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What Causes Knees To Hurt When Bending

Knee Feels Tight When Bending

Bending or Kneeling: What Causes Knee Pain

There are several reasons why your knee feels tight when bending. However, most of them are benign and you may be able to solve them at home.

More often than not, having a stiff knee is your bodys way of asking you for more movement, like in the case of a moviegoers knee.

But, depending on your associated symptoms, knee stiffness can also be a sign of a more challenging condition. Like rheumatoid arthritis or arthrofibrosis, for example.

Below is a list detailing 7 common causes of knee tightness when bending, including:

Common Conditions That Cause Pain When Bending Or Straightening Knee

Pain when bending or straightening the knee can sideline you for the weekend or for months at a time. There are many different causes of knee pain. It is important that you identify the specific cause of your pain so that a specific treatment plan can be created. There are 5 major conditions that can affect how the functions like difficulties in bending or straightening the knee:

Lateral Collateral Ligament Injury

The lateral collateral ligament is one of the four main ligaments of the knee. It connects the outer side of the femur and tibia and is primarily responsible for stabilizing the outer aspect of the knee.

An LCL injury is often the result of a blow to the inside part of the knee this causes the LCL to stretch beyond normal and can result in partial or complete tearing of the ligament.

Symptoms may include soreness on the outside of the knee, swelling, and stiffness. You may experience instability a feeling that the knee is unstable and going to buckle or give out.

32 million adults in the United States.

With aging, the cartilage that helps cushion the ends of bones in the knee joint can wear thin and eventually allow the bones to rub together. Pain, stiffness, and loss of joint movement can follow.

Some people have more significant wearing of the cartilage in the outer compartment of the knee joint and this can lead to lateral sided knee pain.

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Pain On The Inside Of The Knee

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.

Burning Pain In Knee Cap

What Causes Knee Pain When Squatting or Bending?

When you feel pain in your knee cap, you imagine the worst. You begin to believe you’ve injured your knee. Maybe you even wonder if you have a torn meniscus.

Burning pain under or around your knee cap is a common overuse injury. The official diagnosis for this syndrome is chondromalacia or patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as PFS. The injury is also commonly known as runner’s knee.

When you run, you put stress on your knee cap and the tendons in it. If you’re not used to running long miles and attempt a long run, you will feel this pain. You will also feel it if you begin to increase your mileage too quickly.

Your tendons in your knee cap are firing up and becoming inflamed. You have tendonitis in your knee or runner’s knee.

Stopping activity will help this heal more quickly as will ice and appropriate NSAID or anti-inflammatory medications.

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Why Do My Knees Hurt When I Bend Them Or Go Up And Down Stairs

Many knee pain patients will report that they have trouble with deep bending through the knee, or going up and down stairs due to an increase in anterior knee pain. When you bend the knee under load, such as when you go down or up the stairs, there are a lot of muscles that are working, and putting pressure on the kneecap via their strong tendinous attachments. The patella sits above a groove in the femur when we are standing. When we start to bend the knee, the kneecap glides into this groove. This groove keeps the kneecap stable and in place. Within the groove, there will be building pressure within the patellofemoral space . Under normal circumstances, we will be able to tolerate this increase in joint pressure without any concerns. However, when there is thinning of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap, as is the case of chondromalacia patella, our tolerance for compression is lessened, and this may provoke feelings of pain. Further, if there is osteoarthritis in the knee, affecting the joint space or shape of the bone, this can slightly change the way the kneecap tracks and alter the forces seen acting on the knee.

How Is Knee Pain In Teens Diagnosed

Your healthcare provider will ask about your teens knee pain:

  • Is there a known cause for the knee pain does it happen with certain movements or is there no specific known event?
  • How long has the pain been present?
  • Where on or around your knee do you feel pain?
  • Does the pain wake you up at night?

Your provider will perform a physical exam, checking:

  • Kneecap and knee stability.
  • Alignment of lower leg, kneecap and thigh.
  • Range of motion of hips and knees.
  • Thigh muscle strength, flexibility, firmness.

Your provider may order imaging tests including X-rays or a CT scan or MRI .

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Why Does Bending Cause Knee Pain

Knee pain when bending can be split into two types:

Weight-Bearing:when there is weight going through the knee as you bend it such as when you squat down, go up and down stairs and as you sit down in a chair

Non Weight-Bearing:when there is no weight going through the knee when you bend it e.g. when sitting in a chair and moving the knee or standing but with the leg lifted off the floor as you bend it

Knee pain when bending tends to be worse when there is weight going through the knee as you bend it due to the compression and pressure on the different structures in the knee.

This should come as no surprise when we realise how large the forces going through different parts of the knee.

For example, when bending the knee to climb stairs, a force approximately three times body weight goes through the knee.

When squatting down the force is even greater at seven times body weight and when jumping, a huge force ten times body weight goes through part of the knee.

How Did You Hurt Your Knee

What causes sharp pain behind knee? How can it be managed? – Dr. Navinchand D J

Traumatic injuriesare noticeable right away and worsen dramatically the next day as pain and inflammation set in. traumatic injuries typically occur playing sports, during slips, falls, and other work-related accidents. The trauma is caused by the injury exceeding the tolerance of knee structures leading to breaks, ruptures or tears.

Knee ligaments, bones, and menisci are the most commonly damaged structures in the knee joint. Injuries to bone and connective tissue result in long term pain and will impede normal knee function for some time after the initial injury. Less serious traumatic injuries may result in only painful, superficial contusions which heal relatively quickly. If you believe you have incurred serious knee trauma you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. If bone or connective tissue within your joint is damaged a surgical assessment could be required.

Overuse injuriestypically cause knee pain that comes and goes and varies in intensity. Sometimes our favorite activities subject our knees to stressful movement patterns repetitively. Think jumping, squatting, kneeling, running, lunging type movements. Moving in this way over and over again can irritate knee structures such as bursae, tendons, and articular cartilage.

Degenerative Joint Disease is the number one cause of long term disability relating to knee pain. Pain often comes on slowly and over time those affected by arthritis will experience constant pain while performing weight-bearing activities.

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What Can You Do About Knee Pain When Bending

Luckily, there are plenty of treatments out there for those with knee problems as well as ways to prevent it from happening or getting even worse! Again, consult your physician first before attempting anything at home to see what they recommend is the best course of action for you!

However, here are some tips if you need treatment:

  • Ice your knee after activity
  • Use a heating pad to stimulate healing
  • A little bit of movement will help stimulate blood flow
  • Exercise can be beneficial but only soft surfaces

Symptoms Of Pain Behind The Knee

Symptoms of pain behind the knee will vary, depending on the cause. You may have swelling or pain when you move your knee a certain way.

If you have a posterior cruciate ligament injury, youll probably have injured other parts of your knee too. But if youve only injured your PCL, you may just feel a bit of discomfort. You may feel pain behind your knee, especially when you kneel. If your symptoms dont improve, it may be uncomfortable going down an incline, for example walking or running downhill, or going down stairs.

A popliteal cyst causes swelling and sometimes pain at the back of your knee, which youll probably notice. If you have a very large swelling, it may stop you from fully straightening your leg. The swelling may come and go, and get worse or better over time. If your cyst bursts, you may hear a pop and feel warmth spread down your calf. It may start to look red or bruised anywhere from the back of your knee down to your ankle and the top of your foot.

If you have a swollen, tender calf, its very important to see a doctor. The swelling can also be caused by a clot in your leg , which you will need urgent treatment for.

Osteoarthritis usually causes pain when you bear weight on it, and gets better when you rest. Your knee may be stiff and you might not be able to move it as well first thing in the morning, or after you sit for a while. This usually eases once you start moving around. You may also have some swelling over your knee.

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What You Need To Know

  • The most common causes of knee pain are related to aging, injury or repeated stress on the knee.
  • Common knee problems include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears, tendonitis and arthritis.
  • Diagnosing a knee injury or problem includes a medical examination and usually the use of a diagnostic procedure such as an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or arthroscopy.
  • Both non-operative and surgical treatment options are available to treat knee pain and problems depending on the type and severity of the condition.

Top Causes Of Knee Pain When Bending

How to Help Knee Pain when Bending, Sitting, Standing or Walking if you ...
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

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Why Would A Teenager Have Knee Pain

Knee pain isnt a condition that only happens to older people. Despite being young, your teenager can develop knee pain too.

Knee pain in teens is a common result of overuse, but also results from specific knee injuries and medical conditions that affect the knee. Knee pain can also be temporary and not related to an injury, but rather a change in your teens level of activity or sport.

Because of the many different reasons for knee pain, if your teen complains of pain, its wise to get it checked. Never think that knee pain in your teen is simply growing pains. This is not a typical cause of knee pain in a teenager.

Using A Foam Roller To Treat Knee Pain When Bending

To help treat your knee pain try using a foam roller on your knee first thing upon waking up in the morning, daily during your workouts, and also right before bedtime for about ten minutes total each time.

This treatment is good for your muscles and brings a lot of relief to those with knee pain when bending. Roll each leg until you feel the pain subsiding, never doing any rolling that causes more pain!

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When To See A Doctor

When it comes to the health of your body and joints, if it does not seem right to you, then you should always talk with your doctor. They will properly diagnose the pain so that you can begin proper treatment.

There is a very long list of all the types and severities of pain in the knees that give you reason to visit your doctor however, below you will find a short list of reasons that you should visit your doctor immediately:

  • Abnormal swelling
  • Buckling or giving way of the knees
  • Locked and unable to bend or straighten
  • A specific location on your knee is in pain

When you do visit your doctor it is important that you are honest when answering questions. An accurate diagnosis can only be made with accurate information.

Pain Behind Knee When Bending Leg Main Points:

Knee Pain? Leg & Glute Workout to Minimize Bending and Pain

This post will be your detailed guide to know all the information of the Pain behind knee when bending Leg headlines as follows:

  • What causes pain behind the knee? Why does it hurt in the back of the knee?
  • Pain behind knee Joint from Popliteal Cysts or bakers Cyst
  • Back of knee pain from Athletic Hamstring or PCL Injury
  • Pain behind Knee caused by Blood Clot or Tumor
  • Back of Knee Pain from Nerve or Artery Compression
  • The possible treatments of each cause
  • Pain behind Knee Joint from Popliteal Cysts or Bakers cyst
  • Back of Knee Pain from Athletic Hamstring or PCL Injury.
  • Pain behind knee Caused by Blood Clot or Tumor
  • Back of Knee pain from Nerve or Artery Compression

Keep reading to get all details and know how to treat each case of the above headlines.

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Knee Pain When Bending Or Squatting

Wear and tear of your knee over time can cause pain when bending your knee due to damage to the bones, ligaments, muscles and/or tendons in and around your knee joint.

For roughly every 500g of body weight, about 3kg of pressure is applied to your knees when they are bearing weight eg when bending, running, squatting or walking.

What Causes Pain Behind The Knee Why Does It Hurt In The Back Of The Knee

It is known as a posterior knee pain as a back of knee pain, can come in varied forms from slight to severe pain behind the knee to pain in the back of the knee when bending to the back of knee after sitting. You can imagine, these types of pain range from a wide variety of causes, not all of which involve damage to the knee joint.

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Shoes To Help With Knee Pain

Proper footwear is also very important as those who wear flat shoes may be more prone to knee pain when bending as opposed to those who wear shoes with some sort of arch support or lift in them.

The best shoes to wear when youre experiencing knee pain are shoes that are lightweight, have good arch support, and have a slight heel to them.

On The Outside Of The Knee

Knee Pain When Bending Causes &  Relief Tips

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.

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Stretching Exercises To Help Alleviate Some Of The Pain And Discomfort That Comes With Bending Your Knee

Some stretching exercises that you can do are the quadriceps stretch, hamstring stretch, and calf stretch.

In addition to this, you can also do a simple thigh-stretch just by standing with one leg up on a chair or bench and putting the heel of your other foot on the ground. You then lean into the raised leg until you feel a gentle stretch around the back of your knee.

When done regularly stretching exercises will improve muscle tone around your knees which in turn will make it easier for you to bend down without pain.


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