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Pain On Outside Of Knee When Bending

Where Does Your Knee Hurt

How To Fix Inner Knee Pain In 2 Minutes

Knee pain on the front of the jointcould be patellar arthritis or patellar tendonitis. These conditions tend to hurt when bending the knee, kneeling and/or squatting. Typically the deeper the knee bend the worse it will hurt.

Pain on the lateral or outside of the knee is common in runners.Iliotibial band syndromeis one of the most common knee ailments affecting the lateral aspect of the knee.

The discomfort localized to the medial or inside of the knee could indicate tibiofemoral arthritis or meniscal irritation.

Nagging pain or pressure that is localized to the back of the knee could be a sign that youve damaged your meniscus. It is also possible that you irritated the popliteal muscleand surrounding area.

On The Outside Of The Knee

If bending causes pain on the outside of the knee, you may be experiencing:

  • Iliotibial band syndrome. The IT band is a thick band of tissues that runs from the outside of the hip down to the knee. When the IT band becomes tight, irritated and inflamed, it can lead to pain on the outside of the knee.

How Do You Describe Your Pain

I know, its a tough question sometimes, Dr. Burg says. But you probably can tell the difference between a dull, throbbing pain and a sharp, burning sensation.

Thats important. A sharp, burning sensation moreoften indicates an irritated nerve rather than a joint or ligament problem. Onthe other hand, you might describe pain from arthritis as more constant andachy.

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Pain Outside Of Knee : Causes Treatments And Prevention

Pain Outside of Knee

Also known as or related to:

Illiotibial band frictional syndrome. ITB frictional syndrome, ITB Pain, pain outside of knee, lateral knee pain


Pain outside of knee is that pesky pain experienced around the lateral part of the knee that commonly affects runners of all levels of experience. The ITB is a long band of connective tissue or fascia that originates on the outside of the pelvis and extends down the outside of the leg to insert just past the knee joint. Its main function is to assist in stabilisation of the knee during weight bearing activities.


ITB pain most commonly presents on the outside of the knee around the bony prominence called the lateral femoral epicondyle. The pain may not initially present at the beginning of a run, however will usually intensify as the run progresses. Flexion of the knee through a range of motion past 30 degrees has been found to exacerbate the problem. Flexion of the knee to 30 degree causes the fascial band to rub across the bony prominence. Thickening and swelling around the outside of the knee are also common symptoms.


There are many potential causes of Illiotibial band frictional syndrome.

Causes associated with overuse or poor training habits:
Causes associated with anatomical alignment or biomechanical function:

Treatment usually involves attacking the problem from several angles to ensure a speedy return to running. Below is an outline of where to begin:


How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

I Have Knee Pain When Bending. Whats Causing It?

Preventing iliotibial band syndrome might be difficult if youre an athlete such as a skier, cyclist or long-distance runner. But you might try changing some of the ways you do those activities to reduce your risk of ITBS. Examples include:

  • Avoid running up or down a hill or any slanted surface.
  • Make sure you have the right technique no matter what activity you do.
  • Shift training intensity gradually. Slowly speed up when youre bicycling instead of suddenly switching from slow to fast .
  • Slowly warm up and slowly cool down.
  • Wear supportive shoes.

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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

The anterior cruciate ligament is a band of tissue that runs through the front of your knee joint. It connects your thighbone to your shinbone and helps stabilize and provide movement to your knee.

Most ACL injuries happen when you slow down, stop, or change direction suddenly while running. You can also strain or tear this ligament if you land a jump wrong, or you get hit in a contact sport like football.

You might feel a pop when the injury happens. Afterward, your knee will hurt and swell up. You might have trouble fully moving your knee and feel pain when you walk.

Rest and physical therapy can help an ACL strain heal. If the ligament is torn, youll often need surgery to fix it. Heres what to expect during ACL reconstruction.

Why Does My Knee Hurt And Cant Bend

Knee pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, ligament or cartilage tears, and meniscus injuries. It is important to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis so that the best treatment plan can be determined.

Treatment may include rest, physical therapy exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint and improve flexibility, medications such as NSAIDs or corticosteroids to reduce swelling, and pain relief injections.

Surgery may also be recommended in some cases if other treatments do not provide sufficient relief.

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How Is Knee Pain On The Outside Of The Knee Diagnosed

When you see a doctor about lateral knee pain, theyll first ask you to describe the location and type of pain, for example is the pain sharp or aching? Theyll also ask you when the pain started and what activity you were doing when your symptoms began.

Theyll then perform a physical examination that will typically involve extending and flexing your knee, as well as moving it gently from side to side. This may reveal whether theres any swelling, areas of tenderness, or looseness in any of the ligaments.

Imaging tests may also be appropriate, including one or more of the following:

Based on your symptoms, the physical exam and imaging, a doctor should be able to diagnose the cause and severity of your knee injury and propose a treatment plan.

For minor lateral knee injuries, rest and conservative measures are all that are needed to allow them to heal. However, ligament tears, meniscus tears, and advanced arthritis may require surgery.

Treating Knee Pain When Bending

IT Band Syndrome (Outside Knee Pain) Exercises & Stretches. (Iliotibial Band Syndrome)

The best treatment for knee pain when bending will depend on the underlying cause of your knee pain. In most cases it will involve:

You will find loads more information on the different conditions we have looked at including the best ways to treat knee pain when bending by using the links above.Here we have looked at the most common causes of knee pain when bending, but almost any problem with the knee can result in pain as you move it. If none of these is sounding quite right, visit the knee pain diagnosis section for more help work out what is causing your bending knee pain.

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How To Treat Pain On Outside Of Knee

1. PRICE Regimen

PRICE mean protect, rest and ice.

Protect Your Knee from Trauma

You can use splinting or knee padding.

A pad covering the knee cap will protect it from further injuries.

Rest Your Knee

Resting will ensure that you do not keep straining your knee as well as giving it time to heal.

Ice Your Knee

Icing reduces inflammation for both minor and major injuries.

It is recommended to ice the knee two or three times per day for about 20 to 30 minutes.

You can use a bag of frozen vegetables or an ice bag

2. OTC Pain Medicine

Knee pain can be tackled with common pain medication like NSAIDs like naproxen as well as ibuprofen . These drugs are used to deal with the pain and higher doses are used to break the inflammation cycle. However, like the other medication, they have side effects. It is, therefore, not advisable to use NSAIDs if you have bleeding problems, kidney issues and stomach ulcers. Acetaminophen can be used to deal with knee pain, but it does not contain anti-inflammatory capabilities like NSAIDs.

3. Therapy

Knee stability is improved by strengthening the muscles surrounding the knee. Training will improve the quadriceps and hamstrings . Exercise that will improve balance is also vital. Arch support with wedges on the sides can be used to shift pressure from the side of the knee. In various cases, different types of braces are used to support and protect the knee.

4. Injections

5. Surgery

  • Arthroscopic Surgery
  • Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Will I Need Surgery

If physical therapy doesnt help, you may need a procedure called arthroscopic resection.

Your doctor will insert a small camera called an arthroscope through a small cut in the side of your knee. Theyll use small surgical tools, inserted through another small cut, to remove the plica or adjust its position.

After surgery, your doctor will refer you to a physical therapy program to help you rebuild your knee strength. Youll start with gentle exercise to ease the pain and swelling. Eventually youll move on to more challenging exercises to strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.

Recovering from surgery for plica syndrome depends on several factors, including your overall health and the affected knee. If you had surgery on your right knee, for example, you may need to wait about two weeks before driving. If your left knee was affected, you may fully recover within three to four days.

Keep in mind that you may need to wait several weeks before returning to your regular levels of exercise and physical activity.

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Monday August 31 2020

Pain on the outside of your knee can be debilitating and tough to treat. This pain is known as lateral knee pain, or in other words, any pain you might feel outside or around your actual knee joint.

Figuring out the cause of your lateral knee pain is a great place to start toward a treatment plan that works. So, what causes lateral knee pain? Lets dive into it.

What To Do If Your Knee Hurts When Bending

Person Bending X

More than a quarter of adults suffer from regular bouts of knee pain. Its really no surprise as our knees handle a tremendous amount stress day-to-day.1-2 Scientists have found that for every pound of bodyweight, our knees are subjected to up to seven pounds of pressure when they are bent or in weight-bearing.3 If youre here, it is because youve noticed that your knee hurts when bending it, is painful walking down stairs and feels uncomfortable while squatting. The fix for this really depends on the diagnosis. Below are some common causes of knee pain.

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Common Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee

Where do we start with making an accurate diagnosis?

Generally, most doctors use a methodological process to confirm or rule out causes. Firstly, we perform a thorough assessment to test the joints, ligaments, and tendons that pass across the back of the knee. Then, we consider imaging to confirm our thinking. X-rays often pick up major arthritis in the knee. MRI can detect soft tissue problems such as tendonitis or muscle tear. Occasionally, we perform other tests such as blood, ultrasound, or nerve studies depending on the presentation.

Generally, the more common causes of pain behind the knee include:

Knee Pain On The Outside Of The Knee

Your knee is a complex part of your body. Various ligaments and bones, different types of cartilage, and the iliotibial band are located in and around your knee.

Video of the Day

A number of problems with these structures can lead to pain on the outside of your knee. These problems are often the result of repeatedly bending your knee during sports or during years and years of everyday activities. Trauma to the knee can also lead to outside knee pain. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.

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Why Does The Outside Of My Knee Hurt When I Squat

The iliotibial band, or IT band, is tissue that runs the length of the upper leg from the hip to the knee. When a person bends their knee, the IT band moves to support it. If the IT band becomes inflamed, it can rub on the outer knee and cause pain, especially during movements that involve the joint, such as squatting.

Pain On The Inside Of The Knee

How To Evaluate Knee Pain (Tendonitis or Patellofemoral Pain?)

Pain localized on the inside of the knee is quite common. It can be constant or intermittent. Often it occurs at or slightly below the joint line. Common causes of medial knee pain include osteoarthritis, medial meniscus injury, and inflammation of the low leg tendons. The latter is called pes anserine bursitis.

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Lateral Collateral Ligament Sprain Or Strain

Causes & Symptoms

The Lateral Collateral Ligament connects the outside of your thigh bone to your fibula, a narrow long bone outside of your lower leg. The injury occurs when a large force presses on the inside of the knee, pushing the joint laterally outwards . The LCL resists against this pressure, however, if it is significant enough the fibers of the ligament begin to tear away resulting in pain and instability.


An LCL strain can be suspected given pain on the outside of the knee after receiving a traumatic contact force to the inside of the knee. Your physician may order diagnostic imaging to assess the full extent of the damage. In cases of a complete tear, surgery may be required. Generally, symptoms resolve with rest and activity modification. However, depending on the severity, recovery times may vary A grade 1 tear taking 2-3 weeks, and a grade 3 tear taking 3-6 months.

  • Grade I: The LCL has been overstretched, while there is no major damage, its function will be compromised until it has healed.
  • Grade II: The LCL has been partially torn and may require surgery to repair depending on the extent of the damage.
  • Grade III: A complete tear of the LCL requiring surgery to reconstruct the ligament.

Top Causes Of Knee Pain When Bending

Runners Knee

Runners knee is a painful condition that develops as a result of repeated bending of the knee joint. However, it can also occur because of poor alignment, a direct blow to the knee, or due to flat feet or weak thigh muscles. Pain from runners knee is usually just below or to the sides of the kneecap in the front. Symptoms include swelling around and behind the kneecap, knee pain when bending, possible crepitus, or cracking and popping noises in the knees when walking. Runners knee pain usually begins gradually and increases in severity as symptoms worsen.


Each of your knees has fluid filled sacs called bursa, which cushion and protect the structures of the knees. Bursitis occurs when the bursa become inflamed when kneeling, squatting, or in the presence of excess friction in the joint. Repetitive or prolonged kneeling or falling onto the knee can also cause inflammation of the prepatellar bursa below the kneecap on the front of the knee. Excess fluid in the knee joint that seeps back into the bursa can cause swelling and pain on the back of the knee. Although bursitis is not the most severe condition, it can cause significant discomfort.

Sprains or Injuries to Ligaments
Meniscus Tear
Arthritis or Osteoarthritis
Poor Alignment

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My Knee Hurts When I Bend It And Straighten It

Your knees bend countless times throughout the day. Running up the stairs, down the hall after kids, and getting into the car. You straighten the knee as you walk, descend stairs or get into and out of the car. Bending and straightening the knee are necessary for daily activities. Knee pain with bending or straightening may be a mild, transient irritation or may indicate a more significant problem. Learn more below and avoid further injury and dysfunction.

Sharp Pain And A Popping Sound

Person Bending X

If you experience a sharp pain and popping sound when bending, you may have:

  • A ligament tear. The knee has four primary ligaments that stabilize and support the joint. A direct blow or sudden twisting motion can overstretch or tear any of the ligaments in the knee. Ligament injuries typically cause sudden, sharp pain, swelling, and a popping sound at the time of injury.
  • A meniscus tear. The knee has two C-shaped discs of cartilage on either side of the joint, called the menisci. A forceful twisting motion can cause either meniscus to tear. Meniscus tears typically cause a popping sound at the time of injury. Pain can be immediate or it can develop over the next several days.

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Treating Lateral Knee Pain

Many of the aforementioned conditions, especially if its onset is gradual, are caused by overuse and poor training habits. For example, adding too heavy a load, too quickly or suddenly increasing the intensity of your workouts can be bad news for your knees.

Even playing sports on uneven, poorly maintained fields can cause major lateral knee pain. Of course, structural abnormalities can also prove to be the culprit, but most often, you can work with a Exercise Physiologist to fix any habits that arent serving you.

When you visit your physiotherapist to treat your lateral knee pain, youll likely be working on various knee flexion exercises using proper form. By increasing flexion of the knee and improving its range of motion, youre also less likely to experience an injury since youll have the tools to protect your knees from further damage, therefore relieving lateral knee pain.

For example, by applying pressure to the fibula and manually rotating the lower leg posteriorly, your physiotherapist can help increase the range of motion in your knee flexion with less lateral knee pain. If this therapy method helps, your physiotherapist can then use kinesthetic tape to hold the posterior rotation of the fibula in place for about 48 hours, giving your knee more range of motion while allowing your body to heal.

Check out our video going into more detail about this process

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