Symptoms and Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain may affect only one or both knees. It can be an ongoing (chronic) problem or a temporary one. Temporary knee pain often has simple, relatively benign causes such as injury or overuse. Chronic knee pain, however, may be caused by serious underlying medical conditions.

You may experience pain ranging from a persistent dull ache to a burning or piercing pain in your knees. Swelling, loss of flexibility, and loss of one’s full range of motion often accompany knee pain. This article explores common knee pain symptoms and their causes.


Swelling and stiffness

Injuries or chronic diseases that cause knee pain often result in inflammation in the knee joints. This inflammation may cause externally observable swelling around your affected knee [1]. Depending on the cause of your knee pain, the swelling may be hard or soft. Soft swellings are often fluid-filled. Hard swellings may be due to bone outgrowths characteristic of chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis.

You may also experience stiffness at the knee joints. This stiffness is often caused by inflammation of the tissues or muscles surrounding the knee. Stiffness is generally worse after long periods of rest and may reduce as you use your knee.