11 Most Common Causes Of Knee Pain

Being active is the best thing you can do to your body. The present sedentary lifestyle adopted by people lacks physical activity which gives rise to several health problems. As you grow older, you will start facing several health problems, including knee pain if you reduce your physical activity.

Most people experience knee pain at some or the other point in their lives. It is the most common musculoskeletal problem that prompts people to go to their doctors. The knee joint is highly vulnerable to damage as it bears the whole body weight and the extra force when you run or jump. People, who play sports like football, volleyball, skiing, are at high risk of knee injuries.

Understanding the common causes of the knee joint can help you take measures to prevent knee pain.

Common causes of knee pain include:
Simple sprain

If you experience sudden pain in the knee while doing any physical activity, then you have probably just strained or sprained the knee. This indicates that the knee tissues have been stretched, but not permanently damaged.

Most of the sprain can be managed by following simple home remedies like applying ice, compression, and elevation. To prevent such injuries, you should always warm up before exercising, stretch legs to cool down after exercising, increase activity levels slowly over time, and replace your sports shoe whenever necessary.

Anterior knee pain

Pain in the front of the knee surrounding the knee cap is called anterior knee pain and is related to previous injuries of your knees, muscle weakness and slight replacement of your knee cap. This pain often affects both the knees.

Get help from a physiotherapist and strengthen the muscles around the knee cap by exercising regularly.

Damage to the meniscus and cartilage

Menisci cushion the bones and act as shock absorbers. They can be torn due to a sudden twist of the knee joint, resulting in pain and swelling in the knee. Sometimes, injury to the knee joint can break loose cartilage, and these pieces get stuck in the joints causing pain and swelling.

This condition can be treated with physiotherapy and pain medications, but in menisci damage, surgery may be recommended.


This is the most common cause of knee pain, especially in older adults. It causes the knee joint to ache and swell when you are active. The pain may get worse with increasing weight load on your knees. Also, your knees become stiff if you don’t move them for a while.

Meet your physician if you think the knee pain is due to osteoarthritis. They may recommend wearing suitable footwear to reduce the strain on your joints, or to use a walking stick, or to lose weight or physiotherapy, etc.


Are you a basketball or volleyball player? If yes, then be aware as you are at risk of “jumper’s knee”. This is a condition caused by jumping activities such as basketball or volleyball. If the tendon (tissue that attaches a muscle to bone) is injured or overused, it may cause inflammation of the tendon. Along with severe pain, your knee may also be swollen, and become red and warm.

Play properly without injuring the knees and take proper treatment if you experience such symptoms.


Bursa is a sac containing fluid under the skin above your knee joint. If you experience repeated falls or repeated bending and kneeling, it can cause irritation of bursa resulting in pain and swelling in the knee cap region. Physicians call this condition as prepatellar bursitis or “preacher’s knee”.

You can treat this at home by resting the affected area and using ice packs to reduce the swelling. The OTC (over-the-counter) painkillers can help relieve the pain temporarily. If there is redness or swelling in the region, it indicates an infection of the bursa, and you should meet the physician immediately.

Bleeding in the joint

Severe injury to the knee joint may cause bleeding in the joint spaces, a condition known as haemarthrosis. This usually happens if an important ligament is torn or if there is any fracture to one of the knee bones. If you have symptoms like swelling of the knee warmth stiffness and bruising, it indicates haemarthrosis, and you should immediately go to the hospital.


This is a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid, a waste product in the body, which develops into crystals in the joints resulting in painful and inflamed joints. You may feel severe pain in the knee with limited joint movement, and you may also feel pain even while resting at night.

Several treatment options are available for this condition such as physiotherapy ice packs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Osgood-Schlatter’s disease

This condition is especially seen when you are young and when the bones of the knee are still being replaced. It causes swelling and tenderness in the bony lump just below the knee cap. This condition is very common in children who are actively involved in running, jumping and repetitive bending of the knees.

Painkillers, reducing activity levels, painkillers, and ice packs may be helpful, and the condition usually resolves once your child stops having growth spurts.

Iliotibial band syndrome

The iliotibial band is a piece of tissue that runs from your hip to the outer part of the knee. When you overdo any activity, it may sometimes become inflamed, causing pain in the knees. This condition is commonly seen in runners while going downhill.

Dislocated knee cap

In some conditions, your knee cap may slide out of position causing knee pain and swelling.

Mild to moderate pain can be successfully treated at home. Whether due to a sprain or arthritis, there are several ways to fight knee pain. But if the pain is severe and caused by injury, you should go to the doctor and seek medical attention. In some cases, surgery may be recommended. But before doing all these, it is very important to find the cause of the pain. So, do not ignore. Visit the doctor as soon as possible.

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