7 Reasons Your Knee Hurts When You Bend It

Do you feel pain in knee when bending?   

Whether it’s a dull ache or sharp one, that twinge in your knee can interfere with your day.   

Understanding the reasons behind this pesky pain is a crucial step towards finding relief and getting back to moving with ease. Read on as we unravel the seven common reasons you may have knee pain when bending.  

Knee pain when bending | Dr Rik Kundra (Best Knee Surgeon Dubai)

Common causes of knee pain when bending

When it comes to knee pain when bending, bending can often exacerbate discomfort. Several common culprits may cause your knee to ache when you bend it.  

Causes of knee pain | Dr Rik Kundra(Best Knee Surgeon Dubai)


Osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, is a common culprit of knee pain when bending. This degenerative joint disease gradually wears down the protective cartilage in your knees, leading to pain and stiffness. As you bend your knee, the lack of cushioning from worn-out cartilage can result in discomfort.  

 Over time, osteoarthritis can cause bone spurs to develop around the affected joint, further exacerbating knee pain when bending. The inflammation associated with this condition can also lead to swelling and reduced range of motion in the knee.  

Tendon Inflammation  

Tendon inflammation, or tendinitis, can be a major reason your knee hurts when you bend it. This condition occurs when the tendons in your knee become irritated or inflamed due to overuse or injury. It’s like a warning sign from your body that something isn’t quite right.  

 When you have tendon inflammation in your knee, bending can cause pain and discomfort. The movement puts pressure on the already sensitive area, triggering sharp or dull pains depending on the severity of the inflammation.  

 Ignoring tendon inflammation can lead to chronic issues and further complications. That’s why addressing this type of knee pain when bending early on is crucial through adequate rest, ice therapy, and perhaps physical therapy exercises tailored to strengthen the affected area.  

Also Read: What Can Cause Knee Pain Without Injury?

Meniscus tears  

Meniscus tears can be a common culprit for knee pain when bending. These rubbery, C-shaped discs act as shock absorbers between your thighbone and shinbone. A sudden twist or turn of the knee during activities like sports can lead to a tear in the meniscus.  Symptoms of a meniscus tear include:  

  • Pain  
  • Swelling  
  • Stiffness  
  • Difficulty fully extending or flexing the knee.   


The site as well as the severity of the tear will determine whether conservative treatments like rest, ice, compression, and elevation are enough or if surgical intervention is necessary.  

Ignoring a meniscus tear can worsen your condition over time and potentially lead to more serious issues like osteoarthritis.  

    Also Read:  Do I Need Surgery For A Meniscus Tear?


Bursitis is a common culprit behind knee pain when bending. The bursae are tiny sacs that are filled with fluid and cushion the joints, reducing friction between bones and soft tissues. When these sacs become inflamed due to injury or overuse, it can result in sharp pain at the back of the knee.  

 Bursitis symptoms include tenderness, swelling, and warmth around the affected area. You may feel a stabbing sensation as you bend your knee, making simple tasks like climbing stairs or squatting unbearable.  

Treatment for bursitis typically involves rest, ice therapy, elevation of the leg, and anti-inflammatory medications. In severe cases, physical therapy or corticosteroid injections may be recommended to reduce the symptoms and promote healing.  

knee pain when bending | Dr Rik Kundra(Best Knee Surgeon Dubai)

Rheumatoid Arthritis  

Rheumatoid Arthritis, a chronic autoimmune condition, can also be a culprit behind that nagging knee pain when bending. This inflammatory disorder doesn’t just affect joints in the hands and feet; it can target your knees, too. The lining of the joints gets inflamed, causing stiffness, pain and swelling.  

Unlike osteoarthritis, which is more common with age or wear and tear of the joints, Rheumatoid Arthritis typically affects both knees simultaneously. This condition, if untreated, may cause irreversible damage to the joint cartilage.   

Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis involves a combination of medication, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and sometimes surgery in severe cases.   



Arthrofibrosis is when excessive scar tissue forms in the knee joint, leading to pain and restricted movement. This can occur after surgery or injury, causing the tissues around the knee joint to thicken and tighten. As a result, bending the knee becomes painful and difficult.  

 The build-up of scar tissue can cause inflammation and stiffness in the joint, affecting your ability to perform daily activities.   Treatment options for arthrofibrosis may include:  

  • Physical therapy 
  • anti-inflammatory medications  
  • Surgical intervention to remove excess scar tissue.   


Knee Sprain  

If you’re experiencing pain in your knee when bending, a knee sprain could be the culprit. A knee sprain happens when the ligaments supporting the knee joint are torn or stretched due to sudden twisting or impact. This can lead to swelling, tenderness, and difficulty bending the knee.  Common symptoms of a knee sprain include:  

  • Pain at the site of the injury  
  • Swelling  
  • Bruising  
  • Instability in the joint.   

It’s crucial to rest your knee and avoid putting weight on it to allow for proper healing.  Ice packs and keeping the knee elevated can help reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort.  

Physical therapy is advised to strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve flexibility. In cases where therapy and medication don’t respond, surgery is advised to repair damaged ligaments.   


Muscle Weakness  

Muscle weakness can be a sneaky culprit when it comes to knee pain. When the muscles around your knee are weak, they can’t properly support and stabilize the joint during movement, leading to discomfort and potential injury. 

Weak quadriceps, hamstrings, or calf muscles can all contribute to this problem. Strengthening these muscles through targeted exercises can help alleviate knee pain and prevent future issues.   

Incorporating squats, lunges, leg lifts, and calf raises into your workout regime can significantly improve muscle strength around the knees.  

Additionally, maintaining overall fitness levels through cardio exercises like walking or swimming can also benefit the stability of your knees by enhancing muscular support.  

Meet Dr Rik Kundra: Your Specialist in Dubai for Knee Health

Finding out the root causes of knee pain when bending is paramount for choosing the correct treatment path. From osteoarthritis and tendon inflammation to meniscus tears and muscle weakness, there are various reasons why your knee may be hurting. 

Seeking professional help from an orthopedic specialist like Dr. Rik Kundra can provide you with personalized treatment options tailored to your specific condition.  

Dr. Rik Kundra specializes in diagnosing and treating knee pain, helping patients regain mobility and improve their quality of life.   

With his expertise and individualized approach to care, you can find relief from the pain that hinders your daily activities.   

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kundra today


All content and media on this page are created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Meet Dr. Rik personally for appropriate medical diagnosis and advice.

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