Knee Pain When Sitting For Long Periods

Four Potential Causes Of A Stiff Knee After Sitting

How do I get rid of sitting knee pain?

Unless youre sitting in an odd position that puts stress on the area, a stiff knee after sitting should not be a normal occurrence. If you find yourself encountering this issue on a regular basis, you should seek professional attention for diagnosis and treatment. Even if it isnt accompanied by pain, knee stiffness can be a sign of an injury or progressive condition that could worsen over time without proper care.

Educating yourself as a patient can be an important step in the treatment process, helping you to be more engaged in the process. Thats why weve created this quick and informative guide to four potential causes of a stiff knee after sitting.

Sitting For Long Periods Of Time Can Cause Knee Pain Heres How To End The Aches

Thanks to a Schitt’s Creek marathon, you haven’t moved from the couch in hours but your knees feel like you just ran an actual marathon.

Since 26.2 miles never happened, you might be wondering why these aches appeared.

TV binges are a fail-safe way to zone out, relax, and unwind, but sitting in one place for prolonged periods of time doesn’t always have the same effect on your joints.

“Sitting in one position for a long period of time puts a lot of contact pressure on the patella . This type of pain is especially common in females who are more likely to have soft or slightly damaged cartilage in the front of their knee,” Dr. Sabrina Strickland, an HSS orthopedic surgeon, explains.

One solution is fairly simple and probably pretty obvious make movement a priority.

Dr. Strickland suggests setting a timer to move every 30 minutes, as well as completing quad and hamstring stretches a few times a day.

“For the quads, try reaching back and pulling your heel toward your buttock,” Dr. Strickland says. “For your hamstrings, prop your heel on an ottoman and lean over your leg you should feel the stretch from your buttock down to the back of your knee.”

If you plan on being seated for a while, Dr. Strickland suggests propping up your foot for periods of time so that the knee isn’t rested in one position all day.

Side Of Knee Pain When Straightening Leg After Sitting

One possible cause of side of knee pain when straightening leg after sitting is a condition called patellofemoral pain syndrome. This is a condition that causes pain in the front of the knee and around the patella . The pain is often worse when bending the knee, going up and down stairs, or sitting for long periods of time. Treatment for patellofemoral pain syndrome includes rest, ice, and physical therapy.

The knee is responsible for one-third of all cases of Musculoskeletal problems seen in outpatient settings. In adolescents and adults, the most common source of knee pain is a blunt trauma or injury to the knee joint. Arthritis and wear and tear of the knee joints are the most common causes of arthritis and stiffness in older people. Natural ways to relieve knee pain, swelling, and stiffness are available to help patients. Women should maintain a healthy diet consisting of calcium and vitamin D, and avoid protein-rich foods because uric acid is produced by protein metabolism. It is critical to lose weight in order to avoid joint osteoarthritis. When you raise your leg, you can reduce swelling and inflammation.

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Iliotibial Band Syndrome: A Common Source Of Knee Pain

RAZIB KHAUND, M.D., Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island

SHARON H. FLYNN, M.D., Oregon Medical Group/Hospital Service, Eugene, Oregon

Am Fam Physician. 2005 Apr 15 71:1545-1550.

Iliotibial band syndrome is a common knee injury. The most common symptom is lateral knee pain caused by inflammation of the distal portion of the iliotibial band. The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia that crosses the hip joint and extends distally to insert on the patella, tibia, and biceps femoris tendon. In some athletes, repetitive flexion and extension of the knee causes the distal iliotibial band to become irritated and inflamed resulting in diffuse lateral knee pain. Iliotibial band syndrome can cause significant morbidity and lead to cessation of exercise. Although iliotibial band syndrome is easily diagnosed clinically, it can be extremely challenging to treat. Treatment requires active patient participation and compliance with activity modification. Most patients respond to conservative treatment involving stretching of the iliotibial band, strengthening of the gluteus medius, and altering training regimens. Corticosteroid injections should be considered if visible swelling or pain with ambulation persists for more than three days after initiating treatment. A small percentage of patients are refractory to conservative treatment and may require surgical release of the iliotibial band.

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What Causes Pain Behind The Knee When Sitting

Causes of Knee Stiffness after Sitting &  its Treatment

How do I deal with a painful spot behind the knee after sitting? After sitting for extended periods of time, you may experience discomfort in your back knee. When we sit still, the fluid that lubricates the knee joint dries out slightly, so we stand up with less cushion when we stand up.

A knee is the most complex joint in the body and the largest and most visible. Depending on the cause, pain behind the knee can be simple or more difficult to diagnose. The most common causes of Bakerâs cyst are arthritis, infection, injury, tumors, and deep vein thrombosis. Osteoarthritis, the condition caused by aging and overuse, is the most common cause of knee pain. Arthritis, in addition to rheumatoid arthritis, can be found in both knees at the same time. In the case of a joint, there could be a lack of connective tissue in the joint, such as a muscle, tendon, ligament, or other joint component. If you have a sore knee as a result of an injury or arthritis, it is critical to have a physical examination.

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Osteoarthritis Risk Factors And Causes

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting 32.5 million Americans. Certain groups face a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis. These include:

  • People who are overweight or obese
  • Those with a history of knee injuries or overuse
  • People with a family history of osteoarthritis
  • People with bone deformities or misalignments

Why Does The Back Of My Knee Hurt When It Is Bent

If it occurs behind the knee while you bend, you most likely have a strained left hamstring. Bakerâs cyst. An injury to the knee resulted in the injury.

Torn Ligament Behind The Knee: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Because a torn ligament behind the knee causes massive pain and necessitates extensive rehabilitation, it is an extremely serious injury. An injury can result from a number of factors, including a fall, a collision, or even a sudden twist. A torn anterior knee ligament may cause a loud pop or snap, swelling within the first 24 hours after the injury, and looseness in the joint. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

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Why Does My Knee Hurt After Sitting For A Long Period

Patellofemoral pain syndrome , also known as runners knee, is a very common condition of the lower limb.

PFPS affects around 10-20% of the general population. Some symptoms described by patients may be a dull, aching pain around the kneecap. These symptoms may worsen depending on the type of activity that you do, and if you receive proper treatment for PFPS.

PFPS may be caused by overuse, which may have resulted from external or internal factors.

Why Do I Have Knee Pain When Standing

Knee Pain diagnosis and Exercises

Shamard Charles, MD, MPH is a public health physician and journalist. He has held positions with major news networks like NBC reporting on health policy, public health initiatives, diversity in medicine, and new developments in health care research and medical treatments.

Years of wear and tear can take a toll on your knees. If you have experienced pain dull, achy, or sharp knee pain while standing, chances are that your pain is being caused by one of three conditions:

  • Patellofemoral syndrome
  • Chronic degenerative meniscus tears
  • Early osteoarthritis

If you have been an athlete in the past, the chances of your developing one of the three are even higher. These common conditions that often start off as a mere nuisance can turn into more serious conditions if they are not treated in a timely fashion.

Panuwat Dangsungnoen / EyeEm / Getty Images

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What Causes Knee Pain When Sitting For Long Periods

Having knee pain when sitting for long periods is a common problem, especially if you’re sitting with your knees bent.

Knee pain when sitting for long periods is common in people with knee arthritis, as well as with other conditions like patellofemoral pain syndrome or chondromalacia patella.

Sometimes people with these conditions will complain of outright knee pain, but more commonly they’ll complain of knee stiffness when sitting.

Some examples of when you might get knee pain when sitting for long periods are: sitting in a long car ride, sitting at a desk, or going to lunch or dinner with friends, or sitting in a movie theater with your knee bent.

In fact, having knee pain when sitting for long periods is so common that there is actually a medical coin termed “movie-goer’s knee”. This isn’t so much a diagnosis as it is a symptom, meaning you have knee pain when sitting for long periods.

So at this point you probably want to know…

Heres What It Could Mean If You Have A Stiff Knee After Sitting

Knee stiffness occurring after sitting, lying down or even standing for varying lengths of time can have a number of causes, including:

  • Osteoarthritis The knees are particularly prone to this age-related condition that occurs as a result of joint inflammation caused by cartilage breakdown. Since the joints do not have the protective cushioning needed for smooth motion, stiffness can result.
  • Bursitis Another key component of smooth knee movement is the bursae, which are small sacs of fluid found in most joints, including the hips, shoulders and knees. Bursitis is a term for a condition or injury that inflames these sacs, causing pain and stiffness, among other symptoms.
  • Chondromalacia Also known as runners knee, this issue happens when the cartilage under the kneecaps becomes damaged due to overuse. This can make your knees feel stiff and sore, especially if youve been sitting or lying down for a period of time.
  • Sprained or torn connective tissue The knee has a wide array of tendons and ligaments that connect the muscles and join bones together. Whether due to high impacts or repetitive motions, this soft tissue can become easily damaged and is a frequent source of knee dysfunction.
  • If you are diagnosed with one of these or another issue as the cause of your stiff knee after sitting, its important to take an active role in your treatment and recovery. One of the most effective methods of care for knee issues is working with a physical therapist.

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    The Problem: Sitting For Too Long

    Perhaps your job requires you to sit for long periods. If so, you might suffer from knee pain while seated on a daily basis.

    Or maybe your knee pain interferes with your enjoyment of otherwise fun activities. You can’t savor a leisurely meal because your knees are aching. You keep putting off that trip because you can’t bear the thought of sitting in a car or on a plane for hours. You don’t even enjoy watching TV or movies anymore because you dread the pain.

    If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. And you may not even have something wrong with your knees. Instead, knee pain after sitting for long periods of time can be your body’s natural response to an unnatural situation.

    Your body was designed for movement. It was not designed for a sedentary lifestyle. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have linked sitting for 6-8 hours a day to a host of negative health outcomes, including early death.

    Knee pain is another less extreme but nevertheless problematic outcome of prolonged sitting. When you sit for extended periods, your muscles, ligaments, and tendons tighten. The result is pain.

    The Problem: Sitting In An Awkward Position

    It is important to maintain the right #posture while #sitting ...

    You don’t have to sit for a long time to suffer from knee pain. The way you’re sitting can also contribute.

    Perhaps you tend to sit with your legs crossed. Or maybe you enjoy curling up with your legs tucked beneath you.

    Both of these positions are common. Initially, they can even feel comfortable. After even a short time, though, the pain sets in. This is because these positions put undue pressure on the kneecap.

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    The Solution: Chondromalacia Treatment

    Most cases of chondromalacia can be treated conservatively. Your doctor will advise you to rest from your regular exercise routine. He or she may also suggest over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers. Icing your knee for 15-20 minutes three or four times a day can also help.

    Your doctor will also suggest rehab exercises that you can do at home or under the guidance of a physical therapist. These exercises aim to strengthen the muscles around your kneecap.

    Your doctor or therapist might also recommend supports, like taping or knee braces, to help the kneecap maintain proper alignment. Choosing supportive shoes or using shoe inserts can also help.

    Finally, if you need to lose weight, your doctor can help you adjust your diet and activity.

    In some cases, symptoms don’t respond to conservative measures. If self-care doesn’t relieve your pain, your doctor can discuss other treatment options, including arthroscopic surgery.

    Why Is The Back Of My Knee Hurting When I Straighten My Leg

    An athlete who straightens their leg may experience pain in the back of their knee because they have a variety of issues, such as blood clots, muscle or tendon injuries, arthritis, or cysts. Physical therapy, rest, and pain medication are frequently used to treat many of these conditions, but patients may also require surgery to resolve the issue.

    When To Worry About Severe Pain

    If the pain is severe, it could be a sign of a more serious injury, such as a blood clot. If you are experiencing this type of pain, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

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    Youve Been Sitting For A Long Period

    Relieve Knee Pain When Sitting

    Your knee may hurt because youve been sitting for too long. In this case, you may also feel neck and/or back pain at the same time.

    See, pain is a tool your body uses to get your attention. It tells you that somethings wrong so you can do something about it.

    Now, understand that your body needs to move or else it gets achy and stiff. So, the pain youre feeling is your body telling you to change positions.

    Having said that, a 30-second movement break can be enough to reduce discomfort.

    Doing this every 20-40 minutes may help you reduce knee pain. And without affecting your productivity.

    You could also take a longer 2-5 minute break every 60-90 minutes. Walk a little, stretch your legs, or do some squats on your chair. This can reduce knee pain from sitting.

    Pro tip: Use Pomodoro timers to set your breaks for you. This way, you dont forget to stand up and stretch.

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    Youre Sitting In An Awkward Position

    First, let me clarify something:

    An awkward position for you may be comfortable for someone else.

    Postures vary a lot between healthy people. And, theres no consensus yet on what exactly is good posture, as it depends on several factors. These include your anatomy, age, emotions, and lifestyle.

    That said, certain positions can increase knee discomfort. They can be problematic if you keep them for extended periods.

    A common awkward sitting position is having your legs crossed Indian style.

    Theres nothing wrong with it if your joints are healthy. But, make sure to do movement breaks to avoid pain.

    In contrast, its best to avoid this sitting position if you have a previous knee injury. Having your knees bent for long periods can worsen the pain.

    Also, you may have to change the way you sit for a while if you have a knee problem. Find a position that doesnt make your pain worse and treat the root cause of your knee pain.

    Exercises To Relieve Anterior Knee Pain

    Knee pain that occurs due to muscle weakness or tightness can be hard to pin down, but one thing is for sure: Anterior knee pain is common.

    When someone is experiencing anterior knee pain, he or she will often grab or point to the kneecap when describing where the pain is located, says Dr. Brooks. Generally speaking, its pain around or under the kneecap.

    According to Dr. Brooks, anterior knee pain is most commonly caused by arthritis under the kneecap or tightness or weakness in one or more of the following muscles:

    • Core muscles as this places additional weight-bearing stress on the lower back and quadriceps muscles
    • Gluteal/hip muscles as this causes the hips to turn inward, placing a sideways stress on the kneecap and quadriceps muscles and tendon
    • Hamstring muscles as this causes an imbalance in the muscle forces across the knee, placing more stress on the quadriceps muscles for knee movement and stability
    • Quadriceps muscles as weakness places more stress on the bone and joint itself to maintain stability tightness prevents full movement or excursion of the tendons, applying greater pressure to the kneecap

    In addition, anterior knee pain can be caused by IT band tightness in runners, cyclists and hikers.

    Closed-chain leg strengthening includes exercises where your foot remains in contact with the surface youre exercising on, such as:

    • A feeling of buckling or giving out
    • Being stuck in one position and unable to release your knee from that position

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