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Knee Pain: What’s Causing Yours?

Do you struggle with knee pain?

Believe it or not, nearly 25% of adults do.

When your knee is sore, simple movement like walking or even standing can seem like too much.

Fortunately, relief for your knee pain is possible. But, before you can find relief, it’s important to identify and understand the cause of your pain.

Why Does My Knee Hurt?

In the video below, Physical Therapist Steve Gonser PT DPT identifies the most common types of knee pain, their causes, and the different sensations experienced with each:

Knee Pain With Joint Noise (Popping or Grinding):

Arthritis is a common term. When we talk about it, we’re really talking about joint surfaces. When we move, our joint surfaces move on each other. Normally, we have something called cartilage over our joint surfaces which reduces friction or rubbing. Over time though, our cartilage can wear down. When our cartilage wears down and our joints rub together, we refer to this as arthritis. Arthritis, particularly in the knee, is usually accompanied by joint noises like popping or grinding. If you have arthritis in your knee, you may find you hear these noises and experience pain when walking, squatting, or going up and down stairs.  

Pain Behind the Knee:

If you’re experiencing pain on the inside of your knee or behind your knee, you may have a meniscus tear. Don’t panic. Meniscus tears are very common. When you think of the meniscus, think of it like a shock absorber at the top of your shin. You have an inside and outside meniscus in each leg. These shock absorbers can break down and the result is much like a hangnail. Have you ever caught a hangnail on something as you’ve moved your hand? It’s uncomfortable, isn’t it? When your meniscus tears and results in small “hangnails” you can experience the same, painful snagging sensation. As you move your knee, you catch it. If you try to pull your heel to your butt and experience knee pain, it’s likely your meniscus. You may also hear a clicking sound while doing so. There is also a lesser-known type of knee injury called the degenerative meniscus tear. Normally, a degnerative meniscus tear starts as a dull issue but progresses over time, causing pain with a variety of activities.  

Pain Under the Kneecap:

Our kneecap glides inside a groove that allows it to go up and down. As you move and your kneecap goes up and down, it’s going to tip in different directions. If we don’t have good alignment, or if we don’t have good motion through our kneecap, it’s going to glide improperly. This can not only wear down the surface underneath your kneecap, but it can also cause pain with certain types of activity. If you struggle with kneeling and experience pain when doing so, chances are it’s coming from underneath the kneecap. Pain underneath the kneecap tends to happen when cartilage softens or wears down.

Though symptoms of these conditions can overlap, treatment is often similar.

To begin treating these common types of knee pain, it’s important to examine movement in your feet, ankles, and hips.

What most people don’t understand is that knee pain is often the result of compensating for weaknesses in other areas of your body.

Having proper movement and strength in feet, ankles, and especially your hips helps build up the support you need around the knee and allows the body to heal properly.

Want help with your knee pain?

If you identify with one of these types of knee pain and want some help getting back to doing the things you love, our Physical and Occupational Therapists can help

Treatment is covered by insurance, no referral is required, and with flexible appointments, you can find an appointment fast that works with your schedule.

Call (716) 412-0871 or go here to schedule online at one of 11 locations throughout Western New York.



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