Knee pain is one of the most common pain that we provide treatment for in our clinics. We explain some of the causes & ways to reduce the pain

Get knee pain treatment in Sydney from a physio

We provide physiotherapy treatment for knee pain in our Sydney clinics along with shoulder, neck, and back pain, all of which are the most common physiotherapy complaints that we hear from our patients. In reality, knee pain is a very common thing for people to experience throughout their lifetime, and an experienced physiotherapist can provide a range of physical treatment solutions to help alleviate the pain as well as advise you about how to prevent it happening again in the future.

Generally speaking, knee pain is caused by something active such as sports, a twist or movement that is unusual, physical issues that are associated with aging or a misalignment of the foot, ankle, knee and hip. Many of our patients will tell us they feel pain behind the knee, they are unable to bend their knee freely without feeling pain, or they believe that their arthritis is the cause of their sore knees. It is estimated that around 19% of the Australian population suffers from knee pain, which makes it an exceptionally common condition.

The incidence increases steadily with age. Furthermore, the severity of the pain increases with age and a greater percentage have pain associated with disability. The first thing our experienced physiotherapists will do is explore your medical history to better understand what the underlying cause of your pain may be – sometimes this isn’t immediately obvious.

What are the most common causes of knee pain?

If we put all of the patients that visited our physiotherapy clinics in Sydney with knee pain problems into groups they’d fall into four general types. Then within those groups there are more specific issues that are causing the pain they are suffering in their knees

Direct trauma

This can be from a sporting injury such as a rugby tackle or blow to the knee of some sort. This sort of injury can stress the ligaments, tendons and or meniscus of the knee. 

Indirect trauma

Generally this is a twisting, hyper-extension, hyper-flexion or pivoting motion. Again, this mechanism of injury can damage the stability structures of the knee such as ligaments, tendons and or meniscus of the knee. 

Mal-alignment of the knee

Poor alignment through the foot/ankle and or the hip creates uneven pressure on the knee. This can cause knee mal-tracking and if not resolved can cause overuse type injuries such as patella tendenopathy and patella femoral pain. 

Degenerative issues: 

Arthritis and degenerative knee pain can impact the space between the knee and cause pain. 

Can you experience knee pain without sustaining an injury?

Knee pain can be caused without major trauma or mechanism of sustaining an injury. This is caused by the structures above and below the knee. As the knee is a hinge joint, it is a bi-product of the hip and ankle. Issues with either or both of these joints / muscles will cause pain in the knee.  So the most common examples where you can feel knee pain without having sustained an obvious injury are under the knee, back of the knee, knee cap, inside the knee.

How long does knee pain last?

There is no specific time period for knee pain to last & of course the severity of that pain will also depend on the initial cause. Sometimes it could be a slight twist that lasts a day or so. In more extreme cases knee pain can take  between 8-10 weeks to reduce the symptoms and treat the cause of the actual pain, especially if it is a significant injury that has damaged ligaments or tendons.

If you get knee pain once, will it come back again? 

Well yes & no. Typically once the pain has gone and the advised rehab program is followed the pain most likely won’t return again. Although this will depend on how closely the rehab program provided by a physiotherapist is followed & if further injury isn’t sustained.

How can you relieve knee pain at night time?

There are two main ways you can relieve knee pain at night time to help you sleep better. Our physio’s in Sydney will advise to either;

  1. Use ice or heat before you go to bed
  2. Put a pillow under your knees so that you can sleep on your back

Is ice or heat better for knee pain?

Whether you use ice or heat to relieve knee pain will really depend on the type of injury that has been sustained that is causing the actual pain

  • Ice
    • Ice is best used for initial treatment of a muscle or ligament injury to help reduce the swelling and pain  
    • Ice should not be used for knee osteoarthritis as it is not effective in improving pain, function, or quality of life in people with this condition 
  • Heat
    • Not to be used on a muscle or ligament tear as it may increase the swelling at the site of injury 
    • Heat is best for knee Osteoarthritis as it is proven to help alleviate muscle tension and soreness and improves blood flow to the area

What is the best exercise for knee pain? 

Our physiotherapists will often recommend these exercises for knee pain, broadly speaking any exercise is good to help the body recover

  • Strength training
  • Cardiovascular training such as swimming and cycling that are low impact
  • Strengthening of the muscles around the knee will help to offload the pressure on the knee joint
  • Stretching and rolling out tight muscles may also help to reduce risk of future injuries

Examples of how we have treated knee pain patients


“These guys have helped me so much with my ACL rehab! Couldn’t recommend them more.”
Hannah Morson


In March last year, Hannah injured her knee when playing football and was forced to seek medical treatment. In September of last year, Hannah underwent surgery as a result of the injury. After seeing a physiotherapist in Coffs Harbour at the beginning of the year, she moved to Sydney at the start of the year to attend university. The physiotherapy she has been doing with us has continued, and she has been progressing since February in her rehabilitation. Over the last few months we have been working with her to get her back into the gym and strengthen her up to return to football in the coming months. 




“Switch Physio is a great local business. Matt has been treating me on my knee and hip and I’ve seen some great progress!”
Tim Chan


Tim has been seeing me for about 3 months. He initially came to us due to some chronic anterior knee pain which was affecting him running and cycling. He also had some associated hip pain and tightness, which was a contributing factor to his knee pain. He was struggling to run 3kms at the time of first seeing me, but is now running 5kms without pain, and is cycling to/from work every day w/o issue. 




“Matt at Switch Physio has helped me on two occasions both times getting me back to normal life. Matt is always helpful, professional and fantastic at what he does, I would highly recommend Matt for all your physio needs.”
Joanna Lahoud


Joanna has seen me previously for a right knee issue, being referred from a local gym. She was having issues w/ stairs, and with any squatting movement. We worked through a strengthening program, which allowed her to get back into the gym without any pain, allowing her to hit her goals. Recently, she has been super busy with looking after her kids, so hasn’t been to the gym in a while, but had started to notice some (R) elbow pain when completing her work baking cakes. I’ve treated her for about 4 weeks now, and her elbow pain has markedly decreased. She isn’t feeling too much pain when baking, and is now able to look after her family unhindered. She still has a little way to go, but is more than happy with the progress thus far. 



Founder of Switch Physiotherapy. We have physio clinics located in Penshurst, Concord, Maroubra and Lane Cove that focus on getting people out of pain and moving again.

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