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What Causes Sudden Knee Pain without Injury?

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What Causes Sudden Knee Pain without Injury?

Knee pain affects at least 25% of US adults, a figure that has increased by almost 65% in the last 20 years. Knee pain can occur for a variety of different reasons, but the kind many people find most elusive to treat is knee pain as an indicator of an entirely different internal problem. 

Fun Knee Facts!

  • For every 1 lb of weight you lose, 4 lbs of pressure gets released from the knee joints. 
  • Insomnia can make knee pain worse. Between 50-90% of people that have knee pain also have insomnia or sleep problems. Why? Because REM sleep acts as a reset for the parasympathetic nervous system. If you don’t go into REM, your body cannot fully relax the joints while sleeping. Relaxation of the joints is key to keeping them lubricated and working properly.
  • 80% of your knee joint cartilage is water. 75% of people in the US are chronically dehydrated. Drink water as often as you an to keep your body hydrated to avoid different kinds of pain.

Knee pain means there is something wrong with the knees, right? 

Not necessarily! 

Your knee pain may be your kidneys talking to you. Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that everything that happens on the outside of the body reflects an imbalance withing the body. In Chinese Medicine, the knees and kidneys are very connected, and they both impact each other.

Your knees can affect your kidneys just as your kidneys can affect your knees. If you have a job that uses a lot of movement particularly on the knees area, there is a chance of having renal issues. People who are in high stress situation can develop stress in the kidney and that can show up as pain in the knees.


  1. Drink plenty of filtered distilled water.
  2. Eat foods like leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, berries, and kidney beans.
  3. Avoid excess sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.
  4. Increase the flexibility of your thought process. When you are stressed or in fear-response mode, this impacts the kidneys too because kidneys are the organ that holds fear.
  5. Fear cannot exist where gratitude lives. Start each day with gratitude.

In Louise Hay’s book, Heal Your Body, she talks about how the knees represent stubborn pride and ego, an inability to bend, fear, inflexibility, and an unwillingness to let go.

Chronic pain and emotions are so intertwined. Here are some examples of emotional reflections in the knee:

  • Swelling of the knee can indicate a holding of emotional energy. 
  • Inflammation of the knee can indicate something or someone triggers feelings of anger or irritation. 
  • A dislocated knee can indicate a resistance to giving way.
  • Right side of the body indicates on the future, outward perception, and masculinity.
  • Left side of the body indicates on the past, inward perceptions, and femininity.


If you suspect an emotional component could be contributing to your knee pain, here is a simple exercise you can do yourself to identify the emotional root of the problem.

Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:

  • “If my knees are giving me a message, what would that message be?”

If you ask yourself that and think, well, I don’t know. Then ask yourself this question:

  • “If I did know, what would the message be?” 

You might be surprised at what pops into your head! That surprising thought is usually the correct answer.

If you address the root issue, the body will take care of itself. It is designed to do just that. All we must do is tune into it and pay attention to it. Expand your awareness of it and you will better understand how to take care of it. And remember that your body is beautifully interconnected, so when something feels different from your day to day, it’s a perfect opportunity to understand something new about how your body wants to heal and thrive! 

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