Knee Pain

What are the Causes of Chronic Knee Pain

In essence, chronic knee pain is the long-term swelling, pain, and sensitivity in one (or both) knees. Some conditions can contribute or cause chronic knee pain. Fortunately, many treatment options are also available like physical therapy, medication, chiropractic, and surgery.

Possible Causes

Chronic knee pain is different from temporary knee pain. Many people experience the latter as a result of accident or injury. The former on the other hand does not go away without any treatment and can’t be attributed to just one incident. Chronic knee pain is often attributed to several conditions or causes.

Some of diseases and physical conditions that can cause knee pain include:

  • An inflammation that results from injury or repeated overuse of the knee.
  • This type of arthritis is caused by uric acid buildup.
  • Inflammation, pain, and joint destruction brought about by deterioration and degeneration of the joint.
  • Baker’s cyst. This is caused by a buildup of the fluid that lubricates the joint (synovial fluid) situated behind the knee.
  • Pain felt in the front of the knee that can worsen when taking the stairs, climbing, or walking up an incline.
  • Chondromalacia patella. This occurs when the cartilage under the kneecap is damaged.
  • Torn ligament. Tear in any of the knee’s four ligaments. The most commonly injured ligament is the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).
  • Bone tumors. Osteosarcoma, the second most common kind of bone cancer often occurs in the knee.
  • Meniscus tear. Rupture in one (or more) of the knee’s cartilage.
  • Dislocation of the kneecap. This is often secondary to trauma.

Chronic Knee Pain

Risk Factors

Individuals who are obese or overweight are at a greater risk for developing knee problems. For every pound overweight, the knee will absorb an equivalent of 4 pounds each time the individual climbs the stairs, runs, or walks.

Other factors that can put one at risk for developing chronic knee pain include:

  • Previous trauma or injuries
  • Physical exercise or athletic activity
  • Age

Common Symptoms

The symptoms of chronic knee pain can vary from one person to another. In addition, the cause of the condition will also affect how the pain will feel. Chronic knee pain may manifest as:

  • Shooting and sharp pain (this is especially true when the knee is used)
  • Constant ache
  • Dull and burning discomfort

Chronic swelling may also occur and people with chronic knee pain may also experience pain when the knee is touched.

Treatment Options

Chronic knee pain will respond to a specific type of treatment depending on its cause. Treatment options for chronic knee pain can include:

  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Injections
  • Surgery


While it is possible to prevent some of the things that cause knee pain, chronic knee pain cannot be prevented. However, there are things that can be done to alleviate the pain.

If the chronic knee pain gets worse due to overuse or after a physical activity, a few lifestyle changes can be implemented to help ease the pain. Some of the approaches one can look into include:

  • Warming up prior to exercising. Ensure you stretch your hamstrings and quadriceps before and after exercising.
  • Trying low-impact exercises. Rather than running or tennis, give bicycling or swimming a try. You can also incorporate low-impact exercises in your routine to give your knees some break.
  • Losing the excess weight. Losing weight can help minimise pressure placed on the knees.
  • While running is something a lot of people prefer, it’s not exactly recommended for those with any knee issues or those who want to take care of their knees. Instead of running, consider walking as an alternative.
  • Replacing your running shoes frequently. If running is a part of your exercise routine, ensure you replace your running shoes as needed to warrant you’ll always get proper cushioning and support.