When people have knee pain, they notice, usually very quickly, that there are specific factors that aggravate it, and specific factors that ease it. Pain that worsens with walking is more of the most common things people with knee pain first notice. This type of pain can significantly impact mobility and daily activities, making it essential to understand its potential causes. In this article, we will explore common factors that contribute to knee pain worsening with walking.
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the knee joint. When walking, the impact and load-bearing forces on the knee joint can exacerbate the pain associated with osteoarthritis. Individuals with this condition often experience stiffness, swelling, and aching pain that worsens with prolonged walking or weight-bearing activities.
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, is a common knee condition that causes pain around or behind the kneecap. Walking, especially downhill or on uneven surfaces, can increase the stress on the patellofemoral joint and aggravate the pain. Activities that involve repetitive knee bending, such as climbing stairs or squatting, may also contribute to the worsening of symptoms.
- Meniscus Tears: The menisci are C-shaped pieces of cartilage that provide cushioning and stability to the knee joint. When the meniscus becomes torn, the irregular movement during walking can result in pain and discomfort. Walking on uneven terrain or making sudden changes in direction can further exacerbate the symptoms associated with meniscus tears.
- Patellar Tendonitis: Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is an overuse injury that affects the tendon connecting the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone. Walking can place repetitive strain on the patellar tendon, leading to pain and inflammation. Individuals with patellar tendonitis often experience localized pain below the kneecap that worsens with activity.
- Bursitis: Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that act as cushions between bones, tendons, and muscles. When these bursae become inflamed, a condition called bursitis, it can cause knee pain that worsens with walking. The repetitive impact and movement during walking can irritate the affected bursa, resulting in increased pain and discomfort.
- Ligament Sprains: Ligament sprains, such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain, can cause knee instability and pain. Walking can further stress the injured ligament, leading to heightened pain and potential feelings of the knee giving way.
It’s important to note that the specific cause of knee pain worsening with walking can vary among individuals. A comprehensive evaluation by a physiotherapist or a qualified healthcare professional is crucial to identify the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment options may include a combination of manual therapy, exercise programs to improve strength and flexibility, gait retraining, pain management strategies, and activity modification.
Note: This article was written with the help of AI technology and therefore may include incorrect information and discrepancies.