Knee Pain When Squatting: Causes and Prevention

Squatting is a position that you may find yourself in during the day or while exercising. To pick up toys or lift a box in your home, you may need to squat. Squats can also be done during workouts or while participating in sports such as basketball. In any case, you may experience pain in this position from time to time. Depending on the cause, discomfort may occur under your kneecap or in other parts of the joint. Continue reading to find out how to treat and prevent knee pain while squatting, as well as when you should see a doctor.

Causes Of Knee Pain When Squatting

The knee joint is a simple hinge, but the movement of the knee is more complicated than this. During movement, the knee can flex-extend via rolling and gliding movements of the bones and a slight rotation to the outside. It is one of the most prominent bones in the human body and is more complicated than you think! This joint is a subpart of the femur bone (thigh) and the tibia bone (shin), but it also includes the patella bone (knee cap) that runs across the front of the knee. Many muscles, tendons, and ligaments hold these bones together. Smooth, shock-absorbing cartilage, including the meniscus, covers the articulating surfaces.

Knee pain from squatting can sometimes be caused by poor posture or by the shape of your knees. If you’re having knee pain while doing squats, you don’t have to give up this popular exercise forever. Here are some smart modifications to traditional squats that experts recommend, as well as different tools or equipment that you can use to achieve some of the similar results.

Knee Pain When Squatting

Squats For Better Mobility

Many people squat on a regular basis, either as part of their workout routine or as part of their daily tasks. Squatting properly should not result in knee pain. People who squat incorrectly and those who have a knee injury or an existing knee condition may experience knee pain. Let’s learn about the causes of knee pain from exercising in this article.

Knee Pain When Squatting

Improve your ankle mobility:- Ankle mobility has a significant impact on squatting mechanics. If you lack in this area, the deeper you squat, the more trouble you will have. Your knees will cave in, and your heels will lift off the ground as a result. Both of these movement patterns put a strain on the knees and are linked to knee pain when squatting. Furthermore, these movement dysfunctions, along with ankle stiffness, play a role in several of the most common knee pain conditions.

Adjust your activities:- Take note of how you move throughout the day. While you’re in pain, you may need to alter your exercise or daily routine for a while. Consider limiting or temporarily discontinuing activities that are causing you pain. If you don’t want to stop all physical activity, consider switching to cross-training that is easier on your joints.

Some low-impact alternatives that you can include in your typical day to day routine other than heavy squats:

  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Jogging Or water exercises
  • Cycling

How to Avoid Knee Pain When Squatting

Many of these structural or movement conditions, as previously stated, are caused by developed muscle imbalances, postural changes, or a lack of joint movement. Hands-on therapy to relieve pain and help alleviate tightness where appropriate is the best knee pain when squatting treatment. It will also include knee pain exercises that will progress to strengthen weaker muscles and create optimal muscle synchronization and movement patterns in order to achieve the perfect combination of rolling, sliding, and twisting that the knee performs every time you bend it!

Knee Pain When Squatting

Physiotherapy Can Be Beneficial

Squatting knee pain can be significantly reduced or eliminated with proper knee physiotherapy. The ideal session will include a thorough assessment to identify deficits and the source of the knee pain. This will lead to a hands-on treatment to reduce pain and loosen tight structures and then to the prescription of some appropriate knee pain exercises. Each and every patient gets their specific activities based on the severeness of injury.

Use a Limited Range of Motion

Reducing the range of motion during the squat is a simple modification that will relieve strain on the knees. Instead of squatting all the way down, shortening the arc to about 30 to 45 degrees significantly reduces knee pressure.

Knee Pain When Squatting

Have a Proper Warm Up Session For Knee pain While Squating

 A dynamic warm up before squatting can help to:

  1. Increase flow of blood to the lower body muscles.
  2. Increase range of motion in the hips, ankles, and knees.
  3. Mentally and neurologically prepare a lifter for a squat-specific session to improve overall squat movement integrity and performance.
  4. Some of the best ways to warm up are:- 
  • Foam Roll x5 minutes
  • Squat Sit x1 minute
  • Groiners x20 (10 reps per leg)
  • Squat Sit to Reach x20
  • Duck Walk x20-40 steps (body weight or with weight overhead or in front)
  • Quadruped Hydrants x10 reps per leg, per direction
  • Cossack Squats x20 (10 reps per leg)
  • Thoracic Flexion and Extension in Squat Sit x10 

Recovery and Pain Assistance

People typically use the R.I.C.E method to relieve knee pain. The R.I.C.E process entails:

Rest: Rest the knee, and don’t put too much weight on it.

Ice: Apply some ice packs wrapped in a towel to the knee for 20 minutes at a time.

Compression: To help prevent swelling, wrap an elastic wrap or bandage around the knee.

Elevation: If possible, try to elevate the leg to the higher the knee than the heart.

Pain and swelling can be reduced gradually with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen.