The Top 5 Causes of Knee Pain: What You Need to Know

The Top 5 Causes of Knee Pain: What You Need to Know

Revised 09/21/2020

Any injury can be debilitating, but a knee injury can keep you on the sidelines for a long time.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent this type of injury and discomfort from spiraling out of control. To do that, you need to know the reasons for knee pain.

Today, you’ll learn about some of the most common causes for knee pain and what you can do to reduce pain.


Understanding the Root Cause of Knee Pain

To take restorative and preventative action, you need to know what’s causing your knee pain. Reasons for knee pain can include these five conditions:

1. Meniscus Tear

Within your knee is a piece of cartilage called the meniscus. One of the most common injuries to the knee is a meniscus tear

Symptoms of a tear include: 

  • Hearing/feeling a pop in the knee when the injury occurs
  • Immediate knee pain
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty straightening or bending the knee

Smaller tears can mend on their own with plenty of rest and the application of ice and an elastic bandage. However, if you’ve sustained a severe tear, you might require surgery. Contact your doctor for proper treatment and diagnosis. 

Athletes most at risk of this type of injury are those who play or engage in:

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Any type of sport/activity that requires quickly switching direction while you’re running

2. Ligament Injuries

Your knees contain ligaments that connect your thigh bone to the bones in your lower leg. A common ligament injury amongst athletes is an ACL tea or sprain. An anterior cruciate ligament tear is an injury that has plagued many athletes, particularly football and basketball players.

Signs of a ligament injury:

  • Hearing/feeling a pop
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited mobility
  • Inability to put weight on your leg

To heal the injury, you should see a medical professional and follow their professional advice and designated treatments.

3. Arthritis

Of all the reasons for knee pain, arthritis might be the most common amongst the general population, simply because there are so many types of arthritis that can affect the knee. These include:

  • Osteoarthritis: The most common type of arthritis, this occurs when the cartilage in your knee gradually wears down.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: RA is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation near the joint.
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis: After a knee injury, you can develop this type of arthritis, especially if the cartilage has been damaged.

Symptoms of arthritis are:

  • Knee pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Limited mobility

To treat your knee pain, you need to consult with a doctor to determine what type of arthritis you have. Only then will you and your doctor be able to take steps to reduce or eliminate your pain – like taking prescribed pain or anti-inflammatory medications, working with a physical therapist, undergoing surgery, or through proper support and compression of the knee.

4. Fractures

Trauma sustained during an accident or while engaging in your sport can result in fractured knee bones. Symptoms of a fracture:

  • Severe pain
  • Inability to walk

To treat a fracture, you’ll need to wear a cast to allow the bone to heal properly. Eventually, you’ll graduate to a knee brace or compression sleeve to support your knee while walking.

5. Patellar Tendinitis

Cyclists, runners, skiers, and athletes involved in jumping sports can develop tendinitis (inflammation or irritation of the tendons).

Tendons attach your muscles and bones. One of the most common reasons for knee pain is inflammation of the patellar tendon, which connects the quadriceps muscle (front thigh muscle) to your shinbone.

  • Symptoms include:
  • Knee pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling

The cause of this injury is overuse. Repeated stress on the tendon can result in tiny tears. If you don’t give your body adequate time to repair itself, the tears can multiply. The result:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Weakening of the tendon


Steps and Products That Can Help Reduce Your Pain

It’s been mentioned, but it bears repeating – to combat the common reasons for knee pain, you need to let your body rest. It’s the only way for the tiny tears in muscles, ligaments, and tendons to heal. Along with ice and elevation, rest is an important element of reducing inflammation.

Another way you can treat knee pain is with the right knee pain products. One of our best knee pain solutions is the Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee Strap. The strap reduces displacement, reduces the force of the thigh/quadricep muscle on your knee, and reduces the chance of misalignment. All of this can support the knee, reduce discomfort, and prevent further injury.

Other knee pain treatment and support options include:


Take Care of Your Knees Now to Stay Active Later

To ensure you’re as active as possible in your later years, it’s imperative that you take care of your body now. It’s tempting to keep pushing yourself to your limits to see what you can achieve. However, allowing your body to recover, as well as treating discomfort early on and investing in knee pain treatment products, will help you stay active for decades to come.

Worried about sustaining an injury that keeps you down? We can help! Check out our resource guide, where you’ll find videos and guides that will help you stay strong and injury-free. 




Cho-Pat Dual Action Knee Strap

Cho-Pat Dual Action
Knee Brace


Cho-Pat Original Knee Strap

Cho-Pat Original Knee Strap
Knee Strap


Cho-Pat Dynamic Knee Compression Sleeve

Cho-Pat Dynamic
Knee Compression Sleeve













PLEASE NOTE: The information on this website and article is for information only and should not be used as a substitute for consulting your doctor. Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and rehabilitation.

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