• Shruti GOCHHWAL

What Causes Sharp Pain In Knee When Kneeling or Bending?

Your knees bend many times throughout the day. The movement is necessary for daily activities, like climbing the stairs and sitting in a chair, or during exercises like squats and lunges.

The wear and tear of everyday life can take a toll on your knees. Also, there are several ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones in the area. If there’s a problem with one of these structures, you might have a sharp needle like pain in your knees while bending your leg.

Some causes of knee pain are minor and can be treated with home remedies. Others require medical attention. Here, we’ll discuss the potential causes of knee pain while bending.

Knee pain on bending

A woman with knee pain, Credits: pexels


  1. Bursitis: A bursa is a sac that holds a small amount of fluid that’s under the skin above your joint. It helps prevent friction when the joint moves. Overuse, falls, or repeated bending and kneeling can irritate the bursa on top of your kneecap. That leads to pain and swelling. You may also hear it called ”preacher’s knee.”

  2. Dislocated kneecap: This means that your kneecap slides out of position, causing knee pain and swelling. This is called “patellar dislocation.”

  3. IT (iliotibial) band syndrome: The iliotibial (IT) band is a piece of tough tissue that runs from your hip down to the outer part of your knee. When you overdo activity, it can become inflamed over time. That causes pain on the outer side of the knee. It’s common among runners when going downhill.

  4. Meniscal tear: Sometimes, a knee injury can cause cartilage to rip. These rough edges can get stuck in the joint, which causes pain and swelling. Many times, people will have the sensation of “catching” in the joint when they are active.

  5. Osgood-Schlatter disease: This condition happens when you’re young, when bones and other parts of the knee are still changing. It can cause a painful bump below the knee, where a tendon from the kneecap connects to the shin. Overdoing exercise, and irritation at a point on the bottom of your knee called the tibial tubercle, often make this area hurt. The ache may come and go over time.

  6. Osteoarthritis: This is the “wear and tear” type of arthritis. It’s a top cause of knee pain after age 50. This condition causes the knee joint to ache or swell when you’re active. Joints affected by osteoarthritis can also be stiff early in the day.

  7. Patellar tendinitis: This means you have inflammation in the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone. Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect muscles to your bones. When you overdo exercise, they can become inflamed and sore. You may also hear it called “jumper’s knee” because repetitive jumping is the most common cause.

  8. Patellofemoral pain syndrome: Muscle imbalance, tightness, and alignment problems of the legs usually cause this condition. It causes knee pain and occasional “buckling,” meaning your knee suddenly can’t bear your weight. It’s not due to an injury. It’s more common for women than for men.

  9. Anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injuries. These often occur during sports that involve jumping or other sudden changes in direction. They can cause instability or prevent the knee from bearing weight.

  10. Posterior cruciate ligament, or PCL, injuries. These can develop after a blow to the front of the knee.

  11. Collateral ligament injuries. These contact injuries often happen during sports.

  12. Meniscus tears. Tackles, twisting, aging, and arthritis can each damage the knee’s meniscus, its shock-absorbing cartilage. A person may feel the knee “locking” or experience discomfort going down the stairs.

  13. The three bones of the knee joint can fracture or break. The patella, or kneecap, does so most frequently.

Sharp Needle like Pain Behind Knee When Bending

Knee pain on bending

Knee pain, Credits: pixabay


If it hurts behind your knee while bending, it’s likely due to:

  1. hamstring tendonitis

  2. Baker’s cyst

  3. knee injury

  4. Very sharp pain in knee when bending

Conditions That May Cause Sharp Pain While Bending Include:

  1. torn ligament or meniscus

  2. knee or patellar fracture

  3. osteoarthritis

  4. patellar tendonitis

  5. Pain above kneecap when bending

If You Have Pain Above Your Knee When Bending, You May Have:

  1. quadriceps tendonitis

  2. osteoarthritis

  3. knee bursitis

  4. Pain in front of kneecap when bending

Potential Causes of Pain in Front of or Over Your Kneecap Include:

  1. patellofemoral pain syndrome

  2. patellar tendonitis

  3. quadriceps tendonitis

  4. knee bursitis

  5. patellar fracture

Accompanying Symptoms

Knee pain on bending

A man with knee pain, Credits: pixabay


In general, one or more of the following tend to accompany the sharp knee pain:

  1. swelling

  2. stiffness

  3. a clicking sound with the pain

  4. pain when rising after sitting

  5. pain climbing the stairs

  6. pain descending the stairs

  7. the knee “locking” or not bending

Preventing Knee Pain

Knee pain on bending

A woman exercising, Credits: pexels


It’s possible to prevent or reduce your risk of knee pain. Consider the following tips:

  1. Avoid or limit movements that cause knee pain. It’s the best way to prevent overuse, which can lead to more severe pain or injuries.

  2. Do low-impact activities like biking or swimming. Low-impact activities are a great way to stay active while alleviating pressure on your knee.

  3. Lose weight if you’re overweight. Extra weight can add stress on your knee and increase the risk of knee pain.

  4. Warm up and cool down before exercise. This will protect your muscles and help prevent injury.

  5. Add weight training to your workout regimen. Focus on strengthening the muscles that support your knee joint.

  6. Stretch regularly to loosen tight muscles and improve flexibility.

  7. Use knee pads while working on your knees. Knee pads will protect your kneecaps and reduce pressure.

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