The Most Common Causes of Knee Pain

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Knee pain is a common affliction, affecting nearly one in four adults and leading to discomfort and limited activity. Many different conditions and injuries can cause knee pain, and it’s important to determine what is causing it to determine how to best treat it.

At Reflex Knee Specialists, we offer diagnosis and treatment services for a range of knee conditions or injuries for patients in Oregon, Washington, and Arizona. Here, we discuss the most common causes of knee pain and the non-surgical treatment options we offer at Reflex Knee Specialists.


Knee Arthritis

Knee arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the knee joint and deterioration of the cartilage in it. It is the most common cause of knee pain and causes stiffness, and reduced flexibility. There are multiple types of arthritis, but the most common type in the knee is osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative type of arthritis that is most common in adults over age 40. Characterized by chronic inflammation, it causes the cartilage in the knee to deteriorate, leading to dysfunctional movement patterns and pain. Other types of arthritis in the knee include rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

At Reflex Knee Specialists, we take a non-surgical approach to care with a variety of treatment options that help relieve knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. These include physical therapy to build muscle strength, joint fluid therapy, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments to reduce pain and inflammation. Knee bracing can also be used to help manage chronic osteoarthritis pain by improving alignment and off-loading the damaged areas inside the joint.


Torn Meniscus

The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in the knee that helps cushion the area between the shinbone (tibia) and thighbone (femur). Each knee has two menisci, and they can become torn or injured during sudden movements or forceful twists, or due to slow deterioration in the presence of chronic inflammation. Some symptoms of a torn meniscus include:

  • Sharp pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Buckling
  • Locking
  • Clicking noises

Reflex Knee Specialists can treat torn menisci with non-surgical techniques such as physical therapy, PRP therapy, bracing, medications, and RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Conservative treatments are often enough to treat meniscus tears, but severe cases, characterized by being unable to bend or straighten the knee, may require surgical treatment.



Tendinitis, a condition affecting the tendons in the knees, is another common cause of knee pain especially in athletes or occupations that require a lot of squatting or lifting. Tendons are responsible for attaching the muscles to the bones, and tendinitis occurs when they become inflamed and painful. It generally results from overuse of the knee with repetitive movements. Depending on how severe the tendinitis is, the symptoms can range from mild pain to extreme pain that interferes with daily activities.

Tendinitis may resolve without medical treatment, but moderate to severe cases may need medical treatment. The medical providers at Reflex Knee Specialists provide non-surgical treatments for tendinitis, including physical therapy to build up muscles around the knee and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment to reduce inflammation and accelerate recovery of the damaged tendon tissue. Our medical team may also recommend rest, stretching exercises, lifestyle changes, or wearing a patellar tendon strap.


Knee Injuries

Knee pain is often due to knee injuries, which include any trauma that affects the knee joint or surrounding tissues. There are many types of knee injuries, and they can occur in many ways, such as during sports, work, car accidents, etc. Knee injury pain can be temporary or chronic and range from mild to severe, depending on the type and location of the injury. Some typical knee injuries that cause knee pain are:

  • Torn ligaments like the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL)
  • Torn or damaged tendons
  • Acute Ligament strain
  • Acute or Stress Fracture
  • Acute meniscus tear
  • Dislocated kneecap (patella)
  • Knee Sprain

Symptoms can include pain, tenderness, and swelling around the knee, as well as stiffness, limping, and loss of range of motion. Most minor and moderate knee injuries can be treated with non-surgical methods, which is our focus at Reflex Knee Specialists. Our medical team uses treatments like those mentioned above (physical therapy, bracing, and PRP), as well as more innovative options like joint fluid therapy and ozone joint therapy to reduce inflammation and pain levels in patients. Occasionally, severe knee injuries will need surgical treatment, after conservative treatments have been tried and failed.


Book a Knee Pain Consultation Today

Knee pain is a common affliction, but our way of treating it at Reflex Knee Specialists isn’t. Our skilled medical providers take an integrative, non-surgical approach to diagnosing and treating knee pain and its causes. Reflex Knee Specialists has offices in Portland, OR, Bellevue, WA, and Tempe, AZ, where patients can access comprehensive treatments for knee pain, without surgery. To learn more about how Reflex Knee Specialists can help treat your knee pain, book an appointment with our knee specialists today. Call 503-719-6783 or contact us at Reflex Knee Specialists.

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