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What Causes Pain When You Bend Your Knee

What Is The Prognosis For A Knee Injury

knee pain release protocol: learn 2 exercises when it hurts to bend your knee

The goal for treating knee injuries is to return the patient to their previous level of activity. The prognosis for an individual injury depends upon the type of injury, the underlying health of the patient, and their willingness to work with their care provider and therapist to maximize their outcome.

Common Treatments For Knee Pain When Bending And Straightening

Specific treatment will depend upon the specific type of knee injury and its severity. Not all knee injuries are treated the same. Establishing a proper diagnosis is essential so that treatment and rehabilitation are tailored for your specific condition. When appropriate conservative care should be the first line of treatment. Common treatment options include:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a cornerstone in the treatment of most knee injuries. Therapy will focus on increasing strength, stability, and range of motion.

Steroid Injections

When physical therapy, rest, and other conservative treatments fail to provide significant benefits some patients are referred for a steroid injection. Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents which can reduce swelling and pain. Unfortunately, they are toxic to most orthopedic tissue and have been demonstrated to damage cartilage, tendons, and ligaments . Steroids can cause tendon rupture . For this reason, steroids should be avoided.


Surgery is increasingly popular for knee injuries. There are many different types of surgeries. Meniscus repair surgery is one of the most common and is poorly understood by most patients. It is recommended to patients who have sustained a tear in the meniscus. Rarely is the meniscus repaired? Rather a portion of the meniscus is simply cut out. This has a profound long-term impact on the knee including:

Regenerative Options

Genes And Family History

Research over the past decade has increasingly identified a link between a genetic predisposition and high uric acid levels. For example, in a 2012 study, researchers looking at a large number of peoples unique genomes found that patients with gout often shared a similar variation on a gene that affects kidney function. A 2018 study further identified several genes that influence how the body gets rid of uric acid.

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Understanding The Anatomy Of The Knee

To understand why the knee hurts when bent, we first must understand its anatomy and how it works. The bones of the lower and upper legs are connected by the knee joint. This joint consists of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones that work together to allow us to move, give us flexibility, and support our body weight. Proper functioning of this joint also enables us to stand, walk, squat, jump, and turn. Lets examine the knee joint in detail.

How To Treat Pain Behind Your Knee

Meniscus Tear in Knee: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Now, before I mention anything here, Iâd like to restate that knee treatment should ONLY come from a certified physician.

What Iâll highlight here are just a few ways through which you can control the discomfort. These practices can also help you manage mild pain that may arise from light exercises.

When done right, the steps may help you reduce or prevent the pain from catalyzing further.

Check them out below:

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Pain At The Knee When Bending Or Straightening The Leg

Feeling pain while straightening or bending your knee may be familiar to some people. However, I suggest that you address the problem before it gets worse. The problem may start suddenly, maybe after an injury, or it may develop over time, depending on the cause.

Note that some conditions may cause pain when you bend your knee only, while others may cause pain when you bend and straighten. Today we look at a condition that causes pain when you bend and straighten your knee.

Preventing Knee Hyperextension Injuries

There are a couple of things you can do to reduce the risk of a hyperextended knee

  • Warm Up: before playing sports so that your body and muscles are ready for action
  • Strengthening Exercises: Having good strength and core stability helps to protect the knee from hyperextension injuries. This is particularly important if you are hypermobile

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How Common Is Gout In The Knee

As a general rule of thumb, if left untreated, gout tends to work its way up the body, Dr. Keenan explains.

For example, he cites research that shows 50 percent of patients experience their first gout attack in the big toe. If gout worsens, 35 percent of secondary flares occur in the knee, 40 percent in the midfoot and ankle, 30 percent in elbows and wrists, and 15 percent in fingers.

Its not uncommon for a person to experience their first gout flare in their knee and, after an X-ray or ultrasound, show signs of gout in the foot, he adds.

Gout can afflict both knees, but typically is felt more strongly in one knee where arthritis from general wear is worse.

Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:

STOP These 5 Habits or Your Knee Pain May NEVER Go Away!
  • your knee is very painful
  • you cannot move your knee or put any weight on it
  • your knee is badly swollen or has changed shape
  • you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around your knee this can be a sign of infection

111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.

Go to or .

You can also go to an urgent treatment centre if you need to see someone now.

They’re also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.

You may be seen quicker than you would at A& E.

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Issues That Can Cause Pain Behind The Knee While Youre Bending It

The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human musculoskeletal system, and physical therapists are trained to treat this system. This knowledge allows your therapist to pinpoint the cause of your knee pain. Some common issues that typically cause posterior knee pain include:

  • Knee bursitis Bursae are small sacs of fluid that help reduce friction between bones and soft tissue. Your knee contains several of these structures. The semimembranosus bursa is one thats located at the back of the knee. When it becomes inflamed, it can trigger posterior knee pain.
  • Hamstring tendinitis There are tendons that connect the hamstring muscles to your knee. Hamstring tendinitis occurs when these tendons become inflamed. This condition often leads to posterior knee pain, joint weakness and swelling behind the knee.
  • Ligament injuries Both the anterior cruciate ligament and the posterior cruciate ligament are located in the middle of the knee. Injuries to these ligaments can cause pain to radiate into the back of your knee.
  • Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Bend Down

    genetics, it can also be the cause of long term suffering as our bodies change, car accident or fall on to a bent knee, Causes: A force through the top of the shin bone causing the knee to bend backwards e.g, usually heading towards the center or at the back of the knees where yourKnee pain while bending can strike suddenly, Here are a few causes, Now we must look a little more closely at the tension pattern that isWhy Do You Experience Knee Pain Going Down Stairs? The various structures around your knees have developed the ability to tolerate a particular amount of force that is placed through them, Immediate

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    What Can I Do At Home

    There are a bunch of things you can do at home, including:

    • Modifying your activities. Temporarily changing certain movements that hurt your knee will help it heal.
    • Practicing low-impact activities that arent painful. Examples would be walking, swimming, or biking.
    • Wearing a knee sleeve. It provides compression and warmth that can help reduce the pain. Although, the type of knee sleeve you need will depend on whats causing your knee pain.
    • Using anti-inflammatories or icing only if necessary. They help make the pain more manageable but they might also impair tissue healing.

    If your pain and/or swelling worsens over time, or if it limits you in your daily activities, please go to your doctor or physical therapist.

    Pain Behind The Knee When Walking Or Running

    Causes of Pain When Bending the Knee After a Fall ...

    The cause of pain at the back of the leg behind the knee could be hamstring tendonitis. This is caused by the tendons of the hamstring becoming inflamed, often due to overuse of the hamstring muscles, but the pain will subside after rest and first aid centred on the RICE method .

    If you notice a sudden sharp pain in the back of the thigh when undergoing vigorous exercise this may be due to a pull, partial tear or tear of the hamstring, and is due to overloading the muscle. This type of injury is most often treated by a doctor. A similar pain in the calf may be due to gastrocnemius tendonitis.

    A tenderness behind the knee, felt when rotating the leg inwards in the act of walking could denote an injury to the popliteus muscle. A cold pack applied for 10 minutes every hour for the first day after injury can alleviate the symptoms.

    All the muscles at the back of the leg can be subject to cramp. This is a common condition and occurs when a muscle goes into spasm. The symptoms are a tightening of the muscle accompanied by pain. Amongst other causes, it could be due to dehydration, muscle fatigue or a restriction of the blood supply to the affected muscles. Cramp is not serious and can be relieved by relaxing, massaging and stretching the affected muscle.

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    Quadricep Or Hamstring Tendonitis

    Your tendons attach your muscles to your bones. Tendonitis means your tendons are irritated or inflamed.

    You can experience tendonitis in any of your tendons, including in your quadriceps. The quadriceps are located in the front of your thigh and extend toward your knee, or your hamstrings, which are located in the back of your thigh.

    Quadricep or hamstring tendonitis can be caused by overuse or improper form during physical activities, such as sports or exertion at work.

    Symptoms include:

    • pain or aching when moving or bending your leg

    Treatment for tendonitis focuses on relieving pain and inflammation. Common treatment options include:

    • resting or elevating your leg
    • applying heat or ice for short periods several times per day
    • performing light stretches and exercises to improve mobility and strength

    In more severe cases, your doctor may recommend providing temporary support through splints or braces. They may even recommend removing the inflamed tissue through surgery.

    How Does The Knee Bend

    The knee is a hinge joint, which means its main movement is bending and straightening . As the knee moves, a number of things are happening:

    Muscles: They work in pairs with one relaxing and the other contracting to allow the movement e.g. to bend your knee you hamstrings contract and you quads relax

    Bones: The femur and tibia have to roll, glide and spin to move smoothly. The patella shifts, tilts and rotates as it glides up and down through a groove on the thigh bone the position and movement of the patella is controlled by the surrounding muscle.

    Cartilage: The special shock-absorbing cartilage that lines the knee moves and changes shape slightly to prevent it from getting trapped

    Ligaments: These help control the movement and maintain stability by preventing excessive movement of the bones. There are two pairs of ligaments, the cruciate ligaments in the middle of the joint, and the collateral ligaments on either side

    These structures all need to work together properly to allow for smooth, pain-free knee bending and straightening. Problems in any of these areas can lead to knee pain when bending. For example, if there is muscle weakness or ligament instability, the bones may move slightly out of position causing them to catch or grind on other structures in the knee.

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    When Should I Get My Teens Knee Pain Evaluated By A Healthcare Provider

    Make an appointment to see your healthcare provider if:

    • Your teens pain has lasted longer than two weeks or anytime theres an increase in pain level.
    • Your teens knee is red, swollen or warm to the touch.
    • Your teen cant put weight on their leg they limp.
    • Your teens knee locks and cant move.
    • Your teens kneecap feels like it slides out of place or the knee looks twisted.
    • Your teen has knee pain during or after activity.
    • Theres painful popping or clicking sound in your teens knee.
    • Your teens knee doesnt have strength or full range of motion.
    • Your teens pain wakes them up at night.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/30/2021.


    What Are Some Common Knee Problems

    Bending or Kneeling: What Causes Knee Pain

    Many knee problems are a result of the aging process and continual wear and stress on the knee joint . Other knee problems are a result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains the knee. Common knee problems include the following:

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    How To Manage The Pain

    When you have knee pain when bending, there are some things you can do to help ease the pain. Depending on the injury and the amount of pain, you may even be able to eliminate it completely.

    • Allow your knees to rest for a few days after intense activities.
    • Put ice on your knee for 15-20 minute intervals every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days. This will ease the pain and help reduce the swelling.
    • Keep swelling down by adding support with a brace or bandage.
    • When you are sitting or lying down, place a pillow under your heel and knee to help reduce the pressure.
    • Use anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to help reduce pain and swelling.
    • Complete daily stretching and strengthening exercises to help keep the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joint strong.

    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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    Basics Of Torn Meniscus

    A torn meniscus is a tear in the cartilage of the knee. The meniscus functions to improve the fit between the femur and the tibia, to absorb shock and distribute load in the knee, and to help move lubricating fluid around the knee. The meniscus can tear from either trauma or injury or from degeneration.

    The knee is made up of the femur , the tibia , and the patella . Ligaments hold the bones of the knee together and the patella lies in the quadriceps muscle in front of the knee.

    Between the femur and the tibia are two pads, one on the medial side of the knee and one on the lateral side of the knee. Each of these pads is called a meniscus. See Figures 1 and 2.

    The meniscus is made of fibrocartilage, which gives it a rubbery texture. Within the meniscus there are also fibers of collagen that help maintain the shape of the meniscus. The meniscus has blood supply only at its outer attachments. Therefore, about 4/5 of a meniscus has no blood supply and therefore cannot heal if it is torn.

    What Causes Gout In The Knee

    Causes of Pain When Bending the Knee After a Fall ...

    Gout develops when the body has high levels of uric acid, a normal waste product. This is known as hyperuricemia.

    Uric acid is normally excreted through the body via the kidneys, but in some people, levels can remain high and uric acid can start to accumulate and crystallize in various joints. When these uric acid crystals affect the joint in the knee, it can cause gout symptoms in the knee, making the knee joint red, swollen, and hot to the touch. The buildup of uric acid can also impair the knee joints full range of motion, which can make it difficult to walk.

    A number of factors can influence your risk for gout.

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