Gardening. Cleaning. Praying. Playing with our children and grandchildren. We might not realize it, but we kneel often in our daily lives. That means even slight knee pain can impact how much we enjoy activities that we love.

The good news is that you can find relief from knee injuries and pain. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can return to enjoying life to the fullest!

What Causes Knee Pain When Kneeling?

There are plenty of reasons why your knees might hurt while kneeling, and the exact reason will inform how you should go about avoiding that pain and treating it.

Common causes of knee pain while kneeling include:

  • ACL tears – ACL tears are tears of a ligament known as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This ligament connects the shinbone (tibia) to the thigh bone (femur) at the knee.
  • Baker’s cyst (popliteal cyst) – A Baker’s cyst is a type of cyst that may develop on the back of the knee.
    Jumper’s knee (patellar tendonitis) – Jumper’s knee occurs when the patellar tendon becomes inflamed. The patellar tendon connects the tibia (shinbone) to the patella (kneecap). This knee injury is common among athletes, hence the name.
  • Knee bursitis (prepatellar bursitis) – Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that help cushion your joints and reduce friction between them. Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa in the patella (front of the knee).
  • Meniscus tear – A meniscus tear is a knee injury, specifically a tearing of a tissue within the knee.
  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease – This injury typically occurs during childhood from repetitive use of the knee joint. While the damage is usually not permanent, it can cause a painful lump below the kneecap.
  • Osteoarthritis (OA, degenerative joint disease) – The most common form of arthritis, OA occurs when joints’ cartilage wears down over time, resulting in painful friction between joints and bone.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – RA is a medical condition where the body mistakenly attacks its own healthy cells, leading to pain and inflammation, most often in joints.
  • Runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome, PFPS, anterior knee pain syndrome) – Runner’s knee refers to a dull sort of pain that localizes around the front of the knee. It typically occurs from misuse or overuse of the knee joint.

5 Ways to Reduce and Avoid Knee Pain When Kneeling

Don’t let pain stop you from doing what you love. Common ways to reduce or even avoid knee pain when kneeling include:

  1. Use knee pads – These aids will cushion your knees, effectively shifting and moving around weight to relieve the burden placed on your joints.
  2. Avoid kneeling for long periods of time – When that isn’t possible, take breaks when you have to kneel for extended periods to provide frequent relief for your joints.
  3. Take medication – Painkillers like ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). These medications are part of a class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which experts often recommend for joint pain.
  4. Attend physical therapy – Also known as physiotherapy, a licensed professional can walk you through exercises and stretches to help you strengthen your muscles and joints.
  5. Consider knee replacement – Surgery—or knee arthroplasty in extreme cases— is often a last resort, but sometimes it is a good option to relieve pain and help people regain lost mobility in their joints.

Treatments We Offer

We know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to tackling discomfort and pain in the knees. The only “best” solution is the solution that works best for you! That’s why we offer a wide variety of effective treatments for arthritis of the knee, bone-on-bone knee pain, and bursitis of the knee. These include:

Frequently Asked Questions about Knee Pain

Why is my knee sore when I kneel on it?

There are plenty of reasons why your knee might be sore when you kneel on it. Common reasons for knee pain while kneeling include:

  • Arthritis or a similar medical condition.
  • Bursitis of the knee.
  • Kneeling on a hard surface.
  • Recent injury to the knee or surrounding area.

How do I know if my knee pain is serious?

Sharp pain, severe pain, and pain that persists can all be cause for alarm. Anyone concerned about their knee discomfort should contact a healthcare professional for medical advice.

How do I toughen my knees for kneeling?

If your physician or physical therapist approves it, you may be able to practice certain exercises that can help strengthen your knees and the surrounding muscles. These exercises may reduce discomfort and pain over time.

Popular exercises for strengthening knees include:

  • Hamstring curls.
  • Leg lifts, although people with OA or certain back problems should not perform this exercise.
  • Proper warm-ups and cool-downs, paying special attention to the quadriceps and hamstrings.
  • Wall squats where the knees do not extend past the toes.

Anyone experiencing knee discomfort and pain should first clear these exercises with their physician and should stop these exercises immediately if they cause pain.

Get Started at Kneecare Clinics

With the help of Kneecare Clinics, you can fight knee pain and find deeper enjoyment in your daily life! Contact us now or speak to our patient advocate to get started on restoring your quality of life.




Talk to Pat, Our Patient Advocate

Chat with Pat Cashen, our patient advocate here at KneeCare Clinic

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.