The knee is the largest and most complex joint in the body, and with many components like bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, bursae and other soft tissues, it is very vulnerable to a variety of injuries. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, there were about 10.4 million doctor visits in 2010 alone for common knee injuries like fractures, dislocations, sprains and ligament tears, so it’s no surprise that Americans are experiencing knee pain, when bending especially. What are some common causes of irritation when flexing the knee?

1. Poor Alignment

When your body is properly aligned, the bones are stacked above each other and effectively distribute weight and force down the length of the body. When your posture is compromised or your gait is compensating for muscular tightness, weakness, or in response to injury, a large amount of stress is created on the components of the knee joint. Having poor posture during any activity, including sitting, standing, walking or bending can result in pain and injury to the knee.

2. Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee is a painful condition that develops as a result of repeated bending of the knee joint, but can also happen because of a direct blow, if the kneecap is not aligned correctly, or because of flat feet or weak thigh muscles. Symptoms include swelling around and behind the kneecap, knee pain when bending, and possibly crepitus, or cracking and popping noises in the knees, when walking.

3. Bursitis

Each of your knees has fluid filled sacs called bursa, which cushion and protect the structures of the knees. The bursa can become inflamed when kneeling, squatting, or in the presence of excess friction in the joint, and the painful condition is known as bursitis. Most commonly, you’ll experience swelling in the joint and knee pain when bending, and while it’s not the most severe condition, it is fairly uncomfortable.

4. Osteoarthritis

“OA” is the most common form of joint inflammation, experienced by over 30 million people annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Known as the “wear and tear” form of arthritis, it develops as a result of the continual wear on the cartilage in the knee joint. While it’s most often experienced by adults over 65, factors like genetics, obesity, diet, and damage caused by sports injuries can cause the stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and weakness to show up in adults as young as 25.

5. Injuries to Knee Ligaments

Most often the result of sports injuries, the incredibly painful and debilitating symptoms of damage to knee ligaments are most likely experienced by athletes. Tears caused by repeated extension of the knee joint, impacts on hard surfaces, or abrupt shifting and twisting against the “hinge” of the knee can produce a variety of injuries in ligaments including the ACL, PCL, LCL or MCL. Symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness, and even immobility.

Concerned with Knee Pain When Bending?

If previous treatments have failed and you’ve been told that knee replacement surgery is your only option, we urge you to contact us today for a complimentary consultation, including a thorough exam, an accurate diagnosis, and professional, unbiased advice about your condition. Flexogenix offers a variety of non-surgical options including braces and support, physical therapies, and regenerative medicine, and we strive to allow you to live an active and pain-free lifestyle.