Why has my knee started getting sore?

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Chances are most people have suffered from or know someone who has suffered from ongoing knee pain that doesn’t seem to get right by itself. Grumpy knees can seem like they come on randomly to anyone sometimes and can be really annoying and painful! If you’re going through a bout of knee pain right now and don’t know what to do, this blog post is here to help.

If you have recently noticed your knee start getting sore with stairs, squats, walking/running, or even sitting too long, chances are you may be suffering from patellofemoral joint pain, also known as runner’s knee. This is the most common knee problem that people present to a doctor or a physio with and can be surprisingly painful. Patellofemoral pain is really an umbrella term for any pain on the front of the knee, behind the kneecap, or somewhere around the kneecap. It is not fully understood as to why it’s so prevalent and what causes it, but it’s understood that overloading the joint or even a lack of activity can trigger some pain. Sometimes this problem goes away by itself, but sometimes they gradually get worse and start affecting your daily
activities.

Knee pain in general can come on from a recent change in activity or a time where you overloaded your knee – whether it be a long distance run after a holiday, or taking a month-long break from intense sport – knees are more prone to pain and flare-ups during this time. Runners and gym-goers commonly suffer from patellofemoral pain because they’re always trying to increase their pace, do more training, and increase their weights. Sometimes they do a little too much and set the pain off, but some can even get it after watching a movie and sitting still for hours. The best news however is that they rarely mean any damage on your joints. Often patellofemoral pain occurs simply because your legs work a little too hard or your knee started getting a little bit stiff – this leads to some grumpy knees and they can cause a fair bit of grief.

What can I do to help myself?

As you would expect to hear from a physio blog post, one of the most effective and well-researched ways to recover from knee pain is exercise. Exercises to start working your quads, glutes and hamstrings tend to help the most, so that your knee and muscles learn to tolerate your body weight and more again without being so grumpy. Of course, there is no one remedy for every person, but the most important thing to keep in mind is to start exercising your knee safely and gradually. In fact, one recent study has shown that you may not even have to be that specific to the knee with your exercises as long as you’re working out your legs and keep as active as you can within your pain constraints.

If you feel you need more information and are unsure of what to do with your knee pain, we are more than happy to help you figure out what’s going on with that niggling knee, give you a good plan of how to approach your problem, and help speed up the process with treatment in the clinic. Feel free to call us on 93674966 for any advice or to see one of our excellent
physiotherapists.

Written by Jedidiah Lee

References: Patellofemoral pain: One year results of a randomized trial comparing hip exercise, knee exercise, or free activity. Hott A, Brox J, Pripp A, Juel N, Liavaag S (2019)

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