Busting Knee Pain Myths: Insights from a Physiotherapist.

March 25, 2024

If you’ve ever experienced that nagging ache in your knees, you’re not alone. Knee pain is incredibly common, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. But amidst the discomfort, there’s often a fog of myths and misconceptions swirling around. As a physiotherapist, I’ve seen my fair share of these misconceptions, and it’s time to set the record straight. Let’s debunk some knee pain myths together!

Myth #1: “Knee pain means there’s something seriously wrong with my knee.”

It’s understandable to worry when your knees start acting up, but knee pain doesn’t always signify a severe underlying issue. Often, it’s caused by factors like overuse, muscle weakness, or poor biomechanics. Research shows that even in cases of osteoarthritis, one of the most common causes of knee pain, symptoms can vary widely in severity, and pain doesn’t always correlate with the degree of joint damage [1]. So, don’t panic at the first twinge – consulting a physiotherapist can help pinpoint the cause and develop an effective treatment plan.

Myth #2: “Rest is the best solution for knee pain.”

While rest may provide temporary relief, it’s not always the best long-term solution for knee pain. In fact, prolonged rest can weaken the muscles supporting your knees and exacerbate the problem. According to a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, exercise-based interventions, including strength training and low-impact activities like swimming or cycling, are more effective than rest alone in reducing knee pain and improving function [2]. So, instead of becoming a couch potato, consider incorporating gentle exercises recommended by a physiotherapist into your routine.

Myth #3: “Knee pain is just a part of aging; there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Sure, knee pain becomes more prevalent as we age, but it’s not an inevitable consequence of getting older. Research suggests that lifestyle factors, such as maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, and avoiding smoking, can significantly reduce the risk of developing knee pain and related conditions [3]. Additionally, targeted exercises and physiotherapy interventions can help manage and alleviate existing knee pain, regardless of age.

Myth #4: “Running and other high-impact activities are bad for my knees.”

While it’s true that high-impact activities like running can put stress on your knees, they’re not necessarily harmful when done correctly. In fact, regular running can improve knee joint health by strengthening the surrounding muscles and promoting cartilage health [4]. The key is to listen to your body, gradually increase intensity and mileage, and ensure proper footwear and form. If you’re unsure about starting a running regimen, consulting a physiotherapist or sports medicine professional can provide guidance tailored to your needs.

Myth #5: “I don’t need to see a physiotherapist unless my knee pain is severe.”

Waiting for knee pain to become unbearable before seeking help is like waiting for a small leak to become a flood before fixing it. Physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, including knee pain, at various stages of severity. Early intervention can prevent minor issues from escalating into more significant problems and help you get back to doing the things you love faster. So, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at the first sign of knee trouble.

In conclusion, knee pain may be common, but it doesn’t have to be a source of confusion or despair. By dispelling these myths and embracing evidence-based approaches, we can take control of our knee health and live more active, fulfilling lives. Remember, knowledge is power – so arm yourself with accurate information and don’t let knee pain hold you back!

Our Barnet, Cockfosters & Enfield Physio’s have tons of experience in dealing with all types of hip and lower back pain. Have confidence that our specialist Physiotherapists will closely assess, diagnose & treat you in the correct & evidence-based way for all injuries. You can book an appointment here.

Blog By: Emre Oz (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Crouch Physio).


1. Felson, D.T., Lawrence, R.C., Dieppe, P.A., Hirsch, R., Helmick, C.G., Jordan, J.M., Kington, R.S., Lane, N.E., Nevitt, M.C., Zhang, Y. and Sowers, M., 2000. Osteoarthritis: new insights. Part 1: the disease and its risk factors. Annals of internal medicine, 133(8), pp.635-646.

2. Fransen, M., McConnell, S., Harmer, A.R., Van der Esch, M., Simic, M. and Bennell, K.L., 2015. Exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee. Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (1).

3. Losina, E., Weinstein, A. M., Reichmann, W. M., Burbine, S. A., Solomon, D. H., Daigle, M. E., … & Katz, J. N. (2011). Lifetime risk and age at diagnosis of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis in the US. Arthritis Care & Research, 63(4), 573-580.

4. Lo, G.H., Musa, S.M., Driban, J.B., Kriska, A.M., McAlindon, T.E., Souza, R.B., Petersen, N.J., Storti, K.L., Eaton, C.B., Hochberg, M.C. and Jackson, R.D., 2018. Running does not increase symptoms or structural progression in people with knee osteoarthritis: data from the osteoarthritis initiative. Clinical rheumatology, 37(9), pp.2497-2504.


Here at Crouch Physio, we offer the highest level of support to all of our clients. This includes being able to text or email any of our specialists between appointments.
We offer this high level support because we have seen that this drastically reduces expected recovery time for our clients which allows them to get back to normal activities quicker.


Here at Crouch Physio, we will make sure to educate each and every single one of our clients on their diagnosis and how to best manage when away from the clinic setting. ⁣
We do this because education has been consistently shown across literature to be one of the most important factors for a quick and efficient recovery.
So don’t just expect to come into our clinic and receive ONLY manual based treatments. Although we do offer great symptom relieving treatments, evidence shows that its effectiveness increases with good patient education.
We make sure we educate because we have seen that this drastically reduces expected recovery times for our clients which allows them to get back to normal activities quicker.


Here at Crouch Physio, we don’t do guesswork. We use the latest technology to provide us clinicians with numerical objective data which allows us to apply the correct interventions at the right time.
Objectively assessing outcome measures also gives our patients confidence that they are improving under our care, as well as allowing them to monitor their own progress.
So whether you’re an active person trying to get stronger or a sedentary individual suffering pain/stiffness, you will know that your condition is improving with our specialist assessment tools.


Here at Crouch Physio, we have access to the very best rehabilitation amenities, the same facilities used by premier league football players and other elite athletes.
Unlike most Physiotherapy clinics, our clients will split their time with their physio between the clinic room, gym area and our upstairs studio where you’ll find our VALD performance force-plates, allowing for a more in-depth assessment and individualised plans.
Upon your initial consultation with us, we will likely use the latest technology to obtain as much baseline data as we can, which allows our physiotherapists to make smarter/more informed decisions around client care.
Our world class facilities allow for us to safely and gradually phase our clients back to their baseline level of physical activity before injury.