Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Bend It? 3 Reasons Why

Knee Hurt When Bending

The Australian sun is out, the beaches are calling, and every fibre in your being just wants to lace up those runners and hit the track.

But then there’s that niggling pain; a reminder that something’s not quite right.

Every bend of the knee brings discomfort, every step a silent wince.

Does your knee hurt every time you bend it?

For many Australians, this isn’t just a physical pain – it’s an emotional burden, pulling you back from embracing life’s beautiful moments.

Knee pain when bending is more than an inconvenience; it’s a barrier to living life on your terms.

But why does it happen?

Let’s dive deep into the heart of the matter.

In this blog, we are going to share 3 reasons why your knees hurt when you bend them.

Understanding Knee Hurt

The knee is pivotal in many of our daily activities, from walking to running, climbing to jumping.

It’s essential to note that pain is the body’s alert system. It signifies that something might be amiss.

Whether it’s an injury, wear and tear, or an underlying condition, knee pain is your body’s way of drawing attention to an issue that needs addressing.

Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Bend It?

In the clinic, there are three recurring injuries that I keep seeing in the clinic.

Let’s delve into 3 possible causes your knee hurts when you bend it

Meniscus Tears:

You know that feeling when you’re dancing to your favourite tune and suddenly you make a misstep?


Well, our knees have their own delicate dance partner called the meniscus.

The meniscus is the cushioning insole in your shoes.

This C-shaped cartilage makes sure our knees move without any jarring impact.

But, just as a surprise twist in a dance can throw you off, a sudden twist or turn can give the meniscus a bit of a shock.

Let’s say you’re having a kickabout in the park or even just taking a casual stroll when you misstep.

This unexpected move can cause the meniscus to tear. And when it does, it’s not shy about it.

Your knee might swell up, feel stiff, or give you the unsettling feeling that it’s “locked” in place.

It’s like the meniscus is telling us, “Hey, I took a hit, and I need some attention here!”

A meniscus tear is one of the most common injuries that would cause your knee to hurt while bent.

So, just as we’d pause and reassess after a misstep, let’s give our meniscus the care it deserves when it calls out.

Patellar Tendinitis

Imagine a strong rope holding a ship to its mooring, keeping it steady and secure.

That’s the role of the patellar tendon in our knee.

But like any good anchor, it can feel the strain if pulled too much. Often nicknamed the “Jumper’s Knee”, this issue is a familiar story for those who play sports involving a lot of jumping.

But it’s not just the sports stars who need to watch out.

The symptoms? They’re hard to miss. There’s that pain around the kneecap, maybe a bit of swelling, or a nagging burning sensation. It’s like the patellar tendon saying, “Ease up, mate. I’m feeling the burn!”

Remember, it’s not about stopping the fun or the exercise. It’s about pacing ourselves and giving our knees the attention they need when they wave that little red flag.


Bursae are tiny cushiony pockets in our knees, that keep everything running smoothly and without friction.

sometimes these sacs get a bit irritated, leading to what’s known as bursitis.

Picture this: You’re spending a sunny Australian afternoon knee-deep in your garden or maybe working on a DIY project at home.

All that time on your knees? Well, it can get those bursae feeling a tad grumpy.

You might feel a sharp pain, see a bit of swelling, or even notice your knee turning a shade redder. It’s like they’re waving a little flag saying, “Hey, give us a break!”

If you believe you are suffering from any of these problems.

It’s time to seek advice.

Ready To Say Goodbye To Knee Hurt When Bending?

At Focus Osteopathy, we genuinely get how knee pain can take control over your daily life.

That’s why we’re always ready to lend a hand (or two)!

Are you navigating the maze of knee discomfort?

We’ve got your back.

Our mission? To walk alongside you, clearing up health worries and empowering you to greet each day with a spring in your step.

And here’s some good news! 

This October, we’re providing you with an exclusive offer; a FREE Knee Pain Assessment. 

During this session, you’ll have the opportunity to consult with one of our resident osteopaths.

They’ll help identify the root causes of your discomfort, offering personalized advice and unwavering support.

If this sounds like the answer to the pain that you’ve been searching for, arrange your FREE Knee Pain Assessment by filling in our simple web form or call our Mount Waverley or Murrumbeena clinic at 1300 003 007 and a member of the team will be happy to help!

Other Free Resources For Knee Hurt When Bending

Read Our Blog – Can Sciatica Cause Knee Pain?

Follow Us On Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

More Blogs From Focus Osteopathy

Can Sciatica Cause Knee Pain?

Knee Pain from sciatica

As the Australian sun beams down more frequently and the days grow warmer, many of us find joy in heading outdoors.

The sound of laughter from neighbourhood kids playing in the park, families hosting weekend barbecues, and individuals walking their beloved dogs become the norm.

But for some, these simple joys are overshadowed by persistent and debilitating knee pain, transforming daily activities into daunting challenges.

Knee pain can be particularly distressing as it can hinder our mobility, dampening the excitement of a sun-soaked day.

But what if this knee pain isn’t merely due to a twisted joint or an old injury?

What if it’s connected to a condition named sciatica?

Some people don’t realise sciatica and knee pain can be connected.

In this blog, you will explore the ways in which knee pain can cause sciatica and the reasons behind it.

Let’s get going.

Understanding Sciatica

Sciatica refers to pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.

Originating in the lower back, this nerve is the longest in the body, extending down to the back of the legs.

For many, sciatica pain is localized to the lower back or the back of the thigh.

But can it also cause knee pain? The answer might surprise you.

Three Ways Sciatica Can Cause Knee Pain

Referred Pain

What is it?

The body, at times, sends pain signals to areas distant from the actual source of the problem.

This phenomenon is known as ‘referred pain.’

Essentially, it’s the body’s misleading way of crying out for attention.

How does it relate to sciatica and knee pain?

Sciatica typically originates from issues in the lumbar region (lower back) or the hip where the sciatic nerve may become irritated or compressed.

However, because of the complex network of nerves in our body, the pain sensation from this irritation can be felt in a different location, like the knee.

So, while the knee itself might be perfectly healthy, it could still ache due to problems originating from the sciatic nerve.

Muscle Compensation

What is it? 

Muscle compensation is the body’s automatic response to pain or discomfort.

It’s a survival instinct, where the body shifts the burden from a pained or injured area to other muscles that are functioning well.

How Does It Relate To Sciatica and Knee Pain?

When the sciatic nerve is irritated, it can make certain movements painful or challenging. To cope, your body might unconsciously alter your gait or posture to avoid this pain. 

For example, if the sciatic pain is felt in the hip or thigh, you might start limping or using your knee differently to reduce the stress on the painful area. 

Over time, this compensatory action can overburden the knee, leading to pain and even potential long-term issues.

Nerve Pathway

What is it?

Our body is a maze of interconnected nerves, forming pathways that transmit signals between different body parts and the brain.

How does this relate to sciatica causing knee pain?

The sciatic nerve, being the longest nerve in our body, has multiple branches extending down the leg.

If there’s irritation or compression anywhere along its length, it can cause pain in any of the areas it supplies.

While most people associate sciatica with lower back, buttock, or thigh pain, the irritation can radiate further down, affecting the knee as well.

This makes understanding the entire pathway crucial for diagnosis and treatment.

Looking for Sciatica Or Knee Pain Advice?

Here at Focus Osteopathy, we understand that confronting chronic knee pain can be daunting, and that’s exactly why we’re here!

We aim to guide individuals like you through every step of their health journey, addressing concerns ranging from knee pain to general well-being, ensuring you can face each day with confidence.

This October, we’re providing you with an exclusive offer; a FREE Knee Pain Assessment

During this session, you’ll have the opportunity to consult with one of our resident osteopaths.

They’ll help identify the root causes of your discomfort, offering personalized advice and unwavering support.

If this sounds like the answer to the pain that you’ve been searching for, arrange your FREE Knee Pain Assessment by filling in our simple web form or call our Mount Waverley or Murrumbeena clinic at 1300 003 007 and a member of the team will be happy to help!

Other Free Resources For Sciatica And Knee Pain

Are you struggling with sciatica or knee pain?

Why not download our FREE back pain report that focuses on teaching you to end back pain without painkillers! If you enjoyed this blog, why not read some of our others?

Download Your Copy Of Our FREE  Back Pain Report Here!

Read Our Blog – The Best Advice For Avoiding Back Stiffness During Colder Months?

Follow Us On Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

More blogs from Focus Osteopathy

What Is Patellofemoral Dysfunction?

As a definition, Patellofemoral Dysfunction is the pain that you feel in the front of your knee when your patella, (knee cap), doesn’t glide properly across the end of your femur (thigh bone).  

The condition is most often found in teenagers, and the majority of cases – according to medical researchers – tend to be female. Although, that doesn’t mean you are ‘risk-free’ just because you are older, or male! 

Common causes include Weakness/Imbalances or tightness of the muscles and tendons associated with the patella and/or hip joint, poor biomechanics of the lower limb, overuse (particularly with activity/sports involving running or jumping) & previous injury or surgery to the femur or patella.  

More Blogs From Focus Osteopathy

When the condition arises in children, weak hips, weakened core muscles, flat feet, and damaged muscles in the upper thigh are usually the root causes.  

But what does that mean for people who suffer from patellofemoral dysfunction?  

If the condition goes untreated, then the knee pain will only get worse and begin to affect your quality of life. Patellofemoral dysfunction can also cause a domino effect that creates discomfort in other parts of the body. 

What Causes Patellofemoral Dysfunction?  

Patellofemoral Dysfunction Pain Syndrome

While doctors cannot pinpoint the exact cause or generalize the condition’s origins, patellofemoral dysfunction has been associated with muscle imbalances and weaknesses, alongside overuse of the kneecap, injury, and surgery.  

Sports that involve running, jumping, and repetitive stress can irritate the kneecap, which in turn affects the kneecap’s ability to function smoothly. Patellofemoral pain can also radiate downwards because of weakness in the muscles of the hip area, preventing the kneecap from being properly aligned.  

When the kneecap is misaligned, inward movement of the knee during activity (such as a squat) have also been associated with patellofemoral dysfunction. The condition also commonly arises following injury to the knee, such as a dislocation or fracture.  

Surgery can increase the risk of patellofemoral discomfort, especially where surgeons repair the anterior cruciate ligament using the patellar tendon as a graft.  

Who Is At Risk?  

It’s typical for patellofemoral pain to affect adolescents and young adults. Although anyone can develop the condition, knee pain in older individuals tends to revolve more commonly around arthritis.  

According to medical researchers, women are twice as likely to develop the condition when compared to men. It has been suggested that women are more at risk because of their wider pelvis, which increases the angle where the bones in the knee joint meet.  

If you have a relatively inactive lifestyle, the risk of patellofemoral dysfunction can be higher. By remaining sedentary, muscle mass cannot be built nor maintained, and without the strength of certain muscles that retain balance and keep joints aligned, patellofemoral issues can occur.  

Participation in athletic activities, or ‘hard-wearing’ sports, can put extra stress on your knees – especially when training and trying to up your level of fitness.  

Your weight also plays a part. Individuals who are overweight exhibit increasing mechanical overuse of their patellofemoral joints. This speeds up the rate of cartilage degeneration and increases the risk of problems with tendons and stability issues.  

Can You Prevent Patellofemoral Dysfunction? 

The answer isn’t quite that simple. Oftentimes, knee pain just happens. It could be something in your genetics, or it could be trauma from an injury that never healed properly.   

However, there are steps that you can take to lessen your risk, and that starts by maintaining your strength – which is where we come in.  

Strong quadriceps and hip muscles are very important for keeping your knee balanced during daily activity. Flexibility is also imperative for avoiding pain and discomfort, and a physical therapist will be able to help build strength by manipulating and reinforcing your muscles, and guiding the patella track along its groove.  

Exercise for your outer hip muscles is especially important in preventing your knee from caving inwards. You may think that an ‘inward’ movement with the knee only happens when being particularly active, but you’d be misinformed. Just walking up and down stairs requires such a movement from your knee and is therefore an action to be mindful of.  

We’d recommend that you lose any excess weight that you are carrying on your frame. Losing this weight relieves the stresses on your knees and therefore lessens the chance of patellofemoral dysfunction.  

Ensure that your shoes fit comfortably. That probably sounds like really simple advice, but it can make all the difference. If your feet aren’t well supported, then you put an extra burden on other parts of your body – including your lower back, and your knees.  

Should your shoes not provide a healthy amount of shock absorption, then your knees take the strain. It’s only a matter of time before the extra stress causes rapid deterioration. Struggling with your shoes? We’d suggest trying insoles or a heel lift out for size.  

If you are in training for any form of sporting event, make sure that you warm up before tackling any forms of exercise. By promoting flexibility in your body before tackling physical activity, you avoid sudden changes in how intensely your body has to function. Increase your intensity gradually, rather than going ‘all in’ without preparation.  

How Important Is Your Knee?  

The quick answer? Your knee is very important, and your mobility (and independence) practically depends on it.  

Your knee is a complex structure and one of the most stressed joints in your body. In fact, it’s the largest joint you have, and although it remains vital for movement, it’s also vulnerable to injury.  

Comprising of the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), fibula, and patella (kneecap), the knee is what’s known as a synovial joint; containing a fluid-filled capsule.  

There are approximately 14 of these small fluid-filled capsules within the knee joint, and each one is paramount in reducing friction between the tissues of the knee. If these capsules (also known as sacs) become damaged or start to fail, the area begins to suffer inflammation – which can cause serious pain.  

Besides supporting the body to maintain an upright position, your knee helps to lower and raise your body while providing stability. We’ve used the term ‘shock absorber’ already in this blog, but it does sum up the activity of your knee.  

Your knee also accommodates the twist of your leg, which makes walking easier and more efficient, helping to propel the body forward.  

Without the ability to twist or bend your knee, daily tasks and recreational activities can feel almost impossible. Getting to and from work during the commute, partaking in events with your family, or even just running chores, can become difficult and awkward.  

So where does the patella fit in?  

The patella is a small triangular-shaped bone that rests at the front of the knee, within the quadriceps muscle. Although the patella is lined with the thickest layer of cartilage, it endures such a deal of force that the surrounding muscles need to be in good health to prevent injury or damage.  

How Focus Osteopathy Can Help 

Seeking help rarely crosses the forefront of the mind until health problems loom large. Urban legend may conjure up images of aggressive massage and hurt, but the truth is very different to that false stereotype.  

The movement therapy that we offer is a non-invasive form of treatment, and while you may feel some tenderness in areas that need attention (in this case, your knee), this sensation quickly passes.  

We utilize a range of treatment methods that aims to address the root cause of your patellofemoral dysfunction. But we take the time to get to know you first.  


Well, what works for some may not work for others. Everyone is different, and our therapists need to understand your individual situation to craft a bespoke package of care. We never generalize our treatment for patellofemoral dysfunction, as that won’t ensure the best relief from pain for you!  

We’ve spent more than two decades working with people of all ages to find relief from acute and chronic knee pain. We remain aware of what people can be told after approaching their doctor, but let me tell you – pills and rest will not solve your situation.  

In some cases, pills and painkillers only mask the pain. A prescription for pills is only a short-term solution, and your body eventually becomes less responsive to them.  

We would recommend that you reach out to us through our contact page either by filling out a form or contacting us directly by phone to arrange a Free Discovery Visit. If you are ready to find effective pain relief, you can inquire about our cost and availability.  

There is no need to suffer in silence. Suffering from general knee pain, or patellofemoral dysfunction, is not something you should have to endure. We’re here to help. So let’s get that ball rolling (or, in this case, cap gliding)!  

Reach Out To Us