Unexpected Causes of Knee Pain

Noyes Knee Institute Signature

Published On

Jul 24, 2017


Patient Education

Too often, people are willing to accept soreness and discomfort as an inevitable consequence of aging or a changing body. What you may not realize is that knee pain may have some direct causes that you may be able to counteract, but if you’re not aware of those causes, it might be impossible to take corrective actions.

Most people are aware that stretching, heat treatments, and medication can go a long way toward preventing some pain issues, but they may not be considering the underlying factors which drive those problems. Identifying surprising causes might bring you to simple solutions and can at least allow you to make minor alterations to your daily routine.

Below, you’ll find a guide to some surprising sources of knee pain in many people. Considering these causes may allow you to identify the source of your own discomfort, but failing that, you should at least have an additional opportunity to avoid some surprising pitfalls.


Gout occurs when calcium urate crystals build up in the body and cause swelling and stiffness. Most people associate gout with stiffness in their feet, but it’s important to remember that it can manifest in other areas as well. In fact, it tends to set in in highly mobile joints, so it stands to reason that your knee would be a prime location for the development of that discomfort.

One of the most difficult challenges that can come with diagnosing gout is being able to distinguish it from other types of knee pain. Since swelling and stiffness are fairly consistent symptoms across a wide range of injuries, being able to affirmatively point to gout as the cause of your issues can be difficult. Your doctor might ask you a wide variety of questions, including those about your diet, in order to come to that conclusion.

Repetitive Stress

Taking care to prepare your knee for strenuous activities is an important step in acting responsibly, but even the best preparation can be defeated by repetitive stress. If you’re constantly repeating an unnatural motion, your knee may be forced to absorb incremental amounts of damage that can result in substantial pain. The challenge in identifying the cause of that pain can be made more difficult if you’re confident in your stretching regimen or your protective equipment.

It’s important that you introduce some variance into your exercise routine to avoid repetitive stress injuries. It’s also important that you consider deviations from your day to day life that may have introduced a new type of repetitive stress to your knees. People on extended ski vacations, for example, may find themselves returning home with significant knee pain even if they’re not involved in an accident. That can be avoided by taking plenty of breaks and mixing up your actions.

Relaxing Hobbies

If you’re heavily involved in gardening, yoga, photography, or a wide variety of other activities, it’s likely that you find a great deal of stress relief in losing yourself in those hobbies. Unfortunately, steps that you take for your mental health may eventually take a physical toll.

When you find yourself dealing with stiffness and soreness right after you get done doing something you love, it may be time to carefully examine the causes of that discomfort. If you can draw a direct correlation between pain and a hobby, it may be time to consider changing up your interests.

The Noyes Knee Institute has the longtime experience you need in order to fully diagnose and treat the wide variety of potential problems with your knees. Our skill and knowledge base can give you the confidence of knowing you’ll receive excellent care that can provide you with the relief you need the most.