Do you notice your knee getting stiff upon waking up?
A stiff knee can develop for various reasons. It is often associated with pain and swelling, and occasionally, redness, warmth, numbness.
There are a number of various causes of knee stiffness but they generally fall into two categories, those caused by an injury and those caused by a medical condition.
Knee stiffness usually develops after an injury. This tends to happen for a few reasons:
When damage occurs in the intrinsic knee tissue, there is usually an accumulation of extra fluid inside the joint. The accumulation of fluid will usually depend on the degree of severity of the injury. With a minor insult to the knee, intrinsic tissue irritation inside the joint can cause increased production of synovial fluid. Consequently, a major insult to the knee, can lead to direct bleeding into the joint, known as a haemarthrosis which can result in considerable swelling.
Therefore, any extra fluid in the joint can result in a stiff knee as it decreases movement by occupying space in the joint.
Sometimes swelling is not visible – there can be a considerable amount of excess fluid in the joint before there are any outward signs. So it is acceptable to present with a stiff knee without any other symptoms.
Talk to your physical therapist about any knee stiffness or injuries you have experienced. Knee stiffness and pain generally responds well to physical therapy treatment.