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Why Do I Get Knee Pain When Walking? – And What To Do About It

Dr. Arnan Sisson, PT| April 20, 2022

Suffering with annoying knee pain when walking, finding it harder and harder to do your weekly shopping, and missing out on weekend strolls around the Northern Neck?

Knee pain is an extremely common problem for people over 50, and we understand how frustrating it can be.

A lot of patients visit our clinics after seeing their MD’s and being told to take painkillers and rest, or that it’s just something that they will have to live with in their retirement…

But what if you don’t want to rely on painkillers, and you don’t want to miss out on spending quality time with your friends and family in your retirement because of annoying knee pain?

That’s where we can help…

In this blog article we will cover:

  • The most common causes of knee pain when walking
  • Simple advice to ease knee pain
  • Quick and easy at-home exercise to help reduce knee pain
  • Natural, drug-free solutions to your knee pain

The Most Common Cause Of Knee Pain When Walking

Knee pain when walking can be caused due to many reasons, but generally the pain will fall into two categories:

  • A sharp, shooting pain behind the knee when walking

This type of pain is commonly associated with a pulled muscle following a sporting injury, a trip or fall, or an accident. The severity of the pulled muscle will vary, and it may heal by itself, or you may need professional support to recover fully.

If you are suffering with a sharp, shooting pain behind your knee when walking, then this is more likely to be related to a pulled muscle, and we have an entire blog article specifically related to this problem.

Click Here To Learn What To Do When You Pull A Muscle

  • A dull ache, or throbbing pain behind the knee when walking

The second type of pain is commonly caused by a condition called Osteoarthritis which causes joints to become painful and stiff. It usually affects people over the age of 50, and it’s the most common type of arthritis in the USA.

After a period of walking (usually over 30 min), the knee pain will typically flare up and cause discomfort behind the knee and surrounding area.

If the knee pain is caused by Osteoarthritis, and aggravated by walking, the pain will usually subside after a few hours once you have stopped.

However, if you have a particularly busy day (relative to your normal life), then the knee pain may last for several days.

For example, if you do the weekly shopping, have a lot of housework to do, and then take the grandchildren out for a walk, you may find knee pain lasts for days afterwards.

Fast Knee Pain Relief

There are some simple things you can do for fast knee pain relief that don’t involve reaching for the painkillers.

When you are suffering with knee pain, the application of heat can be really useful– Use a heat pack, or hot water bottle to the affected knee for 15-20 minutes which should reduce stiffness, and will likely provide fast knee pain relief.

Another important thing to remember is that pain behind the knee when walking will be made worse, and occur more often if you go through long periods of inactivity – so a solid tip can be to keep active (during the day, and throughout the week).

For example, try to avoid sitting for long periods of time each day and aim to move every hour if you find that knee pain and stiffness is a problem for you.

Finally, there are a number of exercises which can be very powerful at reducing knee pain, and minimizing the severity and frequency in future…

Quick And Easy At-Home Exercise If You Suffer With Knee Pain When Walking

The exercise below is very safe for people of all ages, and helps to stretch tight muscles, and loosen stiff joints which should reduce discomfort behind the knee.

  1. To start, sit on a chair
  2. By bending one knee, bring your heel under the chair as far as you can
  3. Hold the position for one second (you may feel a stretch on the top of your leg)
  4. Gently straighten your knee with a focus on pointing your toe toward you
  5. Hold the position for one second (you may feel a stretch on the back of your lower leg, or the back of your knee/upper leg)
  6. Return to the starting position
  7. Repeat for 10 repetitions, and do the same for the other leg

If your condition or injury is relative minor, then applying the advice of keeping active, and regularly exercising may be enough to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee, and avoid the knee becoming stiff and painless.

However, if your condition or injury is more severe and the discomfort is getting worse, you may benefit from some more advanced pain relief techniques, and more specific exercise tailored to your individual needs…

More Natural, Drug-Free Solution To Your Knee Pain

Our founder, leading Northern Neck physical therapist, and author Dr. Arnan Sisson has written a FREE downloadable report for anyone who is suffering with knee pain and wants to know…

“How To Stop Chronic, Daily Annoying Knee Pain WITHOUT Injections, WITHOUT Taking Painkillers and WITHOUT Having To Wear A Support or Brace”.

Click Here To Download Your FREE Knee Pain Report

Over the last 4-5 years, we have helped THOUSANDS of people in the Northern Neck with our Montross practice and more and more people are putting their faith in our specialist approach to physical therapy.

If you’re currently unhappy with traditional physical therapy, and wondering whether our approach is right for you, feel free to click here to learn more about us.

Start Your Journey To A Life Without Knee Pain

If you realize that your knee pain is only getting worse, and you are missing out on making memories with your friends and family and you want expert help from the best physical therapist for knee pain in the Northern Neck arrange a FREE discovery visit today.

A discovery visit is the first step to a happier, healthier and more active life so click the link below to arrange your FREE discovery visit – we can’t wait to meet you!

Click Here To Arrange Your Free Discovery Visit

Alternatively, you can call us at (804) 493-3256

Want to read more about knee exercises?

Check out Dr. Sisson’s weekly column in the newspaper, Northern Neck News.