Knee pain during sitting is a fairly common complaint among most working individuals right now. The condition, in general, is severe, especially amidst the working class who spend more than half of their entire day sitting or driving at a stretch.
This knee pain can be associated with a lot of medical conditions making it a significant health issue.
So, if you’re suffering from knee pain when sitting and are curious about what causes it and how to prevent it, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve categorized the different causes of knee pain and analyzed the various ways you can tackle them.
Causes of Knee Pain When Sitting
When it comes to knee pain and sitting, various factors play a significant role. It depends on the duration of time you're sitting for, the sitting arrangement, the support system, and any pre-existing health condition.
For office workers who spend a lot of time sitting at a stretch and for drivers who remain seated in the same position all day, these factors are essential. The origin of knee pain can occur in this way.
Some of the crucial causes of knee pain during sitting are described below-
Sitting for a Long Time
Knee pain during sitting arises from the inactivity of the knees due to a long time. Time plays a significant role here as it depends on how long your knees have been in the same position. Ideally, 6-8 hours working while sitting at a stretch without any break or muscle relaxation can cause painful knees.
Due to inactivity for a long time, the muscles and tendons become stiff and cause discomfort to the knee. As a result, you experience excruciating pain in your knees and find it uncomfortable to work while sitting.
Sitting in the Wrong Position
Another important cause of knee pain is sitting in the wrong position. This plays an essential role in building up the knee pain gradually over time. When you’re sitting for work at a forward bent angle instead of sitting up straight, you’re giving high pressure on your spine.
The pressure on your spine ultimately compresses the sciatic nerve in your spine, making it painful along your hips and knees. So, you experience pain during sitting.
Besides, hanging your knees at an unstable angle, crossing your legs, and leaning on one side of the chair can cause knee pain by destabilizing your back support.
Apart from sitting in a wrong position or for a long time, the furniture you're sitting in can contribute to the knee pain you're experiencing.
You should make sure that the chair you’re sitting in has the correct position, height, and alignment. It should be built-in with soft support that will provide comfort during the long hours of sitting.
When the chair does not meet these requirements, you end up experiencing stiff knees and pain in the knees during sitting.
If your chair is too low, you have to bend forward and work instead of sitting up straight. This can lead to increased pressure on the back and, ultimately, knee pain.
Sitting for hours in a challenging and uncomfortable chair adds to the stress you're having during working. So, it is a major cause of aggravating your knee pain.
Underlying Health Conditions
Not only sitting for a long time, in wrong positions, and uncomfortable furniture may be responsible for the knee pain you're experiencing. You can get knee pain during sitting due to any pre-existing health conditions. Some of these conditions are-
Arthritis is a common health condition and often remains undiagnosed until you feel knee pain during sitting and confuse it with a general posture problem.
Moreover, arthritis or particularly osteoarthritis, in this case, is the condition of swollen and tender joints as a result of chronic inflammation. It causes stiffness and pain in the knees during sitting.
You can get this condition treated easily by taking physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed according to your treating physician. Upon proper treatment, this condition improves well, and knee pain gradually subsides.
This is another medical condition that results in severe pain in the knees who sit for a prolonged time. It occurs due to sports or activities related to running or jumping. Such activities put frequent stress on the knee joints and irritating the anterior knee.
Patello-femoral pain can also occur when hip and knee muscles fail to maintain the alignment of the kneecap. As a result, there is severe pain in the knees while sitting, and it becomes difficult to sit for a long time due to the pain.
This condition can be treated by rehabilitation exercises and supportive medications prescribed by the physician. With accurate diagnosis and treatment, this condition can improve, and your knee pain will alleviate.
Knee pain can be felt in a sitting position due to other health conditions like gout, kneecap injuries, ligament injuries, etc. Ruling out these causes is essential and should be appropriately excluded after a check-up with a physician.
Therefore, these are the most common and general identifying causes of knee pain felt during sitting.
Prevention of Knee Pain When Sitting
You can easily prevent knee pain, which is felt during sitting by following some necessary measures. These measures include adapting to specific sitting arrangements, following certain techniques to improve knee pain, etc.
These preventive measures are-
Maintaining Correct Sitting Posture
When it comes to working at a stretch for hours, you should keep the proper sitting posture to prevent knee pain. This posture includes sitting up straight with your back pressed to the chair. If you can sit straight to your chair without bending forward, you can maintain your posture correctly.
You can also maintain a good posture during sitting by keeping your knees elevated. This will keep your back fixed without any additional pressure on your spine.
These seating arrangements will ultimately relieve your sciatica pain and support the stability of your hips and lower back. So, your knee pain will gradually decrease.
Stretching and Walking
When it comes to sitting for long hours, it can get stressful to keep seated at the same spot. So, to relax your back muscles and spine, you can try getting up from your seat once in every 30 minutes and stretch your muscles.
You should also try taking a small walk inside your workplace premises to have a change of position from the monotonous workload. This will ultimately prevent any stiffness in your back and hips and give your legs a good movement.
So, your knee pain will get relief through standing up often, stretching, and walking as forms of exercise.
Sitting Support System
Fixing your sitting support systems in the proper order can also prevent your knee pain. This includes improving the furniture and adding extra care to your seating plans.
You can prevent your knee pain problems by changing your hard and uncomfortable or low-level chair. You can get a soft and comfortable chair, preferably a recliner chair, to give support to your back and get rid of knee pain.
The best setting for your chair is by maintaining the height of your chair at a level where your feet rest flat, and your thighs remain parallel to the floor.
Besides changing furniture, you can also add back support like a lumbar pillow to give your back comfort. The more robust and less pressured your back feels, the less pain you will feel in your knees.
Computer Desk Arrangement
If you're sitting for a long time during work, you might likely be working on a computer. In that case, arranging your computer desk can also be related to your back problems and knee pain.
A preventive measure here is by keeping the monitor directly in front of you so that your eye level matches the screen. The distance between you and your monitor screen should be only the length of an arm. In this way, your spine will be properly aligned.
Ensure that when you’re working on your computer, you do not have to type with bending forward. Keep your back straight to the chair, and you’re good to go!
In this way, you can prevent knee pain during sitting by taking proper measures against spinal and lower back unstable postures. This is because knee pain gradually develops due to constant back instability and spine pressure.
So, if you can maintain a healthy spinal posture, you can ultimately get relief from knee pain during sitting.
Bringing it to the end, it can be concluded that knee pain when sitting comes with multiple causes. Targeting the causes and identifying the basis of the pain can lead to taking appropriate measures accordingly.
So, if you’re suffering from knee pain issues during sitting, you can easily get rid of it by maintaining the necessary initiatives.
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