Understanding Adolescent Knee Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Adolescent Knee Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Adolescent Knee Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Adolescence is an exciting and adventurous time, but it's also the period when the body undergoes significant changes and is vulnerable to injuries and illnesses. One common issue that adolescents experience is knee pain, which can be debilitating and affect their daily activities. Whether the knee pain is due to sports injuries, overuse, or growth spurts, it's crucial to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment options to manage the pain and prevent further damage. In this blog post, we'll explore the various causes of adolescent knee pain and provide helpful tips to navigate the condition.


1. Understanding the Causes of Adolescent Knee Pain

There are several causes of knee pain in adolescents, ranging from traumatic injuries to overuse or repetitive stress injuries. Most knee pain in adolescents is related to the musculoskeletal system, including the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that comprise the knee joint. Some common causes of adolescent knee pain are:

  • Sports injuries
    Participating in sports such as basketball, football, and soccer can lead to knee injuries, such as ACL tears, meniscus tears, and patellar dislocations.
  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease
    This is a painful knee condition that affects adolescents who play sports that involve running and jumping and causes inflammation in the patella tendon.
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)
    A common knee injury in runners, PFPS occurs when the patella rubs against the femur, resulting in pain and inflammation.

2. Symptoms of Adolescent Knee Pain

The symptoms of knee pain in adolescents can vary based on the severity and cause of the condition. Some of the common symptoms of knee pain are:

  • Pain and swelling around the knee joint
  • Difficulty walking, running, or performing daily activities
  • Clicking or popping sounds in the knee joint
  • Knee instability or locking

3. Treatment Options for Adolescent Knee Pain:

The treatment approach for adolescent knee pain will depend on the severity and cause of the pain. Some of the common treatment options for knee pain are:

  • Rest and ice
    Applying ice to the affected knee and resting can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Physical therapy
    A physical therapist can help adolescents with knee pain by providing exercises and stretches that help strengthen the knee joint and reduce pain.
  • Bracing
    Using knee braces can help support the knee joint and alleviate pain and discomfort.
  • Surgery
    In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged or injured knee ligaments, tendons, or bones.

4. Prevention Tips for Adolescent Knee Pain:

Prevention is always better than cure, and preventing knee injuries in adolescents can help avoid knee pain and discomfort. Some prevention tips for adolescent knee pain are:

  • Wearing proper footwear that provides support and cushioning when performing physical activities such as running and jumping.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight to prevent undue stress on the knees.
  • Performing warm-up exercises before engaging in physical activities.
  • Maintaining proper form and technique when performing exercises and sports.


Adolescent knee pain can affect the quality of life of adolescents and can hinder their ability to engage in physical activities and sports. Understanding the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and prevention tips for knee pain can help adolescents manage their condition and prevent further damage to the knee joint. If your adolescent experiences knee pain, it's essential to consult a physician or a physical therapist to determine the best course of treatment. At B Physical Therapy in Oviedo, FL, we provide expert physiotherapy services to help you overcome knee pain and regain your mobility. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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