Knee Pain When Bending

Taking a fall during a sporting event or strolling down the sidewalk, no matter how large or small it may seem, may have extremely painful consequences. As you fall, your knee may twist or bend in the wrong direction, resulting in a lot of pain.

Knee pain can put you out of commission for quite some time as it is one of the most used joints in your body. Whether you are running, walking, exercising, squatting, washing dishes, or cleaning the floor, you are using your knee joint. Your knee joint is a vital joint and can be injured due to many conditions such as poor posture, improper movement of other joints, or injuries.

What Causes Knee Pain When Bending?

1. Improper Body Posture

Posture is an extremely important part of keeping your joint and muscle movements healthy. Having an abnormal posture or awkward gait can cause large amounts of stress on the muscles and ligaments surrounding the knee joint. Having poor posture during any activities such as sitting, standing, walking, and other daily activities may affect the alignment of the knee. Eventually this may lead to knee pain when bending or squatting. It is also vital that you perform any exercises or sporting activities properly using proper posture. This will prevent compromising your joints and enduring injuries.

2. Lateral Meniscus Tear

A lateral meniscus tear occurs when there is an injury or tear to the meniscus cartilage. These are the two disc-shaped cartilages between the two bones that make up the knee joint. Normally they absorb the shock received when they strike each other, however when they are injured or torn, they cannot do this properly.

You will feel much pain when you twist or engage in high impact activities such as jumping and running. You may also experience swelling, buckling, or popping sounds along with the pain within the joint.

3. Knee Ligament Injuries

Observed most often in athletes, knee ligament injuries can be excruciatingly painful and debilitating. Repetitively extending your knees, hitting them on hard surfaces, or abruptly shifting your weight and twisting with your foot firmly planted can cause a variety of ligament injuries. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), and medial collateral ligament (MCL) may become injured at any time, either simultaneously or individually, resulting in knee pain when bending.

4. Jumper's Knee

The patellar tendon can become injured during many sporting activities, which is known as jumper's knee. The patellar tendon connects the femur to the tibia; it becomes damaged after much repetitive jumping and landing. Sports such as basketball are the prime culprits for this type of injury.

You may eventually have constant pain and lose the ability to participate in your favorite activities if it is left untreated. Other symptoms include pain only after intense activities, or pain that causes immobility. You may also experience weak calf muscles, or stiffness in the knees as well as pain below the kneecap.

5. Runner's Knee

Runner's knee is often created due to the repeated bending of the knee joints. However, a direct blow, misalignment of the knee cap, and having flat feet or weak thigh muscles can all attribute to runner's knee.

You will notice pain around the kneecap when bending the knee and a large amount of swelling. You may also notice a grinding or popping sound when you are walking.

6. Bursitis

Each of your knee joints has a sac filled with fluid called the bursa. The bursa can become inflamed when you kneel, squat, or have excessive friction; the inflammation is known as bursitis. Prepatellar bursitis is one type which is often referred to as housemaid's knee, the second type is infrapatellar bursitis known as clergyman's knee. Both types are due to consistent trauma from squatting and kneeling.

The most common symptoms are knee pain when bending and swelling around the joints. Though not as severe as other knee pain, there is a good amount of discomfort.

7. Medical Conditions

  • ŸOsteoarthritis of the Knee

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is caused by continual wear and tear on the cartilage within the knee joint. Most of the time it occurs in those who are over 50 years of age; however, younger people may also experience it. The pain caused by osteoarthritis is constant and limits the joints range of motion. Those who have osteoarthritis may also experience stiffness, swelling, tenderness, weakness, or deformities around the joint.

  • ŸRheumatoid Arthritis of the Knee

An autoimmune disease known as rheumatoid arthritis affects the tissue around the joints. The tissue around your knees may become inflamed and swollen causing a great deal of pain. The longer the inflammation lasts, the more damage may be done; you may even experience loss of cartilage.

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.

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
  • A sudden pop
  • Unable to sustain weight
  • 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.

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