Help! Why Does My Knee Hurt When I’m Sitting?

June 15, 2023

Most office workers complain about the ever-so-subtle pain in their knees. This kind of knee pain usually develops from sitting too much — and before you ask if that’s a thing, yes, it is.

However, not every aching knee is a cause for concern. Sometimes, it only occurs due to poor posture or lack of movement.

You see, your body needs to move so that it can stay active and healthy. But how can you do that with weak knees? Luckily for you, we have mentioned everything about knee pain when sitting and how to combat it right here in this blog. So keep on scrolling to read more.

Is Knee Pain When Sitting Normal?

Surprisingly, knee pain is far more common than you think. And at times, it’s normal too. You might have been sitting with your legs folded for a very long time, unconsciously putting pressure on the kneecaps. Thus, when you finally do straighten your legs, the pain can take you by surprise, momentarily halting you in your position.

It is only considered serious if you experience the pain frequently, and it lasts for a long time. Rather than brushing it off, contact a medical professional for a proper medical evaluation.

What Causes Knee Pain When Sitting?

Technically, knee pain can be caused by numerous reasons, but here are some of the most common causes behind the ache:

Uncomfortable Sitting Position

Sitting in an uncomfortable position where your legs are folded or tucked under you for a long time can lead to a dull throb in the knees.

Underlying Health Condition

An underlying health condition like arthritis or lupus can also result in knee pain when sitting. It might also make popping or cracking sounds.

Sitting for Long Periods of Time

If you have been sitting for a very long time without stretching your legs, standing up, or moving at all, your legs might fall asleep, leading to pain and tingling after.

Using Uncomfortable or Stiff Furniture Without Support

Sitting on a stiff seat or furniture that doesn’t provide support can be disastrous, especially if sitting for long. Try switching to ergonomics instead.

Suddenly Shifting Position

Suddenly shifting from a sitting position to a standing position can shoot a spark of pain down your legs. But this is temporary and tends to pass soon.

What is a Normal Sitting Time?

According to research, it is suggested that sitting for more than 6 to 8 hours a day can be dangerous for your health. Not just your bones and joints, but your muscles as well, could suffer from the damage.

Rather than sitting for a prolonged amount of time, take breaks in between and move around every 30 to 60 minutes. Even if you are required to sit all the time, stretching your legs is a must. Otherwise, it could give way to patellofemoral pain or, in rare cases, arthritis.

Treatment Options

Thankfully, knee pain when sitting doesn’t require any serious treatment. However, based on the intensity of the pain, it could vary. It is best to visit a medical professional for a proper diagnosis. Depending on your condition, they might recommend either of the following treatment methods:

  • The RICE (Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevation) method
  • Physical therapy sessions
  • Ergonomic furniture such as chairs and workspace essentials.
  • Make certain lifestyle changes and incorporate more exercises.
  • Strength training
  • Surgery (only in extreme cases)

Closing Words

To put it shortly, knee pain when sitting might not be a big concern. But if you keep getting stabs of pain or moving your legs becomes a chore, you might need a professional evaluation. For more information, contact Mufaddal Gombera, MD, at (713) 794-3457. You can also visit our clinic at the Texas Orthopedic Hospital at 7401 Main St, Houston, TX 77030.

Dr Gombera Cover

Dr. Gombera

Dr. Gombera, earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. Expanding his expertise, he undertook a sports medicine and arthroscopy fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. Recognized as a Super Doctors Rising Star and honored for patient care excellence at the University of Michigan, he holds multiple certifications and licenses, solidifying his dedication to delivering exceptional medical services.



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