Why does my knee hurt when I try to straighten it?

My Knee Hurts When I Straighten It

Answering this question can be hard to do on your own. Part of the reason for this is that the knee is such a complex joint. Also, its complexity means that there are many issues that can cause your knee to hurt when you straighten it. 

Feeling pain in the knee joint isn’t something that’s happening to you alone. This type of pain affects millions of Americans annually. One medical study reports that about 25% of U.S. adults experience frequent knee pain, which means more than 82 million Americans could be dealing with knee pain. Physical therapists can help you figure out why your knee hurts when you straighten it. Also, these medical professionals can help you find top-notch treatment for your knee pain. 

Three issues that can cause pain when straightening the knee

Physical therapists can use their extensive knowledge of musculoskeletal disorders to help you learn why your knee hurts when you straighten it. This knowledge is combined with a comprehensive physical evaluation to pinpoint the source of your knee pain. A few of the conditions that may be causing your pain are: 

  1. Jumper’s knee — This condition is also called patellar tendinitis. It affects the tendon that connects the patella, or kneecap, to the shinbone. Doing lots of jumping is one way to develop this condition. It can also develop if you do lots of running or play sports like volleyball or basketball. 
  1. Runner’s knee — This condition occurs when you feel pain at the front of your kneecap. It can be caused by many different issues, including: 
  • Kneecap misalignment
  • Overuse 
  • Thigh muscle tightness or weakness
  • Trauma to the kneecap
  1. Arthritis — Every time your knee joint moves, it develops a little bit of natural wear and tear. Over time, this damage can accumulate and cause osteoarthritis. About 10% of men and 13% of women in the U.S. develop knee osteoarthritis in their lifetime. Besides pain, knee osteoarthritis can cause swelling, tenderness and decreased range of motion. 

How can a physical therapist help if your knee hurts when you straighten it?

Physical therapists have a packed toolbox that they can use to address knee pain, and this makes it easier for them to help you find the most effective treatment for your pain. Some of the therapy techniques your physical therapist may bring to bear on your painful knee include: 

  • Joint mobilization intended to improve the range of motion and flexibility in your knee joint. 
  • Gait training that can help address foot and leg abnormalities that could be causing your knee pain. 

Find help for your knee pain at Holland PT

Disturbed by pain every time you straighten your knee? Our Holland Physical Therapy team is primed to help you find effective treatment for your knee pain. We can do a free screening on your knee to determine what is causing your pain. Furthermore, our physical therapists excel at building customized therapy plans designed to reduce your pain and prevent it from coming back. You can even sign up for virtual therapy sessions with us, which can help you address your pain without leaving home. 

Contact our team today for more information about our knee pain treatment services or to schedule your initial appointment.