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What Causes Stiff Knee Pain

Possible Cause #: Osteoarthritis

10 Best Stiff Knee Pain Relief Stretches

Another common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis . OA is sometimes called degenerative arthritis. It affects nearly 27 million Americans. Its most common in people over age 65.

This type of arthritis results from wear and tear on your joints. Cartilage, the thin tissue that protects the bones in your joints, wears away with use. Over time, the cartilage can no longer protect your bones.

OA can affect any joint in the body, but it most often affects the:

  • knees

As OA progresses, it can begin to cause symptoms other than stiffness. These include:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • cracking sounds when the joint is in motion

As the condition worsens, your bones may break more easily, and you could develop bone spurs. In advanced stages of OA, the cartilage disappears. Bones rub against other bones in your joint. This can cause extreme pain, stiffness, and disability.

Treatment for OA can help replace some of the lost cartilage and fluid in your joints. Lifestyle treatments aimed at reducing weight and pressure on joints can be effective too. In severe cases, joint replacement surgery may be necessary.

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Why Am I Getting Pain At The Back Of My Knee

Published on: 4th February 2020

When it comes to knee pain, we often tend to think first of the front and sides. But pain that comes from the back of the knee is probably every bit as common.

It would be helpful if there was a single likely reason for this! But in fact the causes of back-of-knee pain can be very diverse. You could experience it as a sudden pain or a gradual ache. There may be swelling and inflammation or none at all. You might find it difficult to fully extend your leg.

In other words we need to do some narrowing down to find out whats going on. One useful starting point is to think in terms of problems inside or outside the knee joint: in medical-speak, intra- or extra-articular causes. Lets have a look at the most common ones.

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Stiff Knee After Sitting

Stiff knee after sitting for quite some time is one of the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. To know about the other causes of stiff joints after sitting, read on

Stiff knee after sitting for quite some time is one of the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. To know about the other causes of stiff joints after sitting, read on

Consider this, you switch on the TV and sit to watch a movie being telecast on your favorite channel. For over two hours, you sit in front of the TV and enjoy the movie. After turning off the TV, you decide to get back to your mundane chores. Just a few steps and you realize that walking seems rather difficult. The reason? The knee has become stiff, causing pain. Stiff knee after sitting for long periods of time is a debilitating condition and indicates the onset of joint problems such as arthritis. Stiffness in knees may also be experienced after sitting cross-legged just for a few minutes.

A point to note that stiff knee does not necessarily mean that the knees are painful. Many times, the stiffness lasts only for a few minutes, thereby allowing you to resume your day-to-day activities. However, if this is happening everyday, it should not be taken lightly and calls for medical intervention.

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What Is The Pain Behind The Knee

As the name indicates, the pain behind the knee is an ache behind your kneecap or in the joint. Pain can start after sudden, uncomfortable movement, overuse of the muscular tissue, injuries such as fractures or twists, and medical conditions like arthritis or infection. You can sense the pain as sharp and severe or mild and dull. In addition, you may feel inflammation or swelling, and you may be unable to extend your leg.

In the beginning, you may only experience mild symptoms, but if you ignore them and dont treat them properly, the pain will become worse, and you may develop chronic pain over time.

Some of the common symptomsto identify posterior knee pain may include aching knee, audible snap in the knee, rapid swelling, bruising, burning pain, impact to the knee, instability, knee joint pain, pain when kneeling, running or sitting, kneecap pain, swollen or twisted knee.

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People who are most prone to experience all sorts of knee pain are athletes. However, according to medical data, women are even more likely to experience knee pain than men. Also, its common for older people to suffer from knee pain because of osteoarthritis.

Now when we have defined the pain behind the knee, lets see what the possible causes are.

A Quick Look At The Parts

Does PEMF work for a swollen stiff knee?

Anyone who has knee pain knows exactly which activities they can and cant do without exacerbating their problem. For some people walking can be a trigger, while for others it might require something more dynamic like running. To understand why these seemingly simple and natural actions may cause knee pain, you first need to appreciate how the parts of the body should move when engaging in these activities.

When you are walking or running, you transfer weight from side-to-side as you step forward with alternating feet. Part of this weight transfer is possible because the feet have the capability to roll inward toward each other . When the foot pronates, the ankle rolls in with it, which in turn helps rotate the lower leg, knee and thigh toward the midline of the body. Simply put, the mobility of the foot and ankle enables the tibia and fibula to rotate inward. The femur , which fits into the pelvis to form the hip socket, should also rotate inward in time with the lower leg when the foot pronates.

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Treating A Joint Injury

These conditions are easy to treat. Youâll likely make a full recovery. The first thing to do is give that joint a rest and take an over-the-counter pain medication. Your doctor will probably give you a splint to wear and tell you to put ice on it. They might show you some exercises to do, too. If that doesnât help, they could inject a stronger drug straight into the bursa or tendon to manage pain and swelling.

Can Growing Pains Occur In Just One Leg

Usually growing pains occur bilaterally or in both legs. These pains usually occur deep in the thigh or calf in school-aged children. They generally occur at night with resolution by morning. If your child is experiencing pains in just one leg, consider bringing them for medical evaluation. One-sided leg pain can be indicative of infection, musculoskeletal injury or deformity, or other serious conditions such as a tumor.

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Causes Of Outer Knee Pain

Like the inside of your knee, the outside or lateral portion of the joint is a crossroads of many different anatomical structures. This can make getting to the bottom of pain in this area equally frustrating. If you have soreness near the lateral part of your knee, the most frequently seen causes are listed below.

Stiff Knee After Prolonged Positions

Knee stiffness and Pain: Causes And Treatment.
  • Stiff Knees After Sitting

    Knee stiffness after sitting is often a secondary issue when youre already dealing with an underlying injury, especially an acute injury or arthritis. Experiencing knee stiffness each time you get up from sitting can be frustrating and start to reduce your overall flexibility even with other activities.

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How To Relieve Pain Behind The Knee

You can efficiently treat some of the mentioned conditions at home. However, more severe conditions should be treated by your doctor. For example, suppose the pain behind the knee becomes more intense and starts to interfere strongly with your daily activities. In that case, you should immediately visit the healthcare provider and get proper treatment of the condition that causes the pain.

But, when we talk only about the sense of the pain, you may wonder what can help you at the moment when youre feeling it? How to relieve pain behind the knee by yourself?

The first thing you should do is to get off your feet and get proper rest. The RICE rest, ice, compression and elevation treatment can be very helpful. First, lay down and raise your leg high, above the level of your heart. Then, put a cold pack in a cloth or towel and leave it on your knee for 10-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Cold packs can help decrease inflammation of joints. When youre up, make sure you have snugged an elastic bandage around the knee.

If you have a problem with tight muscles, you can relax them with warm showers, hot packs, or a heating pad. Important notice: dont put the heat on an inflamed joint.

You could also massage the affected area with sports creams that cause a cold or hot effect. The massage will also relax the muscles.

Diagnosing And Treating Knee Pain And Stiffness

Direct injuries, medical conditions, and infections that disturb the normal structure of the joint are all causes of knee stiffness and pain and make the surrounding tissues more sensitive. Speak to your orthopedic doctor for a comprehensive assessment. Apart from a thorough physical examination, you may need to undergo imaging tests, such as an X-ray, a CT scan, or an MRI. An accurate diagnosis is necessary to determine the correct treatment for stiff knee joints.

If neglected or improperly treated, stiffness in the back of knee joints can get worse and may put you at risk of permanent joint immobility and a decrease in your overall quality of life.

What treatment options are right for your stiff knees will be dependent on the underlying cause, your preferences, fitness level, and more. In general, a focus on restoring joint range of motion and muscle balance is important. This can be done with exercise training, inflammation management physical therapy, appropriate use of knee braces or sleeves, and beyond. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, the rest will fall into place for treatment so that you can start feeling your best.

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Tight Hamstrings And Their Impact On Knee Pain

A group of researchers looked at the size of the hamstrings muscle versus the quadriceps . Why would size matter? A muscle gets smaller either when its not being used or its nerve supply is poor. Remember big strapping ex-superman Christopher Reeves? After a spinal cord injury, despite having the best electrical stimulation exercise equipment money could buy, his muscles shriveled up. This is mostly because a muscle gets naturally smaller when its nerve supply is disrupted. This research group also looked at these ratios against fancy MRI images of the knee that measured early signs of cartilage and meniscus wear and tear. They found that patients with smaller hamstrings muscles versus quadriceps had more MRI signs of cartilage and meniscus swelling and degeneration. In addition, when the inside quadriceps muscle was bigger than the outside portion, the researchers found the same thing.

The upshot? If your hamstrings are tight, you may want to hit the gym to see if theyre also weak. If you can do much more weight on the knee extension machine than you can do on the knee flexion machine , you may have a problem with muscular imbalance. You may also want to consider having a qualified specialist check to see if a low back nerve may be the problem. Regardless, strengthening weak hamstrings to help your aching knees may well be worth a shot!

Chris Centeno, MD

Physical Therapy For Knee Injuries

The expert team at Armor Physical Therapy has years of combined experience in identifying and treating the underlying cause of knee stiffness and other symptoms. When you come to us, well perform a thorough assessment to identify the source of your knee stiffness. We can then work closely with you to develop a customized treatment plan designed to improve flexibility and range of motion in the knee, while promoting long-term health and injury prevention.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Contact us today to schedule your initial appointment.

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How To Stretch Your Quadriceps Muscles

  • Stand next to a chair or wall.
  • Grasp the ankle, with the hand on the same side, and pull it back and up.
  • Keep the leg you are stretching parallel to the leg you are standing on. DO NOT flare your leg out.
  • Keep the knee on which you are standing slightly bent.
  • Maintain an upright posture. DO NOT arch your back nor lean forward.
  • Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds .
  • Repeat same for other side
  • Stretch each side 3 times

It is important to note that you should feel only a comfortable stretch in the front of your thigh

Alternate Stretch

If you are unable to hold your ankle and keep a good posture, you can place your ankle on a bench or chair, as in picture to the left. Place pillows or blankets on the chair to make it the right height for a comfortable stretch.

About the Author

Domenic Lopez B.Sc., is a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist, licensed Massage Therapist and owner of Healthy Moves, a private practice where massage therapy and movement education help you achieve better living.

DisclaimerSuggestions made in this blog are no substitute for medical advice. If you have any pain or difficulty performing this stretch seek advice from your appropriate health professional.

Stiff Knee After Running And Exercising

Stiff knee due to prolonged running or exercising is a common occurrence in both young and old. The knees are not isolated entitiesthey are part of a connected system of bones, muscles, and ligaments in the legs and they all work together to create smooth extension and range of motion. Cartilage provides much-needed cushion between the bones in the form of a smooth membrane that lines the inner surface of the knee joint. This inner lining of the membrane is filled with synovial fluid that helps the structures in your knees easily slide across one another during motion.

Damage or injury to any of these structures can cause pain and stiffness in your knees after exercise. They commonly occur during sports that require you to pivot quickly, such as tennis or basketball, but can also occur during strenuous exercise that involves a lot of complex movements.

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Understanding Knee Pain In Young Adults

Sore, aching knees might seem like a problem only older people experience, but guess what? Plenty of younger people have knee pain, too. But while the symptoms may feel similar, younger people tend to have knee pain for different reasons. And that means theyll need to have different types of care to feel better. Heres what you need to know about knee pain in kids and young adults.

Why Does My Knee Hurt So Much At Night

Back of knee pain/stiffness? Popliteus muscle tightness

Other less common conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis may cause knee pain at night.. Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, but can also affect other joints. If you have this you probably already have back pain and stiffness.

Knee pain may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions including arthritis, gout and infections also can cause knee pain. Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measures. Physical therapy and knee braces also can help relieve pain.

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Pain In Your Quadriceps How Targeting Quad Trigger Points Can Help

by Stretch22 | Stretching Tips |

A pain in the quad is, well, a big pain! After all, the Quadriceps muscle group is one of the largest muscle groups in the body. If you have a muscle tear or strain in this group of muscles, it can cause a log of leg pain and be very debilitating.

But you may be surprised that what you think you know about your quad pain is only half the story.

If you feel you have a quadricep injury or quadricep strain, or if youre experiencing persistent discomfort or chronic pain, learn more about how honing in on quad trigger points can help you avoid aches altogether, including joint pain.

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The Kneeling Quad Stretch

A slightly different form of quad stretch, this position will help to loosen the muscles just above the knee joint, increasing mobility and preventing knee pain.

  • Start the stretch in a high lunge position, with your left foot forward.
  • Carefully drop your right knee to the floor and take a moment to find your balance.
  • Once youre ready, reach back with your right arm, and grab your ankle, or toes, depending on whats easiest.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds, keeping your body steady. Push a little further to get a hip flexor stretch as well.
  • Gradually come back into the starting position and switch from your left foot to your right.
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    Other Treatment Options For Knee Sprain

    RICE Therapy: If you have suffered a sprained knee, it is important to allow a period of rest to allow the knee to heal. For mild to moderate sprains, doctors recommend RICE therapy. This includes R , I , C , and E .

    Pain Medications: You can use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. They provide short-term relief of pain and swelling. These drugs can help reduce symptoms and allow you to begin a rehabilitation exercise program. This is important to strengthen and stabilize the knee and prevent you from injuring it again.2

    Bracing: Sometimes doctors recommend wearing a knee brace for a short period. This takes the load off the ligaments and supports the knee while it heals.2

    Surgery: A torn ligament sometimes needs surgical repair. This can usually be done with a minimally-invasive approach called arthroscopy. A tiny camera is inserted into the joint to guide the surgeon in repairing the ligament.2


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