Why Does My Knee Hurt When I'm Sitting?

Learn why your knee hurts when you're sitting down in this Howcast video about physical therapy exercises for the knees.

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Do you have a bad knee or bad knees? Get relief from knee pain and stiffness by learning how to do your own physical therapy, at home or at the gym. It's easy with the knee exercises demonstrated by physical therapist Eric Sampson in these Howcast videos. Eric will show you how to relieve knee pain from bursitis, surgery, a torn meniscus or ligament, jumper's knee, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, and other common knee ailments.

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A lot of people ask me when I'm at the office in my own clinic, "Why does my knee hurt when I'm sitting at my own office? I'm just sitting, getting my work done, but it's really hard to concentrate when my knee is aching and hurting." They're not sure why that is. Usually, it's not just the sitting that causes the problem or the pain, but rather the activity just before or the activities for days before. The strengthening exercises at the gym that you might be doing. The running that you might be doing, as well. All of these things come together and cause the knee to feel a little warm, a little hot and at that point it's really important to really stretch your exercise, but we often are going to be at the office and just sitting at this point. We haven't stretched yet and there's a little bit of an ache in the knee, because it's very hot from the exercises. It's 90 degrees and when it's maintained at 90 degrees all day long, the soft tissues inside your knee, namely the meniscus, as well as the capsules of the joint they get a little bit irritated and deformed and this can cause the pain. The best way to relieve the pain is probably to have your leg out in front underneath your desk and maintaining it there for parts of the day or getting up as frequently as you can during the day, to relieve the tension from that 90 degree position. So these are the main reasons why you're going to have pain at the office. It's not literally the sitting, but it's the combination of the static position, as well as the exercise and activity just prior.

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  • Eric Sampson

    Eric received his education from Boston University and has been in practice for 13 years. He has been certified in the Mckenzie Method since 2005. He practices full time and is the Physical Therapy Director at Spine and Sports Medicine in midtown Manhattan.