Rarely do we think about our knees in our day-to-day life. Constantly bending, straightening, going up the stairs and pushing through them without a second thought…..until they start to hurt.

My knees hurt, what is going on?

The reasons why your knees can hurt can range from just having fatigue in the quads to having an ACL injury. We will go through the top reasons you could be having knee pain:

1. Patello Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS): Fancy name, but what this means is that you get pain at or around the knee cap or just below. This pain can be coming from a variety of different areas, but generally has to do with muscular weakness and poor mechanics at the knee. Typical signs are getting pain with sitting or going down the stairs. A proper strength training program that focuses on technique and mechanics can help minimize your chances of PFPS

2. Arthritis: This pain will show up in the knee joint itself or right behind the knee cap. This type usually presents as pain and stiffness in the morning, or after longer periods of inactivity. For example, those who sit at work for hours on end and then get up to move, may find it is difficult to get the knees moving. Generally, the knees feel better once you get moving.

3. IT band syndrome or “Runner’s Knee”: Another fancy term that is used for pain at the outside of the knee. This could be caused by your IT band, a band of connective tissue, which attaches at the outside of the knee just below the knee joint. If you’re an avid walker, runner or cyclist, this can be one of your main sources of knee pain. Stretching, rolling and a good hip strength program will reduce your chances of this type of knee pain.

4. Overuse and referred pain: Believe it or not, overuse of the muscles that attach around the knee can cause you knee pain as well. Your quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, and adductors (muscles on the inside of your thigh) can all refer pain in and around the knee. Frequent and proper stretching, as well as soft tissue work can help to mitigate this source of knee pain.

5. Hip Weakness: What? Having a lack of hip strength can lead to increased stress and lack of control at the knee. Lack of hip strength has been shown to put your knees at a disadvantage and can be a driver for all the reasons for knee pain mentioned above. Getting on a proper and regular hip strength program will not only make your hips stronger but will reduce your chances of developing knee pain.