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Flexing Knee Pain: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Flexing Knee Pain: Causes and Treatment

The knee is the largest joint in the body and is constantly under pressure, which makes it vulnerable to injuries and degenerative diseases. It supports our body weight and is composed of a complex set of elements that allow its correct functioning, such as: bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and meniscus.



Knee pain is very common and occurs at all ages. It affects both sexes, when flexing the knee pain can appear in the anterior or posterior area, and obeys to several causes. In this article, we will explain in detail what are the causes of Flexing Knee Pain and, in addition, what is the ideal treatment for this condition.



Flexing knee pain: symptoms and predisposing factors

Knee pain when flexing is common within the reasons for consultation in the traumatologist. It is associated with the manifestation of particular symptoms such as:

  • Crunch in the knee.
  • Knee pain at frequent rest.
  • Pain when performing movements such as running or jumping.



Among the predisposing factors that are related to knee pain, are:

  • Obesity or overweight: the joint is worn substantially faster.
  • Age: the older, more degeneration of the elements that make it up.
  • Occupation, profession and sports: standing for long periods, wearing high-heeled shoes, repetitive movements or high impact, can affect the articulation to a greater degree.
  • Lack of flexibility or muscle strength: weak muscles (hypotrophic) due to lack of physical activity or inappropriate protein intake provide less stability to the knee and make it more susceptible to injury.


Flexing Knee Pain
Flexing Knee Pain

Knee pain when flexing: frequent causes

There are causes of knee pain when flexing more specific according to the affected area:


In the area anterior or anterior to the knee, the most common causes of knee pain when flexing are:

  • Runner’s knee: this is a condition also known as “femur-femur stress syndrome”, common in athletes. There is a process of wear of the cartilage of the patella, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Quadriceps tendinitis: product of the overload generates inflammation in the quadriceps tendon (muscle that is born in the patella and continues to the muscle), associated with activities such as basketball, volleyball, soccer and skiing. It is also known as quadricipital tendinopathy.



Pain in the anterior knee is common in active healthy and young people, especially in the female sex.


In the posterior area or behind the knee, the most common causes are:

  • Popliteal tendonitis: is a rare pathology, consisting of inflammation of the muscle called popliteus. It is characterized by pain in the back of the knee that increases, especially when running.
  • Baker’s cyst: also known as popliteal cyst. It is nothing more than a process of fluid accumulation of the joint (synovium) behind the knee, precisely where the popliteal gap is located. It is associated with degenerative inflammatory processes, which is why it is common in older adults, manifested with stiffness and discomfort when flexing the knee.
  • Chondromalacia: Also called femoropatellar pain syndrome. It is the wear of the cartilage of the surface of the patellar joint common in people with overload or overpressure in the knee and in adults due to wear of the articular cartilage. It manifests with pain in the knee during flexion movements.



Treatment for knee pain when flexed

There are general measures that can be taken in case of knee pain, such is the case of the RICE protocol as explained by the Medical Journal of Costa Rica and Central America [2]: Rest of the limb, Local ice, Compression with elastic bandages or knee and Elevation of the affected lower limb.



These general measures are combined with:

  • Analgesics type NSAIDs or opioids, depending on the circumstances that cause the pain and the underlying pathologies of the individual. The doctor will make the most pertinent decision according to the case, it is up to this criterion to indicate or not physiotherapy or another type of local treatment such as, for example, injections with corticoids, hyaluronic acid or platelet-rich plasma directly in the joint.
  • The surgery is destined to more serious injuries where the general measures did not manage to alleviate the pain, or of entrance, in patient with serious injuries, either through an arthroscopy or open surgery.



Advice and remedies for knee pain when flexing

  • Maintaining an adequate weight decreases the daily impact on the knee and is the most effective method to relieve pain.
    Exercise regularly. A strengthened muscle group gives a better stability to the joint.
  • Appropriate exercise There are measures you can take before exercising: a good stretch before an intense workout is essential to avoid injuries, on the other hand, if you have limitations for pain, you can perform low-impact activities for the knees, as in the case of swimming . It is always advisable that you receive guidance from a coach with experience in the area.
  • Acupuncture: millennial technique that can relieve pain.
    Electrotherapy, ultrasonotherapy, contact hyperthermia, thermotherapy or mechanotherapy are non-invasive techniques under medical indication.
  • Use of templates or special footwear, especially in individuals with flat feet.



Exercises to improve knee pain when flexing

Training to improve balance and stability

  • Strengthening the quadriceps: lying on your back, bend the knee with your foot on the floor and keep it there for 10 or 20 seconds, while the other one keeps it extended. Repeat the movement 8 to 10 times, then change the limb.
  • Strengthening the hamstrings: lying face down, keeping the arms close to the body, raise the leg with the knee extended, taking off the thigh of the floor, hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times with each leg.
  • Strengthening the twins: stand with your hands on the wall, put both feet on tiptoe, with the knee without flexing, hold for 5 seconds, then rest the entire sole of the foot on the floor. Repeat 10 times.


Flexing Knee Pain Causes
Flexing Knee Pain Causes

Flexibility and stretching exercises

  • ¬†Bring the heel towards the gluteus, with the knee flexed completely and backwards, with the hand holding the ankle. Hold with the other hand if necessary.
  • Sitting on the floor, with your legs stretched out, try to touch the toes with the tips of your fingers. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 7 to 10 times.

Knee pain is common in medical consultations despite the fact that the causes are multiple, the use of natural medicines and exercises can be used to improve their annoying symptoms, so the traumatologist has the power to indicate pharmacological treatment if required or some other complementary therapy.

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