Knee Feels Tight When Bending? Here’s What You KNEE-d To Know!

February 28, 2023

With growing age comes growing pain. Be it your back, neck, or knees, the older you get, the more your joints scream in protest. However, one of the most common complaints we get is an aching knee.

A knee that feels tight when bending or even when you’re standing straight is not a normal occurrence. Given the complex structure of your skeletal system, knees are some of the most used joints. They go through immense stress and movements throughout the day. Thus, when injured, it can limit your daily activities and leave you vulnerable.

Why Does My Knee Feel Tight When Bending?

If you frequently experience knee pain or your knee always feels stiff and tight, it could be due to any of the following causes:

  1. Torn Meniscus
    Meniscus is a c-shaped cartilage that sits right in the middle of your knee. It helps to absorb shock and cushions most injuries. But when the meniscus itself gets damaged, it can lead to swelling and excruciating pain.
  2. Tendon Inflammation
    Exerting too much force on your legs can lead to serious injuries like tendon or ligament inflammation. This is especially true for those who actively play sports and participate in strenuous activities. An inflamed tendon in your leg can result in stiffness, swelling, and inability to bend the knee.
  3. Osteoarthritis
    Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is when the cartilages between your joints start to dissipate. Once completely broken down, the bones protected by the cartilage start rubbing against each other, causing unbearable pain and stiffness.
  4. Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that commonly affects both knees. It’s a severe condition where the body attacks its healthy cells and tissues, thinking of them as the enemy.
  5. Arthrofibrosis
    Stiff knee syndrome or arthrofibrosis is a condition that arises when there’s too much scar tissue buildup around your knee. In most cases, arthrofibrosis develops after a failed knee surgery and gives way to pain, inflammation, and tenderness.
  6. Knee Sprain
    Usually, a knee that feels tight when bending or moving is nothing more than a minor sprain. With proper care and rest, you can easily eliminate the ache.
  7. Muscle Weakness
    If you don’t have the habit of stretching your muscles, you can be putting yourself at risk of losing muscle flexibility. This can lead to a lack of proper support and tightness in your joints, making it difficult to move freely.

Tips To Treat A Knee That Feels Tight When Bending

In case of unbearable pain or stiffness in your knees, it’s best to let a medical professional evaluate it. Depending on the severity of your case, you might be asked to maintain the following habits to reduce knee pain:

  • Frequently exercise, focusing more on your legs.
  • Follow the RICE method to heal the tight feeling in your knees. (Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevate)
  • Stretch your leg and arm muscles regularly to prevent tightness.
  • Get Corticosteroid shots to reduce tendon inflammation.

When To Visit A Doctor

Taking risks on something as crucial as your knee joints is not the best idea. Instead, the moment your knee feels tight, especially when bending or straightening it, visit a medical professional for further evaluation.

In case of queries or more information, contact Mufaddal Gombera, MD, at (713) 794-3457. You can also come visit us at 7401 Main St, Houston, TX 77030, inside the Texas Orthopedic Hospital.

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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