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Knee symptoms include different types of pain including sharp, shooting, burning, throbbing or stabbing pains. These symptoms can be constant or intermittent (i.e. come and go).

Pain in the knee can also refer from your back or hip joints and, if so, you may also be getting pins and needles, tingling, weakness, numbness, other strange sensations or pain in one or both of your legs and feet.

When pain comes on slowly, most common problems that cause pain at the front of the knee are patello-femoral pain, patella tendinopathy (previously called tendinitis) or fat pat irritation.

If the pain comes on slowly and is at the side of the knee then it could be ITB friction syndrome.

Pain is down the front of the shins it could be what is commonly called shin splints.

If you fell, had an accident or the pain came on suddenly, then you may have torn a ligament, cartilage or other structure like a meniscus or even suffered a fracture. In that case you need to get the knee assessed by a Physiotherapist, Doctor or Osteopath as soon as possible! Even if you have not had a traumatic injury it is essential that you get pain and other symptoms assessed by a Physiotherapist or Osteopath, so that you do not do further damage.

Clicking, crunching or noisy knees can be caused by a number of things. Please click here to learn more about clicking knees.

How the Knee Works

The knee is a modified hinge joint made up of two parts. The patellofemoral joint which is where the knee cap (patella) sits in a groove in the thigh bone (femur), and the tibio-femoral joint which is where the femur is joined to the lower leg (tibia) by a number of ligaments and soft tissues. In an accident these ligaments and soft tissues are often torn. The quadriceps are the group of muscles that straighten the knee and control knee bend. The hamstrings are the group that bend the knee. An imbalance between or within these muscle groups often causes the knee to work inefficiently, resulting in excessive or incorrect movements and ultimately pain and damage to the internal and external structures.

However, the vast majority of non-traumatic knee injuries are caused by weakness, tightness or poor co-ordination of the muscles and joints of the ankle, foot, hip and lower back. A good Physiotherapist or Osteopath will therefore never treat a knee injury without addressing the alignment of the whole leg and back, as well as analysing the movements of the whole body, for example by doing a running assessment.

Please scroll down for advice on knee injuries and pain including your knee symptoms, patello-femoral pain, patella tendinopathy, shin splints, ITB friction syndrome and clicking knees.

Please note that although the advice and exercises provided are designed to assist your recovery they are not a replacement for seeing a Physiotherapist or Osteopath! It is essential that you ALWAYS make sure you see your Osteopath, Doctor or Physiotherapist to diagnose your injury and guide you through recovery.

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    Common Injuries

  • Shin Splints

    'Shin splints' is an umbrella term for a number of conditions causing pain down the front of your shin, which is usually aggravated by exercise and tender to touch: compartment syndrome, stress fractures, tibial stress syndrome and periostitis. It is commonly associated with a change in running technique, footwear, sudden...

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  • Facet Joint Problems

    Facet joint pain is normally localized: centrally over your spine or to one side. It may feel like a "catching pain" during certain movements like bending backwards, or turning. It is associated with poor posture, repetitive strain (e.g. horse riding) or injury (e.g. snowboarding falls)The common factors that contribute to...

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  • Patello-Femoral Joint Pain (knee cap pain)

    Patello-femoral pain syndrome is sometimes referred to as Anterior knee Pain. Anterior is the medical word for the front of, which is why the term anterior knee pain in itself is not a diagnosis. It is in fact an umbrella term that covers a number of diagnoses, one of which...

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  • Clicking Knees

    Most people fear that the clicking is caused by bone hitting bone. However, thankfully nowadays this is rare. If you have clicking in the knees, it is likely that for many years you have been suffering severe pain and weight bearing has been very restricted. If this is you, please...

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  • Disc Problems

    Disc injuries cover a whole spectrum of problems including disc degeneration, disc prolapse and a disc bulge, all in varying levels of severity. Minor injuries will feel like a localized ache over the spine; more severe injuries cause intense pain and immobility, with pain, pins and needles, numbness and/or weakness...

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  • Knee Fat Pad Irritation

    The knee fat pad sits just behind and to the sides of the patella (knee cap) tendon, below the patella. The fat pad can be tender to touch and can be enlarged, puffy or inflamed.It can be irritated by sudden or uncontrolled extension, i.e. straightening of the knee and if...

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  • Stretching

      A note on static stretching v dynamic stretching I bet you can't remember the last time you saw elite athletes doing a static stretches pitch-, track- or court side pre-performance. That is because research now shows that static stretching is not advisable before exercise. This is because it slows...

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  • Correct your neck posture

    Please read how the neck works before reading the following. The effect of gravity on the head is that it moves down and forwards, away from the body. As a result of the head being lowered it then has to be rotated upwards in order to look straight forwards not...

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  • Foot and ankle exercises

    There are a variety of exercises that are great for your feet and ankles including: 1) Foot self-massage exercise 2) Eccentric calf strengthening 3) Foot muscles strengthening 4) Concentric calf strength and ankle instability exercise

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  • Proprioception exercise

    Please click here to learn about lateral ligament strains before reading the following. Proprioception is the body's positional sense. In other words it is what enables your brain to know where your arms and legs are positioned without needing to look at them. If there is a significant difference in...

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