Knee pain can be caused by a variety of conditions depending on what structures are affected. Bones, muscles, nerves, meniscus, and ligaments make up the knee and when any of these structures are injured, it can lead to knee pain. Based on studies, pain in front of the knee is the most common (20-40%) presenting symptom in sports physiotherapy.

Location of pain gives your physiotherapist a general idea on what structures are possibly injured. Other factors to consider include: type of pain (cramping, aching, sharp, tingling), aggravating activities and whether symptom is constant or intermittent.

Common causes of knee pain are :

1.) Patellar Tendinopathy/Jumper`s knee

Clinical Presentation:

            → Pain and swelling just below the knee cap (patella)

            → Tenderness on inferior pole of patella, patellar tendon or on tibial tuberosity

            →  Pain occurs at the start of activity which settles after warm-up and returns after activity

            → Generalized weakness of quadriceps muscle

Aggravating activities:

            → Jumping (volleyball, high jumps, long jumps or triple jumps)

            → Sudden change of direction when running

            → Deceleration

Different types of knee pain and what they tell you!
  • Quadriceps Tendinopathy

Clinical Presentation:

            → Pain and swelling just above the knee cap (patella)

            → Tenderness on quadriceps tendon and superior pole of patella

            →  Pain occurs at the start of activity which settles after warm-up and returns after activity

            → Generalized weakness of quadriceps muscle

Aggravating activities:

            → Jumping (volleyball, high jumps, long jumps or triple jumps)

            → Sudden change of direction when running

            → Deceleration

3.) Osgood-Schlatter Lesion

Clinical Presentation:

            → Pain on tibial tuberosity (bony part little below the knee cap)

Aggravating activities:

            → High levels of activity such as running, jumping during a period of rapid growth (adolescents)

4.)Patellofemoral pain syndrome or Pain in front of the knee

Clinical Presentation:

            → Onset of pain is insidious but may occur secondary to an acute traumatic knee injury

            (e.g. falling on the knee, meniscal tear) or following a knee surgery (e.g. ACL reconstruction)

            → Pain located on either front/inner side of the knee, or behind the patella

            → Weakness of Vastus Medialis Obliquus muscle

            → Crepitus (clicking sounds) under patella when bending the knee

Aggravating activities:

            → Ascending/descending stairs

            → Running especially downhill

5.)  Pes anserine Tendinopathy/Bursitis

Symptoms:

            →  Localized tenderness and swelling close to the medial joint line

            → Pain when knee is bent against resistance

Aggravating activities:

            → Swimming (breast strokers)

            → Cycling

            → Running

6.) ITB/Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome

Clinical Presentation:

            → Ache over the outer portion of the knee

            → Tenderness and swelling over the lateral femoral condyle

            → Crepitus (clicking sounds) when bending and extending the knee

Aggravating activities:

            →  Running

            → Cycling

            → Downhill running

Our Singapore physiotherapists and Manila Physiotherapists can help you to manage knee pain and assist you with exercises to take care of your knee pain. Call us for an appointment or send your queries to: info@physioasia.com