Limiting Factors-Knee Pain Explained

Limiting Factors-Knee Pain Explained

We’re on our legs all the time, whether walking to work or playing on the weekends. The knee and it’s associated muscles and tendons, are subjected to the most stress of any joint in our body. Constant mobility and age can result in building knee pain over time. But there isn’t one uniform cause of the many different types of knee pain you can potentially experience. Of the most common types of knee pain, each has a specific set of symptoms stemming from different types of muscle and tendon dysfunctions.

Knee Pain


One of the most common of degenerative joint maladies, arthritis (osteoarthritis) is basically pain and stiffness in the joints or tendons cause by aging of the joint area along with some type of injury or even obesity. Usually, in cases of age or obesity the joint that support movement degenerate in stability and composition after years of excessive or intense strain. Water content in the cartilage of a joint increases over time, causing degeneration of the protein makeup of this cartilage. The cartilage begins to break down by flaking or eroding into tiny crevasses. As cartilage degenerates lead to a lack of cushion between the bones in a joint. The increased friction between bones in a joint more exposed to come into contact with each other cause pain and a limit on how well you can move this joint.

In the context of knee pain, obesity and age in those who lead a consistently mobile lifestyle can lead of cumulative damage to the joints and tendons in the knee. This often manifests itself in the form of inflammation of the joints, stiffness, and general swelling pain in this area whether you’ve overly strained your knee or not. Damage in knee cartilage can also cause new bone, or bone spurs, to form around the knee-joint – causing additional pain. Though age is the primary root cause of osteoarthritis, it’s is not necessarily the only influencing factor for those who suffer it. Other roots causes may include diabetes, gout, birth abnormality in the development of joints, or other hormone and hereditary conditions like a defect in the body’s ability to produce collagen (an essential component of cartilage). Rheumatoid arthritis is the result of bone erosion of the joints in the knee rather than a breakdown in cartilage.

Anatomy of the knee, vector illustration (for basic medical education, for clinics & Schools)

Patellar Tendonitis and Jumper’s Knee

Patellar Tendonitis is basically tendonitis of the knee-joint. Tendonitis as a separate ailment is basically any type of injury via trauma or over-extension of tendons connecting frequently used joints such as the knees or elbow. The patellar tendon is the tendon that helps the muscle extend the knee outward. Constant activities such as jumping can cause damage of the tendon through it’s overexertion for extended periods of time. This usually manifests via symptoms such as swelling, pain and stiffness in the knee. This is different from arthritis in that instead of being the cumulative result of years or wear and teat, patella tendonitis is usually a reaction to a specific incident of stress on the knee joint.

There are also additional risks factors that can cause this type of tendonitis be more likely in certain individuals. These factors can include age, gender, body weight, and birth defects in the development of knee joints or even being born with a low kneecap. As such, individuals who suffer from these factors have a high chance of injuring themselves in a way that can lead to patellar tendonitis. This pain is usually located in the region right below the kneecap on the band of tendon beneath it. The tendon becomes inflamed, or there might be some small tears in this tendon. Whatever the specific issue that causes patellar tendonitis, it always results in pain and limited mobility.

This pain in the inferior patellar region of the knee not only inhibits the movement of those who suffer from it; it often forces those who experience this injury to rest their knee until this tendon has healed. Luckily, not only is patellar tendonitis easily self-diagnosed, it’s also easily self-treated. A good way to tell if you’ve contracted it in the first place is by rubbing the tendon beneath the knee. If the pain gets worse and worse the more you rub the tendon across both the knee cap and the patellar bone, then you know you’ve injured your tendon this way. Applying an ice pack initially can help reduce the severity of the pain, but you can also massage this tendon to help reduce swelling. If it’s not too tender, you can use your fingers to hold your knee cap in place with one hand while massaging the tendon underneath the knee cap in the other.

Jumper’s knee is the nickname of patella tendonitis and is commonly used by athletes’ such as basketball players, volleyball players, cyclists, weight lifters, or track athletes. This can manifest itself in either both sides of the knee (bilateral tendinopathy) or only one side (unilateral tendinopathy). Depending to the duration of symptoms and wait time for seeing a physician, there are four different stages to jumper’s knee. Stage 1 involves mere pain only after an activity that strains this tendon, without any significant loss functional mobility in the knee. Stage 2 involves an increase in pain both during and after physical activity without losing the ability to perform athletically. Stage 3 is the point when most people start diagnosing and treating their jumper’s knee, where pain occurs during and after physical activity and the person experiencing a decrease in their ability to perform athletically. Finally, Stage 4 patellar tendonitis is when the person experiences a complete tear of this tendon that requires surgery to repair it. This is why constant vigilance is required in order to catch this ailment in its early stages and reduce the swelling in order to prevent a drastic result. Also, stretching your muscles in this area before physical activity is a good way to prevent any onset of patellar tendonitis.

Do you have any of the knee pain described above? Try out No Limits Sports Patella Knee Straps.

If you want to restore your knee health, check out these articles on knee strengthening exercises: 



Leave a Reply