Have you felt pain when you bend your knee? Knee pain can be uncomfortable and bring a lot of inconvenience to your life. The knee joint is the largest joint in your body. It comprises several bones, ligaments, tendons, and other tissues that work together to enable smooth, controlled movement. Over time, repeated actions or activities can cause Osteoarthritis and tear injuries to this joint.
There are many reasons for knee pain when bending. The most common causes of knee pain are Runner’s knee, knee ligament injuries, lateral meniscus tear, knee arthritis, knee sprain, improper body posture, and some medical conditions. This article the common causes of knee pain when bending and how to fix them. Let’s read on!
10 Causes of Knee Pain When Bending
There are many causes of knee pain when bending.
1. Runner’s Knee
The patellar tendon runs from the patellar (kneecap) to the tibia (shin bone) and connects the knee cap to the shin bone. Though the knee creates most of the pressure when bending, the patellar tendon receives 50% of the pressure.
If you have a job that requires a lot of kneeling, you might have Runner’s knee. This is an overuse injury. Squatting with the knees not aligned with the feet puts excess pressure on the patellar tendon.
2. Knee Ligament Injuries
Knee ligament injuries are another common cause of knee pain when bending. The most vulnerable knee ligaments when bending are the medial collateral ligament (MCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
MCL Sprain – The MCL is the primary stabilizer of the inner knee joint. When you bend your knee, the muscles around the knee joint contract, and there is a pull on the MCL. This pulls the ligament apart, leading to a strain or sprain. MCL sprains are common in sports like basketball and football, especially if the foot is planted at an angle and the knee is bent to take the force.
PCL Sprain – The PCL prevents the tibia from sliding towards the other knee joint and the femur. The PCL is more likely to get injured when the foot is planted perpendicular to the knee.
ACL Sprain – The ACL is the primary stabilizer of the lateral knee joint. When you run and suddenly stop, the knee bends to receive the impact. This makes the ACL vulnerable to injury. ACL sprains are common in sports like football, basketball, and soccer.
3. Lateral Meniscus Tear
The knee has two menisci, or cartilage pads – the medial meniscus and lateral meniscus. The kneecap rests between these two menisci. The menisci are fibrocartilage pads that act as shock absorbers, distributing the pressure on the knee joint.
An injury to one of the menisci can be a very painful experience. The majority of knee pain when bending is due to a torn meniscus. Torn meniscus symptoms include swelling, knee stiffness, and pop or snap when bending the knee.
A torn meniscus can be a chronic condition and may require surgery. Surgery is necessary if the torn meniscus leads to degenerative changes in the knee.
4. Knee Arthritis
Knee arthritis is a degenerative disease in which there is inflammation, swelling, and abnormal wear and tear of the joint. People with knee arthritis often suffer from knee pain when bending.
Arthritis of the knee joint can also cause joint swelling and pain, making it difficult to bend the knee. There are different types of knee arthritis: Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and degenerative arthritis. The best way to prevent knee arthritis is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Knee sprains occur when you overstretch or twist the knee ligaments. Sprains can be minor, moderate, or severe. A minor sprain is a stretch of the ligament. A mild sprain is a partial ligament tear that may require surgery.
A severe sprain is a complete tear of the ligament. Symptoms of a knee sprain include swelling, pain, and a feeling of instability in the knee. A knee sprain can occur when you land awkwardly after a jump, when you trip and fall, or when you are playing sports.
6. Improper Body Posture
Improper body posture can cause various health issues, and knees are no exception. If you have a job requiring you to be seated for long periods, you may unknowingly be putting unnecessary stress on your knees.
If you have poor posture, you put unnecessary stress on your knees. This can cause swelling, discomfort, and pain. It can also lead to achy knees if you have bad posture when standing. You may not even realize that you have poor posture, which is why it’s essential to be mindful of your posture and correct it if you notice any negative effects.
Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that cushions joints. The bursa around your knees can become inflamed, causing pain when bending your knees. Bursitis usually occurs in one or both knees. The cause of bursitis is often unknown.
Activities that may increase your risk of bursitis include kneeling for long periods, working in a kneeling position, or having a physically demanding job. Sitting for long periods without moving often can aggravate bursitis, especially in a cramped position.
8. Bakers Cyst
The pressure on the knee can be very painful for people with bakers cysts, making even basic movements such as bending over to pick something up quite uncomfortable.
For people with this condition, it’s recommended to exercise and move the knees in a position of mechanical advantages, such as being in an extended position. Knee pads can be beneficial in reducing the pressure on the joint and making movements easier and pain-free.
9. Housemaids Knee
When you squat, the knees must bend to a certain degree, but if they bend too far, they can cause pain and injury. Knee pain while bending is often due to a condition called “patellofemoral syndrome,” a fancy name for “your knees are bending too far.” This is a common cause of knee pain in housemaids. Knee pads can help, but you can also reduce the risk of knee pain by bending your knees less when you clean.
10. Medical Conditions
Medical conditionsOsteoarthritisatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and gout are common causes of knee pain when bending. Gout is a medical condition that causes sudden and severe pain and swelling in the joints, especially in the big toe.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling, and joint stiffness. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage in the joints. When these diseases are treated with medication, the knee pain will subside.
Home remedies for pain when bending your knee
Ice – Applying ice to the knee can help reduce swelling and pain. You can put an ice pack on the knee for 10-15 minutes every 2 hours or put your knee underneath cold water in the shower.
Compression – Compressing the knee can help reduce blood flow and swelling. You can also wear a knee bandage when bending your knee.
Elevation-You should put less pressure on the knee joint when you suffer from knee pain. Resting the knee on a pillow when bending it is ideal.
Take rest – Knees need rest just like any other part of your body. Exercising your knees too much or using them in ways they aren’t designed for can cause pain. Avoid exercising that joint as much as possible, and try to rest it as much as possible. You can also try yoga or take a warm bath.
Move the knee – Avoid keeping the knee still for a long time. Moving the knee and foot can increase blood flow and loosens the joint.
Massage: Massaging your knees can help reduce the pain, stiffness, stress, and tension in the muscles around your knees.
Medical Treatment for Knee Pain When Bending
Physical therapy – Physical therapy can help manage knee pain when bending. A physical therapist can correct the posture, suggest exercises, and recommend medication. These exercises can help improve your knee’s flexibility, strength, and mobility.
Medications – The medication for knee pain will depend on the cause and severity of the pain. The common medications include acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal or anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
These OTC NSAIDs such as naproxen sodium,ibuprofen can help treat mild to moderate pain. However, there are some potential side effects when you take these drugs. Make sure to consult your doctor before taking medication.
Brace – Orthotics and specific shoe inserts can help reduce pressure on your knee. If your knee pain is from an injury, your doctor may suggest you wear a brace. Wearing a knee brace can help reduce the strain on the knee and prevent you from moving. This will speed up the healing time.
Surgery – Surgery is only recommended in extreme cases. It is done when the knee pain does not subside, even after medication. Surgery can be done to repair a torn meniscus, ACL tear, and arthritic knee.
When to See a Doctor
If you suffer from this condition, you should consult a doctor:
- The pain is severe and lasts longer than a few days
- Sudden onset of knee pain
- Have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes
- Overweight or have a family history of knee problems
Some knee problems, such as arthritis and knee bone spurs, can only be diagnosed by a doctor. You should see a doctor if you experience knee pain accompanied by swelling, redness, or warmth around the knee.
There are many causes that can lead to knee pain when bending. The best way to prevent knee pain is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are suffering from knee pain, you should consult a doctor. Doctors can prescribe medications and suggest exercises to manage knee pain.