Why Is My Knee Hurting? 9 Common Causes of Knee Pain

When you suffer from knee pain, you may struggle using the stairs, getting out of a chair, and walking lengthy distances. For some people, the knee pain may be gradual and consistent, as the condition slowly builds up over a long period of time. For others, the knee pain may be sudden and severe, appearing so abruptly that you feel overwhelmed by the discomfort. Either way, knee pain can be a major source of frustration, affecting your day-to-day activities with significant hinderance.

Are you wondering why your knee is hurting? Knee pain can originate from any number of causes, often as a symptom of a pre-existing medical condition. By understanding the common causes of knee pain, this can help you to identify the most suitable physiotherapy treatments for your condition.

If your knee hurts, you may be suffering from a combination of these common knee pain causes:

Cause #1: Knee Pain from Arthritis

Knee Pain from Arthritis

In North America, the most common cause of knee pain is arthritis. There are different types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, juvenile arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. The symptoms of arthritis can be mild to severe. Those with severe arthritis symptoms will experience intense knee pain that flare up quite frequently.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be particularly problematic because it causes joint pain and damage throughout the knee. A patient may see their knee swell, become stiff, or possibly lose function. Unfortunately, rheumatoid arthritis is an incurable condition. This is classified as a long-term chronic condition, although periods of remission may occur if you visit a chiropractor for regular treatments.

Cause #2: Knee Pain from Osteoarthritis

Knee Pain from Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is another common cause of knee pain. This chronic condition occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bone breaks down. When the cartilage disappears, you’re left with bone on bone, rubbing against each other. This degeneration and deterioration of the joint can cause long-term repercussions, which are quite difficult to manage.

As the osteoarthritis intensifies, some common symptoms may include knee pain, stiffness, and an eventual loss of movement. The pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis is best treated with oral medications, topical ointments, and massage therapy sessions.

Cause #3: Knee Pain from Bursitis

Knee Pain from Bursitis

Bursitis can cause sudden or severe knee pain, although it can also build up over time. The bursa is a sac of fluid located below the skin just above the knee. As the knee gets overused, becomes injured, or undergoes repetitive bending, the bursa can become irritated.

Knee pain from bursitis can be very intense, often resulting in emergency hospital visits due to an unmanageable level of discomfort. The best treatment for bursitis is rest, which allows the injured knee to heal and rehabilitate itself over time.

Cause #4: Knee Pain from Tendonitis

Knee Pain from Tendonitis

Tendonitis is a common type of knee pain that can feel very debilitating. This condition occurs when the tendons surrounding the knee become inflamed and sore from overuse. The knee pain is often made worse by climbing, taking the stairs, or walking on an incline. If your knee pain is caused by tendonitis, you are advised against participating in physical activities that will further aggravate the symptoms.

Cause #5: Knee Pain from Chondromalacia Patella

Knee Pain from Chondromalacia Patella

Chondromalacia patella is when the cartilage under the kneecap deteriorates and softens. It is commonly referred to as ‘runner’s knee’, usually occurring in young or athletic individuals. This condition can also occur in older adults with arthritis in their knees.

The best way to treat chondromalacia patella is by resting. If this does not provide relief, it may be a sign that there is improper knee alignment. In this case, medical intervention may be needed to correct the issue and treat the underlying condition.

Cause #6: Knee Pain from Autoimmune Diseases

Knee Pain from Autoimmune Diseases

There are various autoimmune diseases that can cause tremendous knee pain – Lyme Disease and Lupus being two notable examples. Systemic sclerosis, myalgia or myositis, and other diseases will attack joints like your knee, resulting in severe restrictions in your mobility.

Depending on the exact autoimmune disease, you may find an oral medication to reduce the knee pain symptoms. A change in diet, along with several knee pain home remedies, may also assist in keeping the inflammation low. In addition, you should seek regular treatments from a chiropractor to alleviate symptoms.

Cause #7: Knee Pain from Baker’s Cyst

Knee Pain from Baker’s Cyst

A Baker’s cyst refers to a fluid-filled cyst, which will develop behind the knee and then bulge. The condition can cause pain when you extend or flex the knee. Although there’s no long-term damage associated with these cysts, the degree of knee pain can feel extreme.

The good news is that a Baker’s cyst should eventually disappear, and the pain will lessen over time. However, a Baker’s Cyst may reoccur as it is usually related to an underlying and possibly undiagnosed knee issue, such as arthritis.

Cause #8: Knee Pain from Gout

Knee Pain from Gout

When your knee is hurting badly, gout may be the cause. Gout is the build-up of uric acid, which can occur in any joint of the body. When gout happens in the knee, it can swell up and cause significant pain. The pain can be sudden and intense, almost as if your knee is on fire.

Gout can be caused by many factors, including blood disorders and metabolic disorders. You may also experience gout from alcohol consumption, shellfish, red meat, organ meat, salt, and sweet juices.

Cause #9: Knee Pain from Injury

Knee Pain from Injury

Our knees are prone to injury. A sprain or strain can lead to soreness, swelling, and pain. To treat knee pain occurring from injury, you may be advised to take certain medications such as anti-inflammatories. Visit Chiro-Med’s knee pain chiropractors and acupuncturists, who can help with long-lasting relief even after a single session.