Knee Pain When Bending Causes & Relief Tips

Knee pain when bendingIf you are suffering from knee pain when bending then you might be feeling limited in what you can do. If you know what’s causing your knee pain then you can apply the relief techniques. However, if you aren’t too sure then you might feel more limited and helpless then you need to be.

Along with some relief tips below you can try some simple knee pain exercises which you can check out here to try and strengthen the area. However, if that doesn’t help you might need to dig a little deeper to see what’s causing your knee pain when bending.

Meniscus Tear

The meniscus is a crescent shaped disc that pads your knee. A meniscus tear is a common knee injury that is usually caused by a hard twisting or quick turning motion.

Relief Tip – For minor or moderate tears try rest, ice, knee compression and elevation. For a severe tear contact your doctor. Along with the above, surgery and physical therapy might be advised.

Jumper’s Knee – Runner’s Knee

Jumper’s knee or Runner’s Knee (Patellar Tendonitis) is an inflammation or injury of the patellar tendon, the cord-like tissue that connects the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone (tibia). This type of knee injury is one of the most common injuries found in young active kids, runner’s or athletes.

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Relief Tip – For minor to moderate injuries use the RICE treatment (rest, ice, compress & elevate). Also NSAID’s will help you relieve pain. For a severe jumper’s knee injury explore massage therapy options. In addition, physical therapy and specialized injections to desensitize the nerve endings might need be advised. Contact your doctor if you feel your injury is severe.

Ligament Injuries

There are 4 ligaments in the knee that can get injured.

  1. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) stabilizes front-back knee movements & can be sprained or torn if the knee is hyperextended, twisted or bent. It’s a common sports injury that occurs when there is a hard stop or twisting of the knee.
  2. Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) also stabilizes front-back knee movements & is an injury that’s the least common in the 4 ligaments.
  3. Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) supports side to side movements & can become injured when there’s a pushing force on the outside of the knee inward.
  4. Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) also supports side to side movements and can become injured when there is a pushing force on the inside of the knee outward.

Twisting, jumping and stopping suddenly when running can cause ligament injuries. In addition, shifting weight from one leg to another will aggravate your knee pain when bending.

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Relief Tip – For mild to moderate injuries rest, ice and elevate your knee. You can also take NSAID’s to relieve some of the pain. However, if the pain is severe or doesn’t go away after applying the above methods contact your medical professional.


The bursa is a sac filled with lubricating fluid that acts as a cushion between bones, tendons, joints and muscles. It usually gets inflamed by overusing in sports or kneeling for extended periods of time, leading to bursitis.

Relief Tip – Rest, wrap, and elevate your knee.

Arthritic Knee

If you have an arthritic knee then you might have Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Post-traumatic Arthritis that is causing your knee pain when bending. See our arthritis knee pain guide article to learn more about the 3 forms of arthritis in the knee and find info on how to diagnose each.

Relief Tip – Lifestyle modification, light exercise and bracing will reduce pain. However, contact your doctor for specific treatment to reduce, alleviate and eliminate pain.

Do you suffer from knee pain when bending? If so please comment about it below and tell us what works for your pain.

Article last updated on January 7th, 2019, first published on February 28, 2013.

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3 thoughts on “Knee Pain When Bending Causes & Relief Tips

  1. I had a injury with PCL injury last October and they stated it was a grade 1-2 tear but I still seem to have pain at the pain of my knee I got a injection 2 months ago but it doesn’t seem to have help much any advice will be appreciate

  2. I hurt my knee a few days ago and it has been a little swollen and there’s pain on the inner left knee and it’s been hurting a lot is there anything I can do to relieve the pain I am pretty sure it’s either a meniscus tear in my MCL probably grade two to three but it hurts and my knee feels very unstable yesterday I was walking around because and my knee gave out it hurt so bad please get back to me quickly

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