Dynamic Health Physiotherapy


Knee Pain Without Warning - What could be causing my knees to hurt without suffering an obvious injury?

Have you ever experienced knee pain that seemed to start without any obvious injury? Maybe your knees just started to ache. Maybe you randomly started getting sharp pains around your kneecap or on the inside of your knee joint. If so, you might have wondered what could have caused it, even though you don’t remember doing anything that would bring it on.

This type of knee pain is common and can affect people of all ages and activity levels. It can interfere with your daily activities and reduce your quality of life. But what are some possible causes of knee pain that occur without an obvious injury?

Let’s look at the common culprits that we see in the physiotherapy clinic. This will help you identify what can be affecting your own knees and set you on the right path to reducing or eliminating knee pain.



One of the most common causes of knee pain without injury is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative condition that affects the cartilage and bone in your knee joint. Osteoarthritis can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion in your knee. It can also lead to inflammation and degeneration of the meniscus, which is the rubbery cushion between your shinbone (tibia) and thighbone (femur). Osteoarthritis usually develops gradually over time, and it can sometimes cause sudden knee pain without trauma.



A second possible cause of knee pain without acute trauma or injury is iliotibial (IT) band syndrome. The IT band is a thick band of tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. When the IT band becomes tight or inflamed, it can cause pain and tenderness on the outside of the knee. IT band syndrome is often caused by overuse, such as running or cycling, and can be aggravated by activities that involve repetitive bending and straightening of the knee. It can also be caused by muscle imbalances, poor biomechanics, or wearing shoes with inadequate support.



Another common cause of knee pain without injury is patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), which is a condition that affects the joint between the kneecap (patella) and thigh bone (femur). PFPS can cause pain around the front of the knee, especially when climbing stairs, kneeling, or sitting for long periods of time. It can be caused by overuse, muscle imbalance, or problems with the alignment or tracking of the patella. PFPS can also be aggravated by activities that put stress on the knee joint, such as running or jumping.


And finally, a fourth possible cause of knee pain without injury is patellar tendinitis, which is an irritation and inflammation of the patellar tendon, which connects your kneecap to your shinbone. Patellar tendinitis can cause pain and stiffness in the front of your knee, especially when you jump, run, or climb stairs. Similar to PFPS, patellar tendinitis can be caused by overuse, muscle imbalance, or poor alignment of your kneecap.

These are just some of the possible causes of knee pain that may start without injury. There are many other factors that can contribute to knee pain, such as biomechanical problems, systemic conditions, or lower-leg medical conditions.

If your pain is not severe or constant, you can try some self-care measures to help relieve your knee pain, such as:

– Resting your knee and avoiding activities that worsen your pain

– Applying ice or heat to your knee for 15 to 20 minutes a few times a day

– Using topical pain relief creams to sooth the area

– Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen to help reduce pain and inflammation

– Doing gentle exercises to help strengthen and stretch your knee muscles


If you have persistent or severe knee pain that affects your daily activities or sleep, you should talk to your physiotherapist or doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.


The sooner you can start treating the root cause of your knee pain, the better!

If you are experiencing knee pain, it is important to speak to your physiotherapist to find out what is causing your symptoms.

We have free physiotherapy discovery visits, where you can speak to a member of our team, ask any questions that you have, and find out what’s stopping you from finally getting some relief.

We can also help you understand how to get your knee and lower body stronger and healthier than ever, so you are able to make the most of your day, stay active with friends and family rather than feeling stiff and sore, and even sleep better once the pain or stiffness in your knee isn’t waking you up in the night anymore.

Alternatively, you can always call us at 506-404-1565 if you prefer to talk over the telephone.

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