Knee pain – Three common causes

So your knee hurts, but what causes it?

An imbalance between quadriceps and hamstrings

The quads tend to be stronger than the hamstrings, causing the quads to shorten and, as they attach to the kneecap via a tendon, this pulls the kneecaps upwards and, in turn, causing excessive compression at the knee joint. As the knee is bent and straightened, the increased compression causes irritation and pain around the kneecap.

Strained quadriceps

When the quads are strained, there’s less of an upward pull on the kneecap through the quad tendon, so allowing the kneecap to float more than it should, making it susceptible to dislocation. As the quads are positioned slightly on the outer side of the kneecap, the dislocation is often towards the outer side of the knee joint, causing irritationand pain.

A strained gluteus medius muscle

Straining of this hip muscle can cause the tensor fasciae latae muscle of the thigh—connected to the outside of the knee joint by a connective tissue band called the iliotibial band (ITB)—to compensate by helping the gluteus medius pelvic muscle provide balance and stability when standing. If the tensor fasciae latae become strained in the process, the ITB will become shortened and, as the ITB is attached to the outer side of the kneecap, it will pull it towards the outside of the knee joint, again causing irritation and pain. Read more…