8 Possible Causes of Knee Pain When Bending and Squatting

By Luna
8 Possible Causes of Knee Pain When Bending and Squatting

Unloading the laundry, getting out of the car, and climbing into bed are all activities we don’t think twice about. But these mundane tasks can quickly become challenging when we feel knee pain from bending or squatting, and the repetitive motions can cause it to worsen.

Unfortunately, this is a common problem for many, and our knees are easily subject to overexertion, experiencing four to five times your body weight in pressure while squatting to pick something up off the floor or tying your shoelace.

The Impact of Squatting and Bending

Squatting, when done correctly, isn't bad for your knees. It can even strengthen them. However, improper exercise techniques or existing weaknesses in the knee can turn this motion into a source of pain.

The knees are complex joints, requiring a balance of strength and flexibility to function correctly. When we squat or bend, we engage not just our knees but also our hips, ankles, and the surrounding muscles. If these are not working in harmony, the extra strain falls on our knees.

Exploring the Causes

Let’s look further at the eight leading causes of knee pain when bending and squatting:

  1. Injury or Trauma: A direct injury to the knee, like a fall or blow, can cause immediate pain and long-term issues. Blunt trauma to the knee may also lead to swelling from joint inflammation soon after the injury.
  2. Overuse: Repetitive activities, especially in sports or certain jobs, can lead to overuse injuries in the knees, although this is a much more gradual and slower onset.
  3. Arthritis: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis cause chronic inflammation, swelling, and stiffness in the knee joints, leading to pain when bending or squatting.
  4. Meniscus Tear: Tears in the meniscus, a piece of cushioning cartilage in the knee, can cause pain and hinder movement due to acute injuries and chronic wear and tear.
  5. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Typically occurring in more active individuals, patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as "runner's knee," involves pain around the kneecap and is often linked to overuse and muscle imbalances.
  6. Tendonitis: Inflammation or irritation of a tendon typically causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint, often exacerbated by movement of the affected area, causing significant pain.
  7. Knee Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursae, typically due to repetitive motions, resulting in swelling and pain around the knee joint.
  8. Sprained Ligaments: Overstretching or tearing ligaments in the knee can cause instability and pain while bending. These sprains may involve mild to severe tearing, accompanied by limitations to joint stability (or complete loss of function).

Preventing Knee Pain and Treatment With Physical Therapy

Preventing knee pain while bending is all about maintaining strength, flexibility, and balance in the muscles surrounding the knee. A physical therapist guides you with exercises that strengthen and stretch the knee, targeting specific muscle groups to support long-term joint health.

With a board-certified Luna PT, you can benefit from a range of therapeutic exercises, manual therapy techniques, and educational resources. They work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that fits into your daily routine, making it easier to commit to your recovery process and receive customized care!

Find a Luna PT near you to get started with a convenient, personalized, and effective way to treat and prevent knee pain, helping you regain mobility and return to your everyday activities.

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