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What is knee pain?

The knee joint is a complex joint, consisting of many different parts, which together ensure shock absorption, good mobility and biomechanics and stability. Therefore, there are many structures that can potentially cause knee pain. 

Keep in mind, however, that the body works as a whole and the causes of knee pain can therefore originate from other places in the body.

Read more about some of the most common diagnoses:

Running knees & Jumping knees

Running knee is the term for tendon irritation on the outside of the knee. Our hip flexors (Tensor Fascia Latae) and gluteal muscle (Gluteus maximus) meet on the outside of the hip in a wide tendon mirror that extends down the outside of the knee and attaches to the tibia. If one or both of these muscles are overloaded or overstretched, it can lead to tightness of the tendon and possibly pain.

Running knee is the term for tendon irritation of the patellar tendon (ligamentum Patella). An overstretched thigh muscle can put persistent strain on the tendon, which can cause irritation.


The symptoms are pain similar to the tendon, which is provoked by load - most often with pain triad, so that the pain is present at start-up, gets better when warming up and subsequently worse after more load.

Stiffness and pain in the morning may also occur.


If you want to get rid of the pain, it is important to find out why the respective muscles are tense up and thereby irritate the tendons. Pain relief can be done through stretching exercises and strength training.

Pain around the patella
(Patellofemoral syndrome)

The purpose of the patella is to protect tendons from friction against the femur when bending the knee, as well as to increase the growth bar arm so that the femur muscle can work more energy-efficiently.

The movement of the patella is controlled by the 4 heads of the femur muscle, where especially the inner and outer head are most important. If the patella does not slide optimally in its furrow, it may be a cause of pain.

Large compression forces during unfamiliar loads such as very heavy lifting, powerful jumps or just unfamiliar running can be the cause of pain.  


There may be diffuse pain behind and around the patella. You will typically feel pain when climbing stairs, kneeling, prolonged sitting with bent knees and in some cases there may be difficulty in stretching the knee, which feels locked.


If you have started a new sport with great compression force, you should perhaps take a short break, or start more calmly. A good idea is to train the thigh muscles and make sure that especially the inner head of the femur muscle (Vastus Medialis Obliqus) works optimally.

Seek medical attention if the pain has persisted for a long time - there can be many causes for the problem.

Personalized insoles can, in some cases, help with knee pain.


Osteoarthritis is an age-related degeneration of the cartilage surfaces that cover the femur and lower leg bones. Previous injuries such as meniscus injuries and cruciate ligament injuries can lead to earlier onset of osteoarthritis.


It is VERY important to emphasize: Osteoarthritis itself is not always the source of pain!

Several studies have shown that age-related degenerative changes such as osteoarthritis are not necessarily related to the experience of pain. Many people with osteoarthritis experience pain, but there are also many who are pain-free despite the diagnosis.

If you are interested in understanding why pain and structural disorders (such as osteoarthritis) are not always related, read more about pain


In the beginning, there is pain associated with strain, but eventually there may also be pain at rest.

There is often a tingling sensation when moving, and a feeling that something is getting pinched. Occasionally, the knee may also fail.


Many physiotherapist clinics offer a training course called GLAiD (Good Life with Osteoarthritis in Denmark). There is good evidence that the course can reduce osteoarthritis-related pain and improve the level of function in many.

At OPTIMUS - Physiotherapy & Pain Clinic, David Do is a trained GLAiD instructor and can help you get started with such a course.

However, there are other studies that have shown a good effect on pain and level of function using regular, classic strength training.

Osteoarthritis can be described as prolonged (chronic) pain that can disappear or improve through supervised exercise. As with other chronic pain, it is important to understand the pain mechanisms behind it.

Osteoarthritis itself is not always the cause of the pain - it must be found in your nervous system, where the brain is the main actor that causes the experience of pain.

Become wiser about what prolonged (chronic) pain is

Do you have pain around the knee and do you want help with a physiotherapeutic training course or treatment of pain?

Contact us today and let us help you get rid of the genes

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