Have you had knee pain while sitting, or when you sit for too long? Sitting should be painless, right? When it’s time to relax, we usually sit down and get comfy. But when you have knee pain while sitting, it’s a lot harder to chill on the couch.
Read on to find out:
Why you have knee pain sitting
If you should see a doctor
What you can do to sit comfortably
Why you have knee pain when you sit!
Pain in the front of the knee during and after long periods of sitting can be due to something called patellofemoral pain. It’s also sometimes called ‘movie-goer’s knee’ because of this exact phenomenon!
So why does it hurt?
Your patella (knee cap) sits in a groove on the femur (thigh bone). When you sit, different sections of the knee cap come in light contact with the femur. If these areas are sensitive to contact, you might get some aching either while you sit or on that transition from sitting to standing. You might also have this pain walking down stairs or squatting.
Do you need to see a doctor for knee pain?
If you’re having knee pain that’s stopping you or making it hard to do your daily activities or exercise, it’s a good idea to see someone about it. Physical therapists are the most qualified people to see when it comes to knee pain that’s not coming from something serious, like an infection or cancer.
With the knee pain we’ve been talking about, it’s not likely that you have anything to worry about in terms of needing imaging or surgery. Though the pain can be pretty intense, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s irreversible damage. A physical therapist can help you find ways to move and improve knee health to get you back to the things you love… quickly.
The trick is finding the amount of movement that loosens up the joints and circulates more fluid (like knee WD-40) without overdoing it.
Walk frequently throughout the day and every day.
This will help your knees stay healthy and get rid of that aching you feel after a long period of sitting.
If you have to sit for long periods…
Change up your sitting position, particularly the angle of your knees. Straighten one knee out to give it a break from the bent position, then switch to allow the other knee that same break. You can also scoot to the edge of your chair and drop one knee down (see picture below) to switch up your position.
These tips will definitely help temporarily with your knee pain sitting, but there are likely some other underlying issues causing that sensitivity – potentially at your hips, ankles, or both!
Could your hips be having difficulty supporting your knees? If you feel like they are, read our other blog going over how you can build more strength in your hips and why it’s important.
Are your ankles so stiff that your knee is taking more impact while you walk and run? Find out more about running with knee pain and how to fix it.