3 Common Causes of Knee Pain

2021_10_ 3 Common Causes of Knee Pain _376521-Blog (1)

Your knees are incredibly mobile joints that help your body bend, move, run, jump, and stretch. These complex joints are also extremely vulnerable to injury. An unexpected injury or pain in the knees can severely limit your movement and make it harder to do the things you love.


Properly diagnosing and treating the source of pain can be difficult because pain is not always localized. An injury to one part of the body often triggers symptoms of pain and irritation in another. This referred pain is why it’s important to understand what’s causing your pain. Airrosti providers can help you pinpoint the source of your pain and give you the resources needed to address injuries as they appear.

Many lower body muscles, included the quads, hamstrings, and calves form connections with the hip, knee, and ankle joints to support the movements and strength necessary for stability and mobility.

While knee pain is often caused by a direct injury to the knee, such as a patella fracture or an ACL tear, it can also be a sign of injury from any of the connected muscles and joints.

Referred Knee Pain

Knee Pain Caused By A Hip Or Quad Injury

Four powerful muscles connect the knee to the hip, collectively forming the quadriceps. When the quadriceps attached to the hip become injured, pain can often travel from the affected area and manifest itself in the knee. In some cases, this can be caused by a quad strain or tear.

Knee Pain Caused By An Ankle Or Calf Injury

Ankle and calf injuries can also be associated with knee pain. Just like the hip/knee connection, there are muscles that stretch from the knee to the ankle, known as the calf muscles. These muscles and joints were made to withstand the stress of movement as well as the pressure of your body weight, but they aren’t invulnerable. An injury caused by overuse or trauma can often cause pain to radiate up the lower leg and into the knee.

Lifestyle Habits To Help You Avoid Knee Pain

Below are a few habits you can add to your daily routine that can help you avoid many of these common causes of knee pain:

Wear Supportive Shoes:

Finding the right active footwear is very important. Take the time to go to a professional and have your feet analyzed. Understanding your foot biometrics and knowing what type of arch support you should look for can help reduce the stress on your muscles when walking and running. Keep in mind that most athletic shoes only have about a 400-mile lifespan, so aim to keep track of how old your shoes are. If you’re struggling with joint pain or notice your shoes aren’t as supportive as they once were, then it may be time to find a new pair.

Warm Up, Cool Down:

If you’re short on time, you may be tempted to skip the warm-up, but it’s one of the most important parts of your exercise routine. Give yourself an extra 5-10 minutes before the workout to practice warming up with a little light cardio. Finish your workouts with a cool down, taking a few minutes to stretch the muscles you used to help release built-up tension and improve your flexibility.

Focus On Balance:

Muscle imbalance is a key issue with many active individuals. Over-developing certain muscles while neglecting others can often lead to overuse injuries. If you focus solely on the quads but never target your hamstrings, you might develop some knee problems. Make sure you put equal focus into strengthening all the muscles connected to your knees to improve your stability.

Spend time strengthening your abdominals as well as your legs. If you have a weak core, you’re making your hips and quads work harder than they need to, which could result in a pulled muscle. It’s also important to keep your hamstrings and hip muscles strong so your quads have more support.

Don’t Skip The Recovery:

The key to a good recovery routine is knowing when to practice it. Recovery routines should be practiced often, not just immediately after a workout, and on rest days to give your body a chance to adjust to the exercises and heal.

Below are a few foam rolling exercises that can help boost your recovery after leg day. These exercises can help ease knee pain by releasing tension and muscle knots in the quads, adductors, and IT band.

Know Your Limits:

Many injuries stem from overused muscles and joints, escalating your symptoms over time. Taking on a new activity too quickly or doing too much exercise without listening to your body, can do more harm than good. Give yourself ample time to recover and adapt to the movements of a new exercise routine.

Keep Knee Pain From Slowing You Down

Knee pain can have a huge impact on your life, often restricting your mobility and keeping you from doing the activities you love most.

At Airrosti, we focus on fixing knee pain at the source – quickly and safely. Our providers treat pain and injuries at the source by combining myofascial release with at-home active care exercises for strength and mobility. This targeted treatment plan leads to efficient, long-term injury resolution in as few as three visits (based on patient reported outcomes).

Our goal is to help you get back to living pain free. If nagging knee pain is keeping you sidelined, schedule your Airrosti appointment today. We offer in-office and virtual appointments to best suit your needs.

 View our medical disclaimer here.

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