The knee joint is where the thigh and shin bones meet. The end of each bone is covered with cartilage, which allows the ends of the bones to move against each other almost without friction. The knee joint has two extra pieces of cartilage called menisci, which spread the load more evenly across the knee.
The knee joint is held in place by four large ligaments. These are thick, strong bands which run within or just outside the joint capsule. Together with the capsule, the ligaments prevent the bones moving in the wrong directions or dislocating.
The thigh muscles (quadriceps) also help to hold the knee joint in place.
There are many different causes of knee pain. A common cause is osteoarthritis, a condition that affects the body's joints. The surfaces within the joint are damaged so the joint doesn't move as smoothly as it should.
Your doctor will be able to tell you what has caused your pain, but the information and exercises here will be relevant for most cases.
If your knee pain is affecting your activity and is persisting, ask your GP about referral to a physiotherapist. Physiotherapy can help you to manage pain and improve your strength and flexibility. A physiotherapist can provide a variety of treatments, help you
understand your problem and get you back to your normal activities.