Whether you are tying your shoe or doing a lunge at the gym, every day activities can trigger this pain. There are three possible reasons why it hurts when you kneel. There could be a problem in the kneecap, in the center of the knee, or in the back of the knee. Depending on which region hurts, it signifies a different situation.
If the pain is in the kneecap, or patella, then it is most likely because a tension pattern has arisen to protect the knee from potential injury. This tension is creating pressure on the nerves in your kneecap sending a pain message to your brain, even though there is nothing mechanically wrong.
The first step in stopping this patella pain is to relax the tension and take your knee to a place of comfort. There are different positions and stretches that you can perform to relax and calm the nerves in the kneecap so you create space in the joint and relieve the pain when kneeling.
If the pain seems to be more centrally located or in back of the knee, this could be some sort of rotational issue or maybe there’s something amiss with the alignment of the upper and lower legs. Both of these issues will create pressure on the meniscus, which squeezes the nerves and results in pain.
If you have had kneeling pain for a long period of time, however, it would be a good idea to go to a doctor and have the knee evaluated. If you get an X-ray, CT scan or MRI and nothing is broken or torn, then you can easily resolve this chronic condition using relaxation stretches like the ones I demonstrate in the Comfort Zone stretches video series. This method uses 11 different pain-free stretches to get your knee in comfortable positions so the nerves relax. A relaxed knee resets the nerves so the knee can heal the pain.