Don’t Let Stiff Knees Stifle You: How to Treat Knee Stiffness

November 15, 2022

Don’t Let Stiff Knees Stifle You: How to Treat Knee Stiffness

Do your knees constantly ache? Does it make it difficult for you to walk, climb the stairs, do chores around the house, or do the Chicken Dance with your grandkids? 

If you said ‘yes’ to that, then you could be experiencing the symptoms of a stiff knee – either that, or you’re just a terrible dancer!

While we can’t give you free dance lessons here at, we can, however, give you information on how to relieve your knee pain. 

We know how important your knees are, so we’ve written this article to help you understand the different treatments that you can do for your stiff knee. 

But to better understand how to treat a stiff knee, you first have to know what causes a stiff knee. It wouldn’t make sense for you to treat something when you didn’t know what was going on, right? 

So without further ado, let’s dive in and learn how to bust that stiffness!

What causes a stiff knee?


Have you ever experienced pain in your knees after getting up from sitting down for so long? 

Yup, that’s the pain from knee stiffness and it happens to the best of them! 

The term stiff knee is a broad term so there are many causes to it, and since we use our knees for almost everything that we do, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact cause. 

The stiffness you feel is the result of inflammation and fluid build-up in the knee, causing swelling and decreasing the knee’s range of motion.

Some of the conditions that can cause it are arthritis, bursitis, and joint and patellar injuries. Having weak knee muscles as well as having recent surgery can also cause stiffness.  

We know this might be a lot to take in, so we’re gonna talk about each of the conditions separately. 

Some of the conditions that can cause inflammation and knee stiffness are:

Bursitis. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that’s located around the knee joint. It’s responsible for providing a cushion for the bones so that they don’t rub against each other. They’re like miniature bean bags inside your knees that help lessen the wear and tear in the joint.

Overusing the knee joint can cause bursitis and this can happen from doing repetitive activities like walking, jumping, and climbing stairs. If you develop this condition, it can also cause your knees to feel stiff after sitting down for a long time.

Arthritis. The ends of our bones are covered by cartilage, a structure that acts as a shock absorber and helps the joints move smoothly. They also protect the bones from rubbing against each other. 

When the cartilage wears out and becomes too thin, the hard ends of the bone end up rubbing against each other, causing pain and bone deformities. This condition is called osteoarthritis and can cause knee stiffness, especially in the morning. 

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and another form of arthritis. Body and joint pain accompany this disease, as well as fever and other systemic symptoms. 

Traumatic injuries. Injuries can happen to anyone. Your knee can get injured by accidentally twisting it the wrong way, causing swelling and inflammation that leads to knee stiffness. Knee injuries can also happen from falling, playing sports, or playing with your kids or grandchildren!

Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Patellofemoral syndrome causes pain in front of the knee and around the patella, or the kneecap. This can occur from overuse or poor alignment of the kneecap. 

This condition is also called runner’s knee or jumper’s knee because it commonly happens to people who play sports. On another note, it commonly happens to women more than men, too. 

Yikes! Take it easy on the knees, ladies!

Are you starting to see a pattern here? 

Many of the injuries in the knee are caused by overuse. Later in the article, you’ll see that resting your knee is one of the best treatments for a stiff knee. 



Low flexibility or strength. Maintaining flexibility and strength in the knees will help prevent knee stiffness. Having tight or weak muscles can make it difficult for you to move your knees.

A tight muscle means that it’s not able to stretch, making it difficult for you to bend or straighten your knee. This can often be painful, and stiffness can happen from sitting down for too long. 

Weak muscles also have the same effect, where it makes it difficult for you to bend or straighten your knee because the muscles aren’t able to carry the leg. 

So in order to prevent knee stiffness from happening, make sure to do some gentle stretching along with strength training. More on this, later! 

Surgery. Nobody likes going through any kind of surgery – whether major or minor. There are too many complications that can happen while recovering, and besides, lying on a bed all day can get boring! 

Scar tissues can form in the knee during prolonged bed rest due to the body’s natural response to surgery or trauma. This condition is called arthrofibrosis, and it can make your knee feel stiff and tight.

Now that we’ve uncovered what can cause a stiff knee, it’s time for us to learn about how to treat them! 

After all, that’s why you clicked on this article, right?

How to treat a stiff knee? 

Treatment for a stiff knee will depend on what’s causing your injury. If you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, your treatment can be long-term and will require a follow-up with your healthcare provider. 

Whether your knee stiffness was caused by an injury or a chronic illness, there are several ways you can treat them. 

PRICE. The ever-so-reliable PRICE method is back. You can’t beat protecting, resting, icing, compressing, and elevating your injury. There’s just no way! This is widely used for acute, or new injuries, but they’re helpful for all stages of injuries. 

Protect the injury by minimizing any movement. Rest the injury to get the most out of the healing process. Ice the injury to reduce swelling and inflammation. Compress the injury to further reduce swelling. Lastly, elevate the injury to improve recirculation of excess fluid. 

Need we say more? 

Our ice wraps are the cream of the crop when it comes to relieving pain in the knees. We recommend our 12X21 Oversize Cold Therapy Clay Pack With Cover in order to get the most out of your cold therapy! You can also use these packs for your lower back and shoulders. What a steal! 

You can also check out our Amazon store below to get yours.


Ice packs should be applied for 10-15 minutes, at least 2-3 times a day to get the best results. 

Stretching. Remember how we mentioned that tight muscles can cause stiffness? Well, there’s only one thing you can do for that: stretching. 

When you stretch, you break those tiny adhesions that make your knees feel tight. You might not feel like a contortionist right after a stretching program, but you’ll notice your knee starting to feel like a million bucks!  

Watch this video to learn about the stretches that you can do for your knee. You’ll also be able to do this at home, which is a plus.



Strengthening. Our muscles also need to get stronger to bust that pesky knee stiffness! There are many exercises you can do to strengthen your knee such as wall squats and straight leg raises. 

Watch this video to find out more about how you can strengthen your knees from the comfort of your own home. 



Taking medications. Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirins can help you cope with the pain from the stiffness. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any new medications!

Incorporate short walks into your work routine. Let’s be honest, work is a good thing, but work can also be a huge source of stress – mentally and physically. As you’re sitting there reading this, you’re probably reminiscing about your first day on the job when you were 20-30lbs lighter and your joints didn’t creak every second. 

It happens to the best of us, you know?

Now is always the time to get healthy. Integrating a walking routine into your work schedule will help break the tightness in your knee, and help you stay fit. If possible, ask your boss if you could use a standing desk at your workstation. That will help you remember to give those legs of yours a good stretch every now and then.

Low impact cardio. Let’s face it – high-intensity cardio isn’t for everyone. Even then, you can always take a yoga or a simple dance class to help you stay active. 

Yoga is a good option because all you’d need is a space in your home, a mat, and any device where you can play a YouTube yoga video. Just follow what the teacher does on the screen, and tada! – you’re all done. 

Take a look at Exhibit A right here: 



That’s all the treatments we got for you! These are the best options available to treat your knee pain so hopefully, you find the one that works best for you. 

Break the stiffness

Your knees are important to function properly everyday and a stiffed knee can contribute to making it hard for you to do activities such as walking or climbing the stairs. If you don’t treat them, then you might as well start dressing like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz because you’ll surely begin to walk like him.

Remember to give your knees the rest it deserves because one of the worst things you can do is to overwork them. If you’re looking for a long term solution to your knee pain, stretching and strengthening exercises are the way to go.  

We hope you feel more equipped to treat a stiff knee after reading this article. As always, you should consult with your medical provider in order to get a better understanding of your knee pain. 

If you need help with treatment, is here to provide you with the best products for pain relief. 

With IceWraps, pain relief is just a click away!

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