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Why Cant I Bend My Knee All The Way

Knee Hurts When Bending Backwards

5 Signs Your Knee Pain Is A Meniscus Tear – Self-Tests (Cartilage)

There are 4 ligaments in the knee, which work in the sets. The anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament control the forwards and backwards motion of the knee and are truly important for providing stability. The medial and lateral collateral ligaments offer sideways stability for the knee.

Possible Reasons Why You Cant Bend Knee Without Pain

Having knee pain is burdensome. Instead of being able to walk around the house freely, you will be confined on the couch or on your bed, since every movement makes the pain feel worse. There are several reasons why you cant bend knee without pain. One of the most common causes of your knee pain is osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is common in old people, but many cases of young people having osteoarthritis at a young age were on record as well. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition whereby the cartilage protecting your knee joints disintegrates due to wear and tear. Since the cartilage is already broken, you will feel a grinding sensation whenever you bend your knees. This is because nothing is protecting your knee joints so they end up rubbing against each other roughly.

Another possible reason why you cant bend knee without pain is gout. This is also a health condition that usually occurs in old people. Gout is a condition wherein uric acid crystals build up around the knee joint. These build-up causes unnecessary pressure to the nerves in the knee, thus inflicting pain on your part. There are still many possible reasons why you cant bend knee without pain and these include dislocated kneecaps, neuropathy in the knee, torn body, and meniscus tear.

What Are The Treatment Options

Identifying the underlying cause of why you can not straighten your knee will provide the best clinical results. Conservative therapy when appropriate is always the first line of treatment.

Meniscus tear

Not all meniscus tears are painful. In fact, in one study 60% of patients without pain had meniscus tears on MRI. PRP is effective in the treatment of meniscus tears. Steroids should be avoided as they are toxic. Meniscus surgery has been demonstrated to be no better than PT . In addition, it increases the risk of knee instability and arthritis. To learn more about the treatment of meniscus tears please click on the video below.


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is a joint disease where the cartilage that lines and protects the joint gradually wears down resulting in pain, swelling, and restriction in movement. Approximately 13% of women and 10% of men aged 60 years and older have symptomatic knee osteoarthritis . Risk factors for knee osteoarthritis include obesity, female gender, repetitive knee trauma, muscle weakness, squatting, and meniscus injuries . Loss of cartilage and bone spur formation can both result in you not being able to straighten your knee.

ACL Injuries

Patellar and Quadriceps Tendon Injuries

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Treating Knee Pain When Bending

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.

What Causes Patellar Tracking Disorder


Patellar tracking disorder is usually caused by several problems combined, such as:

  • Weak thigh muscles.
  • Tendons, ligaments, or muscles in the leg that are too tight or too loose.
  • Activities that stress the knee again and again, especially those with twisting motions.
  • A traumatic injury to the knee, such as a blow that pushes the kneecap toward the outer side of the leg.
  • Problems with the structure of the knee bones or how they are aligned.

You are more likely to have patellar tracking disorder if you have any of the above problems and you are overweight, run, or play sports that require repeated jumping, knee bending, or squatting.

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Physical Therapy For Knee Pain Relief

With a combination of treatments, including therapeutic exercises, stability training and manual therapies, the expert therapists at Rehab Access can help you overcome knee injuries to return to a healthy and active lifestyle. We believe in individualized treatment plans that are custom-designed for each patient based on their current state of health and treatment goals.

To learn more and schedule your initial appointment, contact us today.

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.

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How Do You Stop Knee Pain At A Young Age

Very often, knee pain in younger patients can be treated with conservative options, like:

  • Resting the knee
  • Physical therapy and stretching exercises to rebalance the knee

Depending on your symptoms and your activity level, you might also benefit from:

  • Making sure you wear footwear thats designed for your specific sport or activity
  • Making sure you warm up thoroughly before any activity
  • Sticking to a regular leg exercise routine to keep your knee muscles strong and flexible
  • Avoiding activities that cause pain in your knees
  • Paying attention to early signs of pain to avoid overdoing it

Although knee pain in adolescents and young adults typically can be treated conservatively, you still need a medical evaluation. Delaying medical treatment can increase your risk of developing arthritis and other serious problems in the future. Dr. Van Thiel is skilled in diagnosing and treating knee problems in patients of all ages, including kids, teens, and patients in their 20s. If youre having knee pain, get the care you need to feel better and to prevent permanent joint damage. Contact the office and schedule a knee evaluation today.

Dr. Van Thiel treats patients from all over Wisconsin and Illinois including Rockford, Elgin, Huntley, Dekalb, Crystal Lake, Barrington, McHenry, Beloit and Algonquin.

You Notice An Obvious Deformity

How To Get Your Knee Bending Again | Manu Kalia | Video 167 | TridoshaWellness

If you notice your knee jutting outward in a way it never has before, take note. A dislocated or fractured patella can cause injuries like this, explains Brian Schwabe, C.S.C.S., board-certified sports physical therapist based in Los Angeles.

While some deformities occur over time, when the deformity is a result of an injury, it could be the result of a fracture or chronic wear on the knee joint. If you are already experiencing any kind of misalignment in your lower extremities, then you could be more prone to this type of injury.

If you notice a bone deformity after an injury, he recommends seeking the assistance of an orthopedic doctor immediately. The doctor will likely take x-rays as well as perform a visual diagnosis to determine if you need surgery.

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What Causes Knee Pain In Young Adults

Knee pain in your 20s is often associated with overuse injuries. When the muscles, ligaments or tendons are overworked, pain, stiffness and other symptoms can develop pretty quickly. Tendonitis and bursitis are a couple of overuse injuries that are most commonly associated with strenuous activity. But they can also occur in relatively inactive people who ramp up their activity too quickly. Still, while these types of injuries are fairly common in young adults, theyre not the only causes of knee pain.

When Should I See A Doctor

How do you determine if you have a serious knee injury? If you hurt your knee twisting it, or if you were struck by someone else and you have pain trying to straighten it, you may have a serious knee injury. But you may not. There is a difference between someone with pain trying to straighten the knee, and someone who simply cant straighten the knee because they feel like something is blocking their motion.

It turns out that if you lose the ability to straighten the knee fully, or you can not straighten the knee without pain then the risk of having a serious injury increases. Less worrisome are people who simply woke up and now have pain trying to straighten the knee. Often times that might be some inflammation or swelling and is often due to some underlying osteoarthritis.

Determining if you have a severe knee injury is important. After most mild knee injuries we are back on the field fairly quickly. If after a few days you cannot straighten your knee without pain then you cannot return to the playing field. Basically, if your loss of extension persists for more than a few days you should see a doctor for an evaluation.

As we discussed in this post, sports medicine doctors consider the loss of being able to straighten the knee one of the signs of a serious knee injury.

A bucket handle tear of the meniscus is one of the most common reasons why you will find it impossible to straighten your knee. We have a post dedicated to this unique meniscus tear here.

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Do You Pain In Back Of Knee

Behind the knee, the flesh of your leg feels soft and thickly padded. This region known as the poplitealis home to a number of blood vessels that feed your lower leg. You can even feel your pulse in this region if you can locate your popliteal artery. Pain in this region of the knee is sometimes the result of damage to or inflammation of these soft tissues.

Do You Have Pain Above The Kneecap

Easing The Pain Of Arthritis

Above the kneecap, your patella is secured by a strong tendon that connects the bone to the powerful muscles in your thigh. Pain in this location can indicate that youve sprained or torn this tendon. Its also possible, as with any pain you feel in this complicated part of the body, that the pain is referred from deeper in the joint, as with a tear in the knees cartilage.

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Can T Bend Knee All The Way

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You Felt Or Heard A Pop

Sometimes, a popping sound after a movement can indicate something is out of place.

Oftentimes this type of sound upon injury is indicative of a ligamentous injury, says Schwabe. Not all ligamentous injuries are full tears, though, and not all require surgery.

However, if you also experience excessive swelling and instability, get it checked out by an M.D. If you only have a mild sprain then you will be able to rehab it with physical therapy, he says.

The pop is what you hear as a result of a ligament tear, a meniscus tear, strained tendons, or a dislocated kneecap. Usually what happens is youll simultaneously hear and feel the pop.

If youre not familiar with the meniscus, its the cartilage in the knee that functions as a shock absorber. Each knee has two menisci, and theyre shaped like horseshoes. The medial meniscus is on the inside of the knee, and the lateral meniscus is on the outside.

The popping sensation can be difficult to explain, but youll certainly know it when it happens to you. Though the sound originates in the knee, youll hear it as though it was directly in your ear. Its as if the sensation travels up your body, and when it gets to your brain, it becomes audible.

If the pain is severe, youll want to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Surgery is often the recommended course of action, but physical therapy and other non-invasive remedies may be prescribed as alternatives.

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Where Does Your Knee Hurt

  • 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.
  • 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.

Remedies To Apply When You Cant Bend Knee Without Pain

Why can’t I straighten my knee?

Whenever you feel like you cant bend knee without pain, you should consider going to the doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment. However, if you feel like the pain is nothing serious and only happens occasionally, then here are some knee pain remedies you can apply at home:

  • R.I.C.E
  • Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. RICE is the basic knee pain remedy you can do at home to temporarily alleviate the pain.

  • Epsom Salt Soak
  • Epsom salt contains a substance called Magnesium Sulfate, which is an effective pain reliever. In a large bowl, mix ½ cup Epsom salt with warm water. Soak your knee in the mixture for at least 15 20 minutes. If the pain recurs, then do the same remedy until it alleviates the pain.

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    Two Serious Reasons Why Your Knee Feels Tight When Bending

    Understanding the anatomy of the knee would naturally come to anyone going through chronic pain, swelling or tightness in the major joints. But it doesnt need for the knee problems to manifest before you take the necessary precautions to ensure your joints remain healthy. There are conditions that pave the way for the problems such as osteoarthritis and meniscal tear to arise. You can prevent them simply by knowing the reasons that cause these joint problems to come about to guide you in reversing the symptoms.

    Reasons Why Your Knee Feels Tight When Bending Could Be Osteoarthritis

  • If you are an elderly person or someone who is exposed to high levels of physical activity, you are at a higher risk of having osteoarthritis. This is a condition thats borne from overuse and old age. The common symptoms of osteoarthritis include degeneration in the cartilage, the knee feels tight when bending and physical manifestations of swelling.
  • If you have had an acute injury or have undergone some knee trauma, the usual effect is a damaged or torn articular cartilage. As the affected knee heals and produce new cartilage, the new bone spurs or bone growths that come out as irregular can cause alignment issues and restrict certain movements. The knee feels tight when bending and causes chronic pain.
  • Reasons Why Your Knee Feels Tight When Bending Could Be Meniscal Tear

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    How To Prevent Knee Pain When Bending

    Before you begin having serious problems with your knees, there are prevention tips to incorporate into your daily living.

    • Strengthen knee muscles with exercises for the thighs
    • Always stretch before and after a workout or exercise routine
    • Do strength training exercises for your back and abdominal muscles
    • Use proper posture when performing tasks, sitting, standing, and walking
    • If standing for prolong periods, shift weight from one foot to the other or alternate feet using a foot rest
    • Avoid placing strain on knees with bending or squatting by using proper techniques
    • Follow a healthy diet to maintain good health of the muscles

    Having knee pain when bending can limit your daily activities and may lead to further complications. Our knees allow us to move in many ways, and we depend on the proper functioning of the knees many components. An injury or disease to any part of the knee can be debilitating. Good health and strengthening exercises for the knee joint and its connecting partners are key to maintaining pain-free movement.

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    Common Reasons Why You Cant Straighten Your Knee

    • Meniscus tear. Specifically abucket handle tear of the meniscus. This is a unique tear where the torn piece of meniscus flips into the center of the knee joint.

    This torn piece then locks your knee and prevents it from straightening. If you have a bucket handle tear of the meniscus, you will find it impossible to straighten your knee completely. These tears can be repaired or sutured back into place. The sooner they are repaired, the better the chance that the tear will heal well. Its not an emergency, but you should see someone sooner rather than later.

    With a bucket handle tear, you will usually feel as if something is caught in the knee and preventing it from straightening. Thats because the meniscus has flipped over and is sitting in the middle of the knee joint preventing it from fully straightening. You will also have severe pain when trying to straighten a knee with a bucket handle tear.

    Most bucket handle tears will require surgery to put the torn piece back into position and sew it back into place. The torn portion often requires a repair so that it has a chance to heal. The success rate of fixing a bucket handle tear is very high.

    • ACL tear. If you had a twisting injury and felt a pop, there is nearly a 75 % chance that your injured your ACL. Many athletes with an ACL tear will find it painful to straighten the knee. The knee isnt locked, but it hurts too much to straighten it out.


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