Understanding what is causing your knee pain may be a simple task, or more complicated. A skilled physician can use clues to determine the cause of knee pain. Some of these clues have to do with you (how old are you? What types of activities do you do?), and some with your symptoms (has your knee pain been ongoing? Was there a recent injury?).
Here are some of the common knee pain symptoms that are experienced by patients, and what these symptoms may mean about the cause of your knee pain.
Location of Pain
Front of Knee: Pain over the front of the knee is most commonly related to the knee cap. Kneecap pain can be caused by several different problems.
Inside of Knee: Pain on the inside, or medial side, of the knee is commonly caused by medial meniscus tears, MCL injuries, and arthritis.
Outside of Knee: Pain on the outside of the knee, or lateral side, is commonly caused by lateral meniscus tears, LCL injuries, IT band tendonitis, and arthritis.
Back of Knee: Pain in the back of the knee can be due to the collection of fluid, called a Baker’s Cyst.
Knee pain is commonly caused by doing too much too soon when you haven’t exercised for a long period of time – especially high-impact aerobics; walking, running or jumping on hard surfaces or uneven ground; excessive running up and down stairs (When you walk upstairs you are putting pressure on your knees that is equivalent to four times your body weight, when running up the stairs it can be eight times your body weight).
Knee osteoarthritis is a common cause of knee pain. The risk increases with age. Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis involving degeneration of the cartilage. Exercise is vital to maintain strength and flexibility of muscles supporting the knee, which reduces the stress on the knee joint.
People with knee osteoarthritis may also need to take pain medications and/or other complementary pain treatments.