“There are many reasons that both of your knees could be sore for presumably no reason,” explains John-Paul H. Rue, MD, orthopedic sports medicine surgeon with Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.
Both Knees Sore? Can’t Understand Why?
“Many of these have to do with either overuse or wear and tear,” says Dr. Rue.
“It is possible to develop pain in the front of the knees after seemingly normal activities from the weekend.
“But when you add up all of those trips up and down the stairs, or the number of miles you logged back and forth to the kids’ games, the store, around the neighborhood, it can add up.
“Patellofemoral pain syndrome, or chondromalacia patella, is a common cause of pain in the front of the knee.
“It’s most commonly an overuse issue, and rest, NSAIDS and ice will typically calm things down.
“Tendinitis, or inflammation of the patellar tendon or quadriceps tendon, can also cause pain in both knees.
“And of course, osteoarthritis of the knees can cause the deep, aching pain, and often presents in both knees, sometimes without an obvious reason.”
Help Prevent Knee Soreness with Exercise
Your knees don’t have to get sore simply because you have a staircase in the house and do a lot of walking on the job, shopping, activities with the kids, etc.
In fact, the human machine was designed to walk a lot more than sit, which is why perhaps you’ve been hearing a lot lately of the “sitting disease.”
Ever hear of the “walking disease”? There isn’t one. Think of all the walking, including over hilly terrain, that your ancient ancestors did.
Research that’s been piling up over recent years shows that sitting is the new smoking.
You don’t hear that walking is the new smoking.
So why, then, can both knees become chronically or intermittently sore simply from the walking you do for the activities of daily living?
• You’re out of shape or obese, or…
• You’ve been training TOO hard (e.g., excessive running)
More likely than training too hard, you probably spend a lot of time sitting, despite feeling very active with all the errands that you run.
• If you have a desk job, see if your company will let you use a treadmill desk or at least a stand-up desk.
• If you sit a lot at your home computer, get a treadmill desk, especially if one at work is not possible.
• Take up yoga. The various poses will force your knees and surrounding structures to become more resilient.
• Take up strength training: squats, the leg press, leg extension and leg curl. Some people also find that the walking lunge reduces knee pain over time.
But don’t get ahead of yourself and over-train. Overly-aggressive training or bad form can worsen knee pain.
• Lose weight if you’re heavy. Even a 10 percent weight loss will take strain off your knees.
When both knees are sore for no apparent reason, there actually is a reason.
Dr. Rue specializes in prevention and treatment of sports and exercise injuries. His primary focuses are knee, shoulder and elbow injuries including ACL and cartilage injuries, rotator cuff injuries and overuse tendonitis.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.