What are the symptoms and causes of knee pain?

Knee pain can affect people at any age and can result from an injury or some type of medical condition.  Things that help knee pain from sitting all day include the right mixture of stretching and strengthening exercises to help by improving joint movement and functioning.
Knee pain can affect people at any age and can result from an injury or some type of medical condition. Things that help knee pain from sitting all day include the right mixture of stretching and strengthening exercises to help by improving joint movement and functioning.

Knee pain is very common. It can affect people at any age and can result from an injury or some type of medical condition. 

Certain types of knee pain can form from being still or sitting for long periods of time, which can often be helped with at-home remedies. However, sometimes intervention from a doctor may be needed.   

The symptoms of knee pain can vary depending on the cause. Common symptoms that come with knee pain include:

  • Swelling 
  • Warm to the touch 
  • Weakness 
  • Stiffness 
  • Popping noises 
  • A bent knee that can't straighten

Causes of knee pain related to injury include: 

Cause of knee pain related to mechanical problems include:

  • Floating or loose bone fragments
  • Foot or hip associated pain
  • Dislocated bones of the knee 

How does sitting cause knee pain?

Studies show that evidence points to a link between chronic knee pain and sedentary lifestyles — or lack of physical activity. Knee pain from sitting all day is a type of sedentary function.

There are four common reasons that your knee may hurt after sitting down:

Furniture That Lacks Support. A leading cause of knee injuries is weak muscles. Proper furniture is needed to build up the quads and hamstrings. These muscles support your knees. Supportive furniture adds stability and balance to the muscles around your knees.

Sitting for Too Long. Longer periods of sedentary actions are related to chronic knee pain. When you sit for several hours each day, pain from joints and muscles stiffen when in the same position for so long.

Sitting in Awkward Positions. How you sit can affect the pain in your knee. Crossed legs can put pressure on the knee caps. Good posture with feet flat on the floor or even a footrest can alleviate the awkwardness leading to pain.

Underlying Health Conditions. The most serious cause of knee pain from long periods of sitting is related to underlying conditions. Arthritis is the most common cause of pain after sitting for long periods. Adults with arthritis spend two-thirds of their day being sedentary. 

There are several different types of arthritis: 

Who is most at risk for developing knee pain from sitting?

More time spent sedentary directly correlates with poor health outcomes. So those with certain medical conditions are more at risk for knee pain. Risk factors that increase the chance of knee pain from sitting include:

  • Previous injury 
  • Being overweight 
  • Lack of muscle strength 
  • Jobs that put stress on the joints 

How can you stop knee pain from sitting all day?

Exercise can seem like a hard thing to do when experiencing knee pain. However, exercises at home that stretch and strengthen can help most types of knee pain. Prevention of pain from sitting all day can occur by walking and stretching every half hour to an hour.

The right mixture of stretching and strengthening exercises can help the pain by improving joint movement and functioning. Weak hip muscle from sitting can cause straining and pain of the knee. Tight muscles around the knee also cause pain. If your muscles are not flexible, the joints will not function correctly.

To relieve knee pain from sitting, you need to stretch and strengthen different muscles, starting from the hip abductors and moving to the quads and hamstrings. You should consider exercises like the following:

  • Side Leg Raises: while lying on your back with your leg straight, slowly lift one leg via thigh muscles. Lift into the air, pause, then slowly lower it back to the floor. Repeat with the other leg. This is a strengthening and stretching exercise.
  • Hamstring Stretch: lie on your back. Grip your leg with both hands behind the thigh. Lift your foot towards the ceiling with a flexed foot. Keep the leg straight without locking the knee to feel a stretch. Hold, and then return to starting position and repeat with the other leg.
  • Quad Stretch: stand with your feet shoulder length apart, bend your knee and bring the heel back toward your buttocks. Reach back with the same side hand and hold your foot. Hold the stretch, lower the foot to the ground, and repeat with the other leg. Don’t lose your balance! 

In the long term, reducing sedentary lifestyle habits will help with knee pain from sitting. Other treatments for knee pain include medications, injections, and surgery if arthritis is bad enough. Talk to your medical professional if you are experiencing knee pain. 

QUESTION

Medically speaking, the term "myalgia" refers to what type of pain? See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 12/30/2021
References
SOURCES:

Arthritis Care and Research: "Sedentary Behavior and Physical Function: Objective Evidence From the Osteoarthritis Initiative."

BMC Public Health: "Cross-sectional analysis of self-reported sedentary behaviors and chronic knee pain among South Korean adults over 50 years of age in KNHANES 2013-2015."

Harvard Health Publishing: "Take control of your knee pain."

Mayo Clinic: "Knee Pain."

Ortho Bethesda: "Why Your Knee Hurts When You're Sitting.”