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Four potential causes of a stiff knee after sitting

April 10th, 2020
Stiff knee after sitting

Unless you’re sitting in an odd position that puts stress on the area, a stiff knee after sitting should not be a normal occurrence. If you find yourself encountering this issue on a regular basis, you should seek professional attention for diagnosis and treatment. Even if it isn’t accompanied by pain, knee stiffness can be a sign of an injury or progressive condition that could worsen over time without proper care. 

Educating yourself as a patient can be an important step in the treatment process, helping you to be more engaged in the process. That’s why we’ve created this quick and informative guide to four potential causes of a stiff knee after sitting. 

Here’s what it could mean if you have a stiff knee after sitting

Knee stiffness occurring after sitting, lying down or even standing for varying lengths of time can have a number of causes, including: 

  1. Osteoarthritis — The knees are particularly prone to this age-related condition that occurs as a result of joint inflammation caused by cartilage breakdown. Since the joints do not have the protective cushioning needed for smooth motion, stiffness can result. 
  2. Bursitis — Another key component of smooth knee movement is the bursae, which are small sacs of fluid found in most joints, including the hips, shoulders and knees. Bursitis is a term for a condition or injury that inflames these sacs, causing pain and stiffness, among other symptoms.
  3. Chondromalacia — Also known as “runner’s knee,” this issue happens when the cartilage under the kneecaps becomes damaged due to overuse. This can make your knees feel stiff and sore, especially if you’ve been sitting or lying down for a period of time. 
  4. Sprained or torn connective tissue — The knee has a wide array of tendons and ligaments that connect the muscles and join bones together. Whether due to high impacts or repetitive motions, this soft tissue can become easily damaged and is a frequent source of knee dysfunction.

If you are diagnosed with one of these or another issue as the cause of your stiff knee after sitting, it’s important to take an active role in your treatment and recovery. One of the most effective methods of care for knee issues is working with a physical therapist. 

Rehab Access can help you improve knee mobility

Using a combination of therapeutic exercises and hands-on techniques, physical therapy can help strengthen the knee and improve range of motion. At Rehab Access, our highly skilled team has extensive experience helping patients regain mobility and function in the knee so they can return to a healthy and active lifestyle. 

Give knee pain and stiffness the attention it requires. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and to schedule your initial appointment.