Conditions & Symptoms


RSS feed

Syndicate content

I have a severe pain just below my knee when my leg is straight.

Question: I have a severe pain just below my knee when my leg is straight.

All of a sudden, I cannot extend my right leg to a straight position without severe pain just below my knee cap. Bent leg is fine. I cannot really walk without hobbling. I did nothing that I know of to cause this injury, although I did sleep with a pillow between my knees (to see if it would help my morning back ache) for the first time the night before this started (2 nights ago).

Several years ago, I had started a regemented walking program to prepare for hiking in the high Sierras. After about a week of walking up and down hills, this same leg swelled from above the knee to the ankle. The swelling was severe, like elephantitis, but no real pain. I was examined, X-Rayed and the doctors also used Ultrasound. Nothing was ever determined and rest was prescribed. The swelling went away.

This particular knee gets tweaked periodically just getting in and out of LOW cars. When that happens, there will be burning on the inside of the leg to the left of the kneecap as well as above the knee cap; this is not the case now but may be relevant. There also can be a clicking sound when sitting.

The current situation has never happened before but is quite debilitating. I would appreciate any and all opinions so I have a bit of knowlegde under my belt BEFORE I go to the doctor again. I don't feel I was informed enough last time or I wouldn't have been satisfied with the lack of results.

Thank you,




I have to ask if any region of your leg is tender to touch, inparticular the medial area of the painful limb (to the left of the kneecap, and/or above the kneecap)? If so, it could possibly be a pathology within the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL). I would presume this due to your sleeping position with the pillow- sleeping with your legs in a 'bow leg' position would of created a varus force, and as you say when you step out of a car this region aches. The MCL is approximately 8- 10 cms long and runs from the femur to the tibia, and this appears to be where your pain is.

However, it could also be a pathology within the meniscus. Most common symptoms of a meniscus tear are:

Knee pain
Swelling of the knee
Tenderness when pressing on the meniscus
Popping or clicking within the knee
Limited motion of the knee joint

I would visit a Sports Therpist and be sure to inform them of your syptoms, in particular the sleeping position you adopted, the swelling following the walking programme, the limited knee extension, you are only partially weight- bearing, the clicking, and pain when getting out of low cars. They will be able to properly assess your pathology with 'special tests' to find out where the problem is. I would presume you injured the joint whilst walking, but as nothing was determined- you were unable to ever rehab the joint correctly. Until then, I would try to walk with an aid, rest and the use of ice.

Hope this helps some,
kind regards.


Hi there

I am an Australian Kinesiologist/sports therapist

Your hamstrings have tightened up. They run from the ischium, or lower part of the pelvis, to the top of the bones of the lower leg, inside, back and outside of the lower leg, just below the knee.

When these muscles malfunction they pull the lower leg closer to the knee, and backwards, creating the inability to straighten the leg. You often see this in the elderly, who walk with the legs slightly bent. This leads to meniscus problems as it misaligns the knee joint and forces the lower legbones upward, or closer into the area where the meniscus lives.
It is seldom a meniscus problem although often misdiagnosed as such. The nerve that controls the hamstrings exits at L5-S1, the lowest segment of the spine. I think you have a spinal misalignment at that level.

The muscle can be reset by massaging the PSIS's (Posterior Superior Iliac Spine), the bony protuberances at the back part of the pelvis, and massaging next to the spine at L5 level.

The hamstrings, on an energetic level, relate to the large intestine meridian. Allergies can lead to an under energy state in that meridian, and cause related muscles to go into under energy as well and tighten up.
I recommend a visit to a chiropractor, preferrably one who uses Applied Kinesiology,(A.K) as they can determine possible allergies.

Xrays are not very good at determining spinal problems unless a spinal segment has actually displaced. And the emanations are actually dangerous. A good and competent chiropractor will be able to determine and diagnose by palpating the affected area.

I only very occasional refer a patient for Xrays and the above methods are used, and have been used by me before adjustments, for the last 40 years.

Good luck

Hans de Rycke Fr.R.C.
'Bahk=ge's Retreat'
Natural and Spiritual Healing Center.


I so appreciate your response. It is possible that two things are going on here. There really is no pain but there is tenderness to the touch; this is on the inner side of the top of my tibia or straight across from the middle of my knee cap. Sometimes there is tingling above the knee cap -4" above and the whole width of my thigh-that I massage and then this tingling can extend down the left side of my knee. That is the one problem and it sounds like the meniscus issue.

The other issue, which has to do with my inability to straighten my leg without pain beneath the knee cap, seems somehow related to overextending my leg; could this have pinched something? I have felt an over-extension on occasion, even in sleep. Another responder mentioned my hamstrings, which are EXTREMELY tight, and how they can pull the bones and cause a problem.

I will defintely look for a Sports Therapist.


I will definitely go to my chiropractor and bring a print-out of all that you have said. My hamstrings are EXTREMELY tight, I have allergies and had colon cancer.

I relied to my other responder which is showing up under your response. I don't want my reply to be confused.

Thank you again for your insight.


MY HAMSTRINGS ARE THE PROBLEM AS YOU SUSPECTED. I have massaged the PSIS's and got immediate relief to the low back pain I have been experiencing at night (hence the pillow between the knees which seemed to aggravate the paid below the knee). This knee pain has subsided, I can now straighten my leg and I can walk again normally-all since massaging the PSIS's; I can't thank you enough.THe PSIS's continue to be VERY tender to the touch expecially in the middle of the night. Are the hamstrings tightening up as I sleep? This is what seems to be happening.

I also often suffer from leg cramps (hamstrings) during the night and occasionally during the day. In general, my hamstrings are so tight I am not even close to touching my toes when bending over. I have been looking up hamstring stretches and I plan to have therapeutic massage and focus on these areas and also for the quadriceps to address the clicking I have in my knee. (I saw a recent post of yours to someone with this problem. You felt that the quadriceps were not functioning optimally, and in particular the rectus femorus. You recommended massage under the ribcage.)

It appears I could do well to do stretching and strengthening exercises for both the hamstrings and the quads, yes? Would bicycling be appropriate for the strengthening? And yoga for the stretching? I also do water aerobics but have steered clear of water exercises that seem to aggravate my knee-especially when the 4 inches above my knee begins to tingle with certain "squats"-very odd sensation. All of this is undoubtedly related.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thank you so much.


Hi there

I am the Kinesiologist mentioned above.

Glad to be of assistance. As mentioned before, the quadriceps are related, energywise to the small intestine, and the hamstrings to the large intestine. You are eating or drinking (or smoking) something that you are allergic to, and it sends your intestines into under energy, and, of course, the muscles related to the intestines, hamstrings and quads. Food colouring might be the culprit. Don't do sportsdrinks. They are full of colouring and sugar, so are other soft drinks such as coke (what an appropriate name) and other flavoured poisons. You might be allergic to chlorinated water, in which case your body will reject it. Get a water filter. As long as 70 years ago allergies were recognised as causing 95% of disease. This has been largely overlooked by the medical system, but the hypothesis is still as valid as then, and has never been disproven.
In our health retreat we test for allergies and find most (75%) of our clients allergic to; (1)dairy, (2) foodcolouring, (3)MSG, and so on.
Try to avoid those poisons totally if you want to succeed in any sport.
Don't think that a little bit won't harm you! People die of pollen allergy and you can't even see the stuff. Even the smallest amount gets the same reaction from the immune system as a gallon. You don't necessarily need to "feel" anything either. Smokers are allergic to tobacco, and, after the initial reaction with the first ciggy it becomes a hidden allergy and can even make you feel better because of the adrenalin release. It gets you in the end though.
Avoid the above mentioned allergic items and you'll feel heaps better.

Yoga is fine, and stretches I highly recommend. Rotations while sitting back to front on a dining chair will stretch the rotatory muscles of the spine (Rotatores longus and brevis) and will release nerve impediments which might be there.

Good luck

Hans de Rycke Fr.R.C.
'Bahk-Ge's retreat'
Natural and Spiritual Healing Center.


Omg hans cannot thank you enough, randomly had this happen today just before ski season, was freakin out to say the least. An injury that felt serious while I sat on the couch???? After 2 minutes of massaging my back the movement returned, such a reminder of the power of stretching and releasing energy. Thank you thank you thank you, you are a lifesaver!