Knee Pain with Kneeling Can Be Limiting

Knee pain with kneeling can be very irritating and make tasks such as cleaning, gardening, exercising, or playing with your kids or grandkids difficult or painful. You may not only have difficulty and pain with kneeling, but you may also have discomfort with going up and down stairs, getting up or sitting down in a chair, or squatting.

Pain in the Front of Your Knee

There are a few structures in the front of the knee that when irritated can lead to knee pain with kneeling. These are 3 of the most common structures associated with knee pain with kneeling:

  1. Patellar tendon: This is the tendon just below the kneecap. You may feel pain directly on your tendon.
  2. Patellofemoral joint: This is a fancy term for where your kneecap (patella) meets your thigh bone (femur). It may feel like your pain is behind your kneecap.
  3. Bursa: These are fluid filled sacs that help to cushion areas around the knee. You have a few different bursa around the knee (see the picture below). You may feel pain in these areas or even notice a little swelling.
pain with kneeling

Why Do I Have Knee Pain with Kneeling?

The reasons why these structures become irritated and lead to pain with kneeling are often very similar. Common contributing factors include weakness in the quads, weakness in the hips, and tightness in the quads and hip flexors. All of these can cause extra pulling or stress on the patellar tendon, kneecap, and or the bursa in the front of your knee. When these structures are irritated, they can cause discomfort with bending the knee or when placing extra pressure on the knee, both of which are involved in kneeling.

Solve Your Knee Pain with Kneeling

Because the reasons why the patellar tendon, patellofemoral joint, and bursa become irritated are often similar, the treatments are similar as well. Here are a few ways you can solve your knee pain with kneeling.

Stretch Your Quads and Hip Flexors

Improving the flexibility of your quads and hip flexors can be helpful in reducing extra pulling on your kneecap and patellar tendon. Below is a great stretch for your quads and hip flexors (that also strengthens them) that can be performed daily.

Strengthen Your Quads

Addressing weakness in your quads can also reduce stress on your kneecap, patellar tendon, and bursa. Below is a great starting exercise to strengthen your quads.

Strengthen Your Hips

Weakness in the glutes are often associated with pain in the front of the knee. Here are 2 great exercises to begin strengthening your glutes.

Dry Needling

Addressing tightness and knots in your quad muscles can be very effective in reducing knee pain with kneeling. A great, quick way to loosen your quad muscles is with dry needling. Dry needling is a manual treatment that is included during physical therapy treatment. Check out this blog post to learn more about what dry needling is and how it can help.

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