Why Do I Have Knee Pain When I Sit Down?

Why Do I Have Knee Pain When I Sit Down?

It might seem illogical, but some people experience knee pain when they transition to a seated position. Why would this happen, when sitting offers your body a chance to rest? 

A common cause of this problem is osteoarthritis, a condition that affects about 32.5 million Americans, or 1 in 7 adults. Here, we cover who’s most at risk for knee wear-and-tear as a result of arthritis and some of the treatments we offer at Empire Physical Therapy & Athletic Rehabilitation

Although knee pain can also occur because of a traumatic injury, torn cartilage, or a fracture, that type of knee pain is typically present no matter what position you’re in. 

The patient-centered approach that our caring team of Billy Reilly, MS, PT, and Paul LaRosa, MS, PT, has embraced ensures optimal treatment results and a trusting relationship. 

Arthritis and your knee

As your body’s strongest and largest joints, your knees carry your weight as you move through the world. Its main components are the lower portion of your thigh bone, known as the femur, the upper part of the shinbone, or tibia, and your kneecap, the patella. 

The ends of these bones form your knee joint, and a protective lubricating substance, your articular cartilage, buffers your bones as you move and bend your knees. An additional protective element is your menisci, pieces of rubbery cartilage between your shinbone and thighbone. They cushion your knee joint and help keep it stable. 

You’re more likely to experience degenerative arthritis in your knee if you’re 50 or older. The pain occurs as your knee’s cartilage wears away over time and the ends of your bones start to grind together. 

In addition to pain when you sit, you may also experience:

Fortunately, physical therapy can ease your knee pain, strengthen and stabilize your knee joint, and enhance your mobility.

How can physical therapy help?

Since we customize your treatment after a thorough assessment and testing, the treatment plan we create for you is meant for you alone. We may recommend:

Manual physical therapy

Gentle manipulation of your soft tissue and stretching can help relieve knee arthritis discomfort and movement problems.

Exercise therapy

We determine a course of exercise for you in our state-of-the-art gym on site. We also advise you on exercises you can do at home as you heal.

Heat and ice treatment

Heat therapy encourages blood flow and improves circulation — both of which alleviate joint inflammation and pain. Heat also soothes knee joint stiffness. Ice treatment can ease the burning sort of pain you experience with arthritis, and it reduces inflammation. When swelling from arthritis eases, so does the pain.

Electrophysiological stimulation

This treatment, also known as “E-stim,” involves directing mild electrical currents to your painful joint. It’s noninvasive and helps block pain as it reaches your nerves. 

Stretch therapy

Physical therapist-assisted stretch therapy reduces muscle tightness and friction from knee joint imbalance problems, so your range of motion improves.

Activity-specific therapy

Since pain during and after sitting is common with arthritis sufferers, we focus specifically on helping you through the step-by-step movements you make as you sit and offering solutions or changes you can make to prevent arthritis knee pain. 

When you come to Empire Physical Therapy & Athletic Rehabilitation for help with knee pain, including pain exacerbated by sitting, we treat you compassionately, listen closely, and make certain that you see the same physical therapist for each visit. This consistency has proven to be a positive for patients.

To schedule an appointment, call our New York City office, located in the Midtown East section of Manhattan, today at 607-602-1330 or book one online. You’ll be on your way to moving more and feeling more flexible and stable.

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