Knee pain

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Knee pain
Human knee

Knee pain is pain in or around the knee.

The knee joint consists of an articulation between four bones: the femur, tibia, fibula and patella. There are four compartments to the knee. These are the medial and lateral tibiofemoral compartments, the patellofemoral compartment and the superior tibiofibular joint. The components of each of these compartments can experience repetitive strain, injury or disease.

Running long distance can cause pain to the knee joint, as it is a high-impact exercise.[citation needed]

The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth to the touch
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or crunching noises
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee



Some common injuries based on the location include:[1]



Some of the diseases of cause of knee pain include the following:



Common deformities of the knee include:



Cold temperature[edit]

Knee pain is more common among people working in the cold than in those in normal temperature.[15] Cold-induced knee pain may also be due to tenosynovitis of the tendons around the knee, in which cold exposure has a specific role, either as a causative or a contributing factor.[15] Frank arthritis has been reported in children due to frostbite from extreme cold causing direct chondrocyte injury.[16]

There is also a hereditary disease, familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS), which often features knee pain, in addition to hives, fever and pain in other joints, following general exposure to cold.[17]

Knee pain due to less physical movement[edit]

A lower level of physical activity and a work environment where one is required to sit in a chair during the work day is one reason for developing knee joint pain, as the lower degree of physical movement tends to weaken the knee muscles. Blood vessels also can be affected, leading to development of painful conditions. Working on building strength through a full range of motion is crucial for rebuilding strength and getting rid of knee pain.[citation needed]

As age progresses the movement of the knee joint involves higher friction with adjacent tissue and cartilages.[citation needed]

Other causes[edit]

Referred knee pain[edit]

Referred pain is that pain perceived at a site different from its point of origin but innervated by the same spinal segment.[18] Sometimes knee pain may be related to another area from body. For example, knee pain can come from ankle, foot, hip joints or lumbar spine.


Knee MRIs should be avoided for knee pain without symptoms or effusion, unless there are non-successful results from a functional rehabilitation program.[19]

In some diagnosis, such as in knee osteoarthritis, magnetic resonance imaging does not prove to be clear for its determination.[20]


Although surgery has a role in repairing traumatic injuries and broken bones, surgeries such as arthroscopic lavage do not provide significant or lasting improvements to either pain or function to people with knee pain, and therefore should almost never be performed.[21] Knee pain is pain caused by wear and tear, such as osteoarthritis or a meniscal tear. Effective treatments for knee pain include physical therapy exercises,[22] pain-reducing drugs such as ibuprofen, joint stretching,[23][24] knee replacement surgery, and weight loss in people who are overweight.[21]

Overall, a combination of interventions seems to be the best choice when treating knee pain. Interventions such as exercises that target both the knee and the hip, foot bracing, and patellar taping are all recommended for use with patients who have knee pain.[25]

Current evidence suggests that psychological factors are elevated in individuals with patellofemoral pain.[26] Non-physical factors such as anxiety, depression, fear of movement, and catastrophizing are thought to have a linear correlation with increased pain experience and decreased physical function.[26] Catastrophizing is defined as imagining the worst possible outcome of an action or event.[27] The psychosocial factors may have either a positive or negative impact on adherence to rehabilitation programs for managing knee pain.[26] Furthermore, studies have found knee pain to be negatively associated with health-related quality of life, and an increase in knee pain to be associated with a reduction in patient-reported quality of life, as compared to those with no or stable knee pain, even in the relatively younger middle-aged population.[28]


About 25% of people over the age of 50 experience knee pain from degenerative knee diseases.[21]

Society and culture[edit]

In the United States, more than US$3 billion is spent each year on arthroscopic knee surgeries that are known to be ineffective in people with degenerative knee pain.[21]

Dry Needling for Knee Pain[edit]

Knee pain, stemming from factors like injury, inflammation, or conditions such as arthritis, can find effective treatment with trigger-point dry needling for musculoskeletal and joint pain. Dry needling knee pain approach focuses on specific trigger points, using needles to stimulate tension release and promote the body's natural healing processes, providing relief for those with knee pain.

While dry needling isn't widely used as a treatment in the U.S., it is more common in other countries. In the United Kingdom, for instance, dry needling is used to manage knee pain in osteoarthritis patients waiting for joint replacement surgery.  Additionally, it contributes to improving the range of motion in the affected area.

Effectiveness of Dry Needling for Knee Pain Relief[edit]

  • Research Findings: Dry needling has gained popularity in treating musculoskeletal pain and related issues, either on its own or alongside other therapies.
  • Patient ReportsSuccess: Patient testimonials consistently highlight the positive impact of dry needling for patients with knee osteoarthritis.
  • Stories and Testimonials: Real-life success stories and testimonials offer firsthand insights into the transformative effects of dry needling for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.[29]


  1. ^ Green, Shelby (24 November 2022). "Knee Pain Location Chart". Feel Good Life. feelgoodlife. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l van der Heijden RA, Lankhorst NE, van Linschoten R, Bierma-Zeinstra SM, van Middelkoop M (January 2015). "Exercise for treating patellofemoral pain syndrome". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 1: CD010387. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010387.pub2. PMID 25603546.
  3. ^ Darlene Hertling and Randolph M.Kessler. Management of Common Musculoskeletal Disorders. Third Edition. ISBN 0-397-55150-9
  4. ^ "Osteochondritis Dissecans". The Lecturio Medical Concept Library. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
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  7. ^ "Neoplasm". Lexico. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on September 26, 2019.
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  10. ^ "Tuberculosis (TB)". Retrieved 2020-05-08.
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  12. ^ "Osteomyelitis". The Lecturio Medical Concept Library. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  13. ^ "What Is Hemophilia?". U.S. Centers for Disease Control. 12 May 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Gout". The Lecturio Medical Concept Library. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  15. ^ a b Pienimäki T (May 2002). "Cold exposure and musculoskeletal disorders and diseases. A review". International Journal of Circumpolar Health. 61 (2): 173–82. doi:10.3402/ijch.v61i2.17450. PMID 12078965.
  16. ^ Carrera GF, Kozin F, McCarty DJ (October 1979). "Arthritis after frostbite injury in children". Arthritis and Rheumatism. 22 (10): 1082–7. doi:10.1002/art.1780221006. PMID 486219.
  17. ^ Clinical trial number NCT00887939 for "Pathogenesis of Physical Induced Urticarial Syndromes" at
  18. ^ Carol Mattson Porth. Pathophysiology:concepts of altered health states. Publisher:Lippincott. Third Edition. Page 853. ISBN 0-397-54723-4
  19. ^ American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (24 April 2014), "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question", Choosing Wisely: an initiative of the ABIM Foundation, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, retrieved 29 July 2014
  20. ^ Culvenor AG, Øiestad BE, Hart HF, Stefanik JJ, Guermazi A, Crossley KM (June 2018). "Prevalence of knee osteoarthritis features on magnetic resonance imaging in asymptomatic uninjured adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis". British Journal of Sports Medicine. 53 (20): bjsports–2018–099257. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-099257. PMC 6837253. PMID 29886437.
  21. ^ a b c d Siemieniuk RA, Harris IA, Agoritsas T, Poolman RW, Brignardello-Petersen R, Van de Velde S, Buchbinder R, Englund M, Lytvyn L, Quinlan C, Helsingen L, Knutsen G, Olsen NR, Macdonald H, Hailey L, Wilson HM, Lydiatt A, Kristiansen A (May 2017). "Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative knee arthritis and meniscal tears: a clinical practice guideline". BMJ. 357: j1982. doi:10.1136/bmj.j1982. PMC 5426368. PMID 28490431.
  22. ^ Lack S, Neal B, De Oliveira Silva D, Barton C (July 2018). "How to manage patellofemoral pain - Understanding the multifactorial nature and treatment options". Physical Therapy in Sport. 32: 155–166. doi:10.1016/j.ptsp.2018.04.010. hdl:11449/171014. PMID 29793124. S2CID 46921956.
  23. ^ Knee Reviver
  24. ^ "Kniedistractie - UMC Utrecht".
  25. ^ Crossley KM, van Middelkoop M, Callaghan MJ, Collins NJ, Rathleff MS, Barton CJ (July 2016). "2016 Patellofemoral pain consensus statement from the 4th International Patellofemoral Pain Research Retreat, Manchester. Part 2: recommended physical interventions (exercise, taping, bracing, foot orthoses and combined interventions)". British Journal of Sports Medicine. 50 (14): 844–52. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096268. PMC 4975825. PMID 27247098.
  26. ^ a b c Maclachlan LR, Collins NJ, Matthews ML, Hodges PW, Vicenzino B (May 2017). "The psychological features of patellofemoral pain: a systematic review". British Journal of Sports Medicine. 51 (9): 732–742. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096705. PMID 28320733.
  27. ^ "Definition of CATASTROPHIZE". Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  28. ^ Singh, Ambrish; Campbell, Julie A.; Venn, Alison; Jones, Graeme; Blizzard, Leigh; Palmer, Andrew J.; Dwyer, Terence; Cicuttini, Flavia; Ding, Changhai; Antony, Benny (September 2021). "Association between knee symptoms, change in knee symptoms over 6-9 years, and SF-6D health state utility among middle-aged Australians". Quality of Life Research. 30 (9): 2601–2613. doi:10.1007/s11136-021-02859-5. PMID 33942204. S2CID 233487528.
  29. ^ "Dry Needling for Knee Pain Relief - Expert Techniques". 2023-11-24. Retrieved 2023-12-05.

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