It is estimated that 25% of adults complain of knee pain during their lifetime and it said to increase past the age of 50. Most people have recurring knee pain that soon becomes chronic and can lead to certain levels of disability in movement. 

In order to resolve knee pain, proper diagnosis is required so as to get the necessary treatment and resolution. Diagnosis is mostly based on the location of the pain and the underlying structures. It can be on the sides or the front and back of a person’s knee. It is not indicative of one condition but it can be caused by a multitude of factors. 

Here are some common complains and the most likely diagnoses:

  • The most common diagnosis that people summarize as we have observed is osteoarthritis. To think that all who have some form of knee pain have arthritis is totally absurd. Knee pain can occur at all ages but with different causes.
  • Pain that is outside of the knee during running, that can sometimes produce a clicking sound, persists after activities, and also brings pain in the buttock area is most of the time caused by tightness of the iliotibial band. This is a band connects the hip and the knee. It can also be caused by muscle imbalances at the back and hip that result in tightness of the band.
  • Muscle sprains are also a leading cause of pain around the knee; these would occur during jumping and running activities or can occur slowly over time due to over use. The most common muscle sprains are that of the Biceps femoris muscle that would give pain on the outer side of the knee and pain in bending the knee.


  • Pain during bending and straightening of the leg that is at the inner side of the knee and front side is most likely to be strain of the quadriceps; these are four muscles at the front of your thigh that straighten out your knee from bending.


  • When one falls or trips the reflexive action is to grab or twist so as to prevent injury, this movement often occurs at the knee and ankle and is most likely to cause injury around those joints. The structures most affected are the ligaments that hold together the bones and the tendons crossing the joint. The pain tends to be at the sides of the knee depending on the injury. These could also be tears of the menisci that are the cushion between the tibia and femur bones of your knee.

As you can see knee pain has many causes, each has a different approach in treatment. Do not disregard the pain in your knee seek proper advice from your doctor and physiotherapist so as to understand and tackle the pain effectively.
Book an appointment today to have your knee pain checked.


  1. Knee  Pain  & Tenderness:  Differential  Diagnoses by  Location  by Mike  Carnes,  MS,  DC  &  Ron  LeFebvre,  DC  
  2. Manual of musculoskeletal medicine / Grant Cooper, Joseph E. Herrera. 2008

Written By:
Joy Waihenya,
Physical Therapist
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre

Pain At The Sides Of Your Knees?

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