Knee Pain when Walking: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Your knee is constantly under stress from supporting your body weight when you are doing various activities such as walking, jogging, climbing stairs, or simply standing up. This will eventually lead to knee pain – especially as you age and continue to put strain on your knees. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation is often the go-to DIY treatment for easing minor aches and pain, but to get the relief and treatment, you will need consultation with your doctors or trusted knee pain specialists in your area to provide proper diagnosis.


The most common causes of knee pain when you are walking are knee injuries and medical conditions.

  • Knee injuries: These injuries to the knee’s structure and surrounding can cause discomfort and swelling which leads to instability and pain when walking.
  • Knee arthritis: As the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away, there will be a gradual increase in pain, swelling, joint locking, loss of joint space and a poor range of motion. People suffering from knee arthritis might find it difficult and challenging to bend and flex their knee while walking or climbing the stairs.
  • Runner’s knee: This disorder refers to any activity that repeatedly stresses the knee joint, such as – running, biking, jumping, cycling, and playing any sports that requires a lot of movement with your legs. Dull pain can be felt around the front of the knee when walking, climbing, or descending stairs.

DIY Treatments

Before consulting a knee pain expert, you may want to apply some DIY treatments to your affected area first to give some temporary relief and comfort.

  • Capsaicin Creams and Rubs: This medicated creams can be purchased over the counter at pharmacies and is well-known for its pain-relieving properties. It assists in effectively reducing chronic pain caused by conditions such as previously mentioned above – knee arthritis. Do not apply capsaicin creams and rubs to open wounds or broken skin. When applied to the affected area, it will cause a burning sensation which is normal.
  • Knee Braces and Elastic Sports Tapes: These common supports can be easily purchased at pharmacies and sports stores. The knee supports can help to reduce pain by shifting your weight off the affected portion of your knee and improve your mobility and help you walk further comfortably.

    The elastic sports tapes can help with temporary pain management of the knee during sports activities that will be strenuous for the knee. Using them to tape over the affected areas can help protect your muscles & joints while providing healthy blood circulation and increased breathability as you run or jump around.

  • Ice or Heat Packs: Heat therapy helps by stimulating your blood circulation and lifts the sensation of pain. You can either purchase heat pads used in cold countries or make your own by soaking wash cloths in hot water to simulate heat packs. Cold packs help to numb the sore area and reduce inflammation and swelling. You can use either packets of frozen vegetables or ice as cold packs.


There are many ways that you can start including in your daily routine to avoid knee pain and problems when walking. Here are some ways you can adopt to your lifestyle to keep your knees healthy and strong:

  • Find the right fit: The shoes you wear for casual walking or exercises should be flat and flexible to mould to the shape of your feet. Find shoes with a wide front that has enough space for your toes. Choose a shoe sole that can support your arches and heels.
  • Daily stretching: Start the day off comfortably with a range of stretches to loosen up and prepare your muscles for all the activities of your day. To begin, you can do simple stretches for your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and ankles to build adequate muscle power and strengthen your knee joints in the process.
  • Weight management: Maintain a healthy weight by watching your diet, while complementing your workout routine with a variety of exercises. By losing weight and managing it in the long run, your knees will not stress out to carry your body weight.

Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic is home to knee specialists and surgeons with over 20 years of experience in managing joint injuries and problems. Consult with our orthopaedic specialists to receive the right diagnosis and treatment for your condition.

Performing or applying the wrong treatment and medicine can worsen your knee pain or cause you more discomfort if you are unsure of how to go about effectively providing yourself pain relief and recovery. Hence, it is always better to consult a specialist on your knee problem to reduce the risk of worsening your injuries.

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