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Why Do My Knees Hurt When I Stand Up?

Have you ever experienced knee pain when standing up from a seated position? If so, you aren’t alone. Many people, especially as they age, encounter this discomfort. Though it might be tempting to dismiss it as a normal part of getting older, it's essential to understand that knee pain when standing up can be indicative of underlying issues, such as arthritis, that require attention. 

In this blog, Dr. Dustin Hamoy, DPT, MTC, DNC, CKTP, CWCHP, highlights seven potential reasons why your knees might hurt when you stand up and what you can do about it.

7 reasons why your knees hurt when you stand up

Knee pain can be the result of either a sports-related injury or an underlying condition. Before Dr. Hamoy creates a custom treatment plan, the first step is to confirm the source of your pain. 

Seven common sources of knee pain include:


Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain, especially in older individuals. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, but this type is considered the “wear-and-tear” type. It occurs when the protective cartilage in your knee joint begins to wear down over time. 

When you stand up, the bones in your knee joint may rub against each other. The bone-on-bone friction causes pain and discomfort. Osteoarthritis can be managed with various treatments, including medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.


Tendonitis refers to inflammation or irritation of the tendons 一 strong, flexible tissue 一 in your knee. This can be caused by overuse, injury, or repetitive motions. It’s common in athletes who need to jump, so tendonitis in your knee is often referred to as jumper’s knee, or patellar tendonitis. 

When you stand up, the tendons in your knee may overstretch. Rest, ice, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications are common treatments for tendonitis.

Meniscus tears

Your meniscus is a cartilage structure in your knee that acts as a cushion and helps with stability. Meniscus injuries are often the result of sudden twisting or traumatic injuries. It’s a common sports injury, occuring in sports that require sudden stops and pivoting. 

When you stand up after you’ve torn your meniscus, it will cause a sharp pain. You might also have a hard time straightening out your knee, and it may feel as though your knee is going to give out when you stand up. In addition to physical discomfort, you may hear a popping sound during the initial injury. 

Treatment options may include physical therapy, rest, and in some cases, surgery.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS)

PFPS, also known as "runner's knee," is a common condition characterized by pain around or behind the kneecap. It can be exacerbated when you stand up after prolonged sitting. PFPS can be managed with rest, strengthening exercises, and adjustments to your daily activities.


Carrying excess weight can put a significant strain on your weight-bearing joints, including your hips, knees, and ankles. When you stand up, the extra pressure on your knees can lead to pain and discomfort. Losing weight through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise can help alleviate knee pain associated with obesity.

Muscle weakness

Weak thigh muscles, particularly the quadriceps, can contribute to knee pain when you stand up. These muscles play a vital role in stabilizing your knee joint. Strengthening exercises can help improve muscle strength and reduce knee pain.

Incorrect posture

Poor posture can also contribute to knee pain when standing up. If you tend to slouch or lean forward when sitting, it can affect the alignment of your knees. Sitting on your knees can cause pain if you sit this way frequently.

Practicing good posture and using ergonomic chairs and cushions can help reduce knee discomfort.

What to do about knee pain

Knee pain when standing up is a common issue that can be caused by a variety of factors, but just because it’s common doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. If you're experiencing persistent knee pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team here at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center

Depending on the underlying cause of your knee pain, treatment options may include medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, or in some cases, surgery. Dr. Hamoy may also recommend multiwave locked system (MLS®) laser therapy (ASA Laser). MLS laser therapy can be used to address many different causes of knee pain, including:

MLS laser therapy can also help you recover from orthopedic knee surgery as well. 

Don’t let knee pain stand in your way. To schedule an appointment, call our Glen Burnie, Maryland, office at 659-204-5737. Or, simply request an appointment online.

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