Stop Knee Pain When Squatting: Causes and Solutions

May 14, 2024 | 1 min read

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Knee pain when squatting is a common issue that can result from overuse, poor posture, or sudden injury, often involving different parts of the knee, such as behind, on top, or on the outside.

By understanding the causes and implementing preventive measures, you can greatly reduce the risk of experiencing knee pain when squatting.

Pain Behind Knee When Squatting

Pain behind the knee when squatting can be caused by overuse, poor posture, or sudden injury. Activities that involve repeated bending and stress on the knee, such as sports, can lead to this pain.

Conditions such as a Baker's cyst, hamstring tendonitis, or meniscus tears might be responsible for the pain behind the knee. These conditions often result from excessive stress or improper movement.

Recommended actions and preventative measures:

  • Apply ice to the affected area to reduce inflammation.
  • Rest your knee to prevent further injury.
  • Perform gentle stretching and strengthening exercises for the hamstrings and quadriceps.
  • Avoid activities that aggravate the pain.
  • Maintain proper form when squatting to prevent further issues.

Top of Knee Pain When Squatting

Pain at the top of the knee when squatting is often due to strain or overuse of the quadriceps tendon.

Improper squatting technique can also contribute to this pain.

Conditions like quadriceps tendonitis or patellar tendinopathy may be the underlying causes of pain at the top of the knee. These conditions typically develop from repetitive stress or improper alignment.

Recommended actions and preventative measures:

  • Rest the knee and avoid activities that cause pain.
  • Use ice to reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Perform gentle quadriceps and hip flexor stretches.
  • Strengthen the surrounding muscles to support the knee.
  • Ensure proper squatting technique to prevent further injury.

Outside Knee Pain When Squatting

Outside knee pain when squatting can often result from overuse, improper technique, or sudden twisting movements.

Activities that involve lateral movements, such as running or jumping, can place extra stress on the outside of the knee.

Potential underlying conditions:

  • Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is a common cause of outside knee pain, often due to inflammation of the iliotibial band. According to the Cleveland Clinic, Iliotibial band syndrome accounts for about 12% of running injuries.
  • Lateral meniscus tears or ligament injuries might also cause pain in the outer part of the knee.
  • Conditions such as lateral collateral ligament (LCL) sprain or tendonitis can also contribute to this pain.

Recommended actions and preventative Measures:

  • Rest and avoid activities that exacerbate the pain.
  • Apply ice to reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Perform gentle stretching and strengthening exercises for the iliotibial band, hip abductors, and quadriceps.
  • Use a foam roller to massage the iliotibial band to alleviate tightness.
  • Ensure proper squatting technique, keeping knees aligned with the toes to prevent further injury.
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