come to a stairway and cringe at the thought of having to walk downstairs. You love to run, but the anterior knee pain you have when running downhill has taken the joy out of running. If youve been sitting for a while, the thought of having to get up is becoming too much to bear. While I could say youre not alone, thats not very comforting. You are here for answers. Lets see how we can help educate you on why the front of your knee hurts so much.
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How Do You Treat Anterior Knee Pain
Pain in the front of the knee is usually treated successfully without surgery. This may take some time. It is not unusual for the pain to last for many months. Many of you will respond to physical therapy, which should focus on your hips, yes, your hips and pelvic muscles as much as it focuses on your thigh muscles. Runners who focus on a strengthening program might repeat might have a lower incidence of anterior knee pain.
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How Long Does It Take For Patellar Tendonitis To Heal
Healing takes time. The details of your recovery will depend on many factors that are specific to you.
You may start feeling better after a few weeks of taking it easy. Yet someone with more severe patellar tendonitis may find it challenging to stay on top of chronic pain.
Try not to rush your body through recovery. Pushing your body before its fully healed can damage tendon tissues more, which may set your recovery back.
What Knee Pain Means Based On Location
You may or may not know, but the knee is the largest joint in the human body. It is comprised of bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and is connected to various muscles in the leg. Because of the high amount of movement the knee performs, and the complexity of it, it is extremely prone to injury.
Knee pain can often be the result of a direct injury to the area, however that is not always the case. In certain instances, the location of pain can signal what type of injury you may be suffering from. Continue reading to learn what your knee pain means based on the location!
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Exercise Program For Pain In The Front Of Your Knee :
Many of you are afraid to exercise. Yes, some of you may have pain with a few of these exercises. You can start with quadriceps isometric exercises, or simply dont go too low with the squat, lunge or wall sit until your strength improves. Most of you will find that after doing these exercises 3 days/week for two weeks that your pain will start to improve. As I mentioned previously, this is a program that can take 6-12 months to fully correct the weakness pattern that led to pain in the front of your knee. So stick with it.
Squat: I like the variations that this group throws in. You do not and should not start with 100 if you are just starting out.
Chair Squats are the place to start if you dont have the strength or confidence.
Wall Sits: A great quadriceps exercise. This video is a little mechanical, but it contains the dos and donts of how to perform a wall sit.
Reverse Lunges: Easier than forward lunges. Dont lunge back further than you can handle. That distance will get further over time. Focus on your front knee so it doesnt wobble back and forth.
Planks: This video includes a good description of the proper technique, and it gives you 10 different variations to try.
Hamstring bridge exercise. If this is too easy you can rest a barbell across your pelvis, or a kettlebell on your lower abdomen.
Staying Motivated If You Have An Injury
Being injured can be very frustrating. If you’re new to running, you might be tempted to give up at the first sign of injury.
Andy says that having a specific goal, such as a 5km race or charity run, will help you stay motivated through injury.
“If you have something to work towards, you’ll be much more likely to get back into running once you’ve recovered.”
Running with a partner is also a great way to stay motivated. If they carry on running while you’re injured, you’ll want to get back out there once you’re better as you will not want to let them down.
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Symptoms Of Pain Behind The Knee
Since several conditions can cause pain behind the knee, the symptoms can vary. The most common symptoms include:
Varying types of pain
The pain can be sharp, dull, or burning. It may come on suddenly or gradually. It may be constant, or it may occur when you put weight on the leg or when you bend the knee. This information can help a doctor diagnose your knee problem.
Swelling or stiffness
The knee may look swollen or misshapen. You may be unable to bend the knee, or your knee may pop, lock up, or collapse when you put weight on it. These symptoms usually indicate that you have sustained an injury, but there are other possibilities as well.
Redness or warmth
Under certain circumstances, the back of your knee could feel hot to the touch, or redness could be visible. You might also have a fever. These symptoms would point to a different cause than if you only have pain.
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Patellar And Quadriceps Tendinitis
These two types of tendinitis also occur in the setting of repetitive, forceful contractions of the quadriceps or thigh muscles. Erratic exercise, poor conditioning and flexibility, or over-aggressive training all contribute to this problem. Some examples might include doing certain exercises before good baseline conditioning, strengthening and flexibility have been achieved. Some of the more common offenders include squats, plyometrics, and hill or stair running. For patella tendinitis, a patella tendon strap can provide relief of symptoms while healing and rehabilitation is taking place.
Having a literal pain in the butt is not a fun experience it can make walking, sitting and sleeping difficult and uncomfortable. It is certainly something that one would want gone as soon as possible, yet sometimes we unknowingly exacerbate the issue by trying to stretch the injured area. There is a special name for these types of practices anga bangha. It basically means that you want to do something good but end up hurting yourself. Today we will explore three types of the pain in the butt and how you can avoid making your practice anga bangha.
Pain in the butt #1: Lower butt pain.
Location: This is the pain that you experience right in the crease of the buttock at the back of the thigh. It might give you trouble when you walk, but becomes especially pronounced when you bend forward with legs straight.
Offender: Hamstring tendon
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Why Do I Have Pain In The Front Of The Knee
The most common cause of anterior knee pain is often felt to come from a muscular imbalance or a particular pattern of weakness. This will be the case for the majority of you reading this. At least thats what we think is the most common cause. We have come a long way in evaluating runners and other people who present with pain in the front of their knees. They often show the same findings when we use high-speed cameras to videotape them while running or walking. Now, this might be a chicken vs. the egg thing. Right? Which came first, the weakness pattern or the pain? We like to think it was the weakness that came first. We are still working on proving that.
If you are a runner or cyclist, etc then your training may influence your anterior knee pain. If you train too hard, too fast, and too often then you are at a higher risk of developing anterior knee pain. Most amateur runners run too fast on their easy days and too slow on their hard days. Proper base building, for strength, endurance and conditioning our joints to adapt to distance is of paramount importance. Zone 2 running programs are extremely important even for elite runners. Try to keep your training at a continuously progressive pace. You should be slowly increasing the load, distance, or speed over time. Try not to increase your load, eg. distance, speed, etc more than 10% per week. Most runners overuse injuries are training errors.
If The Back Of Your Knee Hurts While Running Or Walking:
This could be a symptom of hamstring tendonitis. The hamstring tendon connects the hamstring muscle to the outer aspect of the knee. This is caused by overuse in running or jumping or insufficient warm-up exercises. If you are an individual who has just started working out or increased your level of fitness, you are at risk for this injury. Pain can be felt when putting strain on the muscle or tendon.
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What Is The Patellar Tendon
The patellar tendon connects the bottom of the kneecap to the top of the shinbone . Despite its name, the patellar tendon is actually a ligament. Tendons connect a muscle to a bone. Ligaments connect two muscles.
The patellar tendon provides stability, holding bones together. It also works in tandem with the quadriceps muscle and other connective tissues to help you move. You couldnt straighten your knee or jump without it.
What Is Patellar Tendonitis
Patella tendonitis is inflammation of the patella tendon at the front of the knee. In chronic, long-term cases, wear and tear or degeneration is more likely than acute inflammation, hence the term Patella tendinopathy is often more appropriate. For the purposes of this article we interchange the terms Patella tendonitis and tendinopathy.
The patella tendon, also known as the patella ligament, is extremely strong. It joins the patella , to the shin bone or tibia. The large quadriceps muscles at the front of the thigh pull on the kneecap, producing huge forces through the patella tendon, especially when jumping and landing.
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Understanding Knee Pain Diagnosis
Understanding what is causing your knee pain is the first, crucial step to overcoming knee pain. The knee pain diagnosis chart options here are very useful visual tools to help you work out what is wrong.
You can find out loads more about these conditions, the causes, symptoms and treatment options, by using the links above. Alternatively, if you want some more guidance, visit the knee pain diagnosis section.
Some useful articles that go alongside our knee pain diagnosis charts are:
- Calf Pain: lower leg
There are lots of other causes of knee pain that don’t appear on either of these knee pain diagnosis charts e.g. gout knee. They tend to cause more general, widespread knee pain, rather than pain in a specific locations so haven’t been included here on these knee pain diagnosis chart. You can find out more about them in the common knee conditions section.