Knee Pain

Lie of the land / how it feels / symptoms and causes

If you’re living with knees that are painful or aching it’s very easy to think that knee pain comes with age and wear and tear, or that with a bit of rest it will go away on its own.

  • Often you can’t quite put your finger on why you’re feeling pain in your knees, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
  • You limp after a day on the golf course.
  • You have a niggle half way through your running club training session.
  • Stepping up with bags of shopping is awkward, stiff or painful.
  • Kneeling to weed the garden will result in painful knees.
  • If that’s happening to you, you’re not alone, knee pain is a common problem and those suffering with it are looking for answers;
  • What has caused my knee pain?
  • Despite resting why is my knee pain getting worse?
  • It has been 6 months (or more), how long do I need to put up with this before my knee starts to feel better?

Worries, fears and concerns

If your knee pain is affecting your job, if it stops you from keeping active, or if it threatens your independence and gets in the way of spending quality time with family and friends – physiotherapy can help get you back to living the life you deserve as quickly as possible.

Here are Optimal we have partnerships with local running clubs. Their membership often present with issues with their knees and are worried they will have to stop running completely and miss out on the physical and social activity of training sessions. This is something we would try to avoid as we know how important running is to you – to find out more about how we help regular runners click here.

Myth busting, explanations and stats!

Confusion is a common symptom of knee pain as advice and recommendations are gathered from friends and family.

Many solutions are to avoid making knee pain worse rather than to recover completely from it.

Confusion leads people to procrastination and a misplaced acceptance that it is part of life.


Close up woman feeling pain in knee.

What we treat and who we don’t treat

If your knees are painful, ache or make it hard for you to climb stairs, sit for long periods or walk longer distances you could benefit from physiotherapy.

Knee stiffness, discomfort and immobility can be caused by a number of issues including osteoarthritis, an injury from a repetitive movement like running, tightness in the structures surrounding the knee from a sedentary job or lifestyle or a traumatic injury like a fall.

How we solve the problem

We are knee injury specialists at Optimal Physio and will be able to tell you where the pain is coming from and help get you back in action quicker than ever. We won’t stop there, as we will rehab you to make sure it never becomes a problem again.



There are things you can do to begin your recovery journey in a positive and proactive mindset.

Make a decision about getting help
So many people rest for weeks, hoping that the pain will just go away with time, but then 6 months down the line they’re still putting up with it, and nothing has changed… Or the pain and swelling is worse.
Avoid sitting in awkward positions.
The truth is, you and I were not designed to sit. When you sit and bend your knees, you’re putting your knees in awkward, un-natural positions. Appropriate strengthening exercises for better posture, alongside hands-on treatment will get you active and healthy as quickly as possible.


Will I have to stop running during my rehab?
No, not necessarily we actively try to avoid this unless it is absolutely necessary. In many cases we can modify your training to keep you running but this is assessed on a case by case basis. It’s also why general advice on the internet does not work. Your rehab has to be tailored to your running style, training load and lifestyle before we even consider the injury or stage of healing you are at. Check out our page for runners to learn more about how we can help you recover, prepare and train most effectively.
My knee is stiff and the Gp told me I have arthritis will I need a knee replacement?
No, many people can avoid major surgical intervention by having physiotherapy. It is the most effective and cost efficient treatment to help you get better and stay better.
I’ve had physiotherapy before and it didn’t work?
If you’ve had physio that just included massage and acupuncture or ultrasound it’s unlikely you will have lasting benefit. You should also have been given a treatment plan which typically takes between 6-8 sessions of a gradually increasing rehab plan. If this wasn’t the case or you only had 2-3 sessions and didn’t see any benefit then I am not surprised. Why not speak to one of our experienced team for a free session to see how we do things differently and get results.
Do I need an x-Ray?
An x-Ray of the knee is only really beneficial if you have had a fall or significant trauma. We will easily be able to diagnose your knee pain through various tests and using our experience.
Do you treat a lot of knee pain?
Yes we treat knee pain on daily basis, for people aged 40plus so we know how to help you and what works and what doesn’t.
If tried exercise before and it didn’t help?

Often this is because the wrong exercises have been performed for the injury or phase of healing. It’s also important that the load, frequency, intensity and recovery is at the right level. If your not sure please get in touch.



Just thought I would drop you a quick line to let you know I successfully completed the Kilmarnock Room The Toon 10k yesterday. Managed it in a reasonably respectable (for me) time too. I couldn't have done this without your guidance and support over the past couple of years and just wanted you to know I really appreciate it. Two years ago I was advised to stop running altogether so yesterday was a real milestone for me.

Chris McGrane

Resulting from a fall while carrying a small table, I damaged my foot and got what is called a dropped arch. I have a very high instep. This injury caused me much pain which seemed to be getting worse and more debilitating. Following advice from friends, I decided to make an appontment to see Steven and what a good decision that was. In the first place, Steven is a really good listener while he assesses the situation. Then he gives the problem much care and attention plus the benefit of his experience. Steven uses the latest equipment to diagnose the problem but he also has a 'hands on' approach to investigate the source of the problem. Thanks to the exercises he advised me to do, my foot is better and pain- free. Thank you Steven.

Jean McPhail

Just thought I would drop you a quick line to let you know I successfully completed the Kilmarnock Room The Toon 10k yesterday. Managed it in a reasonably respectable (for me) time too. I couldn't have done this without your guidance and support over the past couple of years and just wanted you to know I really appreciate it. Two years ago I was advised to stop running altogether so yesterday was a real milestone for me.

Chris McGrane

I cannot thank Steven enough for the expert advice, guidance and physio he provided me when an injury I had left me thinking I would never run again. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second recommending him to anyone and can honestly say I’m now pain and injury free after living with this for 2 years. Last night, within a week of being signed off by him, I ran 5km in 27:38 (a time I haven’t achieved for almost a year). I’m now a massive step closer to getting back to the times I used to run, pre injury. I could not have done this without Stevens expertise and dedication. It was an injury I did not think would ever go away due to the nature of it but thankfully and gratefully, Steven was able to prove me wrong (he knew all the time that it would!) Highly, highly recommended Steven to anyone.

Sam Fingland

First of all, I wanted to thank you for the nutrition guide you put together. I wasn't expecting it to be in such detail. I'll use this to properly re-evaluate my diet for the coming months which I'm sure will be more than helpful, so thanks again! The recent BUCS regatta ended up being probably the most successful regatta for the Strathclyde team (and me!) ever. I won a bronze medal in the lightweight quad, silver in the lightweight double and somehow got gold in the lightweight single, which has been the dream for quite a number of years now! I really can't than you enough for all the help you've given me this past year, there was certainly a few points where these kind of results felt like a bit of a hopeless area. The whole regatta was by far my best performance ever, and a big chunk of that was down to you! So thank you again, I'm going to relax a wee bit now before the next lot of racing but I'll look to come in for a check up before the start of next season.

Ben Parsonage

Thanks to Steven’s knowledge, care and attention to detail, I’m playing tennis pain-free for the first time in a year. I’d been having severe pain in my heel during and after matches. It had started to affect both my performance and day-to-day life. I attended Optimal Physio where he assessed and then analysed my gait, using his foot scanning equipment. Steven was able to pinpoint where the issues in my heel and foot lay and why the pain was occurring. I was given a personalised programme to follow to help improve strength in my heel, and Steven also developed customised orthotic insoles to give me further support in my feet. Steven’s after care has been first-class and I’m back in business, feeling fitter than ever. No more heel pain. I’d highly recommend Steven and the Optimal Physio team.

Charles Cameron

I'd just like to say how much I appreciated the treatment I have received from Steven. A few months ago I was plagued with neck and shoulder pain but in a few sessions he was able to give me a complete understanding of the underlying issues and exercises that mean I am now pain free. Great work. Very professional and pleasant manner. Absolutely recommend him to anyone looking for a physio.

Andrew Matheson

Both the treatment & advice you provided was excellent including how best to prevent further injury. I think it is important to follow your advice & by doing so I am now running injury free. Thanks for your help.

Tom Quail

Thank you to Pamela for her professional services and support after the operation to my foot. It is good that you are located in the Marina area at Largs with good parking available and easy access. Your advice and exercise programme was most welcome and helped speed my recovery. The online booking system was a real bonus in arranging appointments.

Tom Marshall

Since beginning regular sports massage with Sarah my legs feel looser and more flexible. Sarah is also happy to arrange appointments around my training schedule. Great service, highly recommended.

Steven Inglis

My story is simple. I had been suffering for years with a lower back problem. I had tried every type of potential solution e.g. chiropractors, NHS, private health. You name it I tried it. My back pain got so bad my quality of life was severely affected to the point I couldn't do simple tasks. That was until I met Steven McLean. From not only a superb physical approach to my problem Stevens' positive attitude and motivational coaching were fantastic. After 3/4 months I was back playing golf to a reasonable level again. My quality of life has returned and it is all thanks to the fantastic work Steven has put in. I cannot thank him enough and I have recommended him to other friends and family who have also had the same experience and outcome. Quite simply superb.

Eddie Irvin

I am hugely grateful to Steven for successfully treating a sports related injury I had in my back. I went to see him with my injury a couple of weeks before I was competing in a powerlifting competition so it was important that I was in peak physical condition. Steven quickly diagnosed the exact problem area, effectively treated it and gave me relevant exercises to carry out myself. By the time the competition came, my back was feeling great. He was extremely friendly, approachable and professional throughout. Now that my injury has gone and my competition is over, I'm very much looking forward to booking in with them for a sports massage to relax and unwind! I would have absolutely no hesitations in recommending Steven and the rest of the Optimal Physio team.

Lisa Tobias

I’ve been working closely with Steven and the team at Optimal Physio for a number of years now. Running a busy personal fitness company I witness many niggles, muscular imbalances and postural problems amongst my clients. I’ve had no hesitation in sending them to Optimal Physio. I’m always confident their professional, thorough and effective approach will return to me a client in a healthier and happier condition with a clear and structured plan for their road to recovery.

Gordon Hill

Definitely the most beneficial massage treatment I have had for my aching back and shoulders. No longer aching every night I get into bed. Sarah's treatment is very specific and definitely gets to the core of the problem. Looking forward to my next massage!

Elaine Salina

After having ACL surgery, Optimal Physio provided me with first class treatment and advice to get me back to where I wanted to be as quickly and efficiently as possible. Being able to book appointments online made things easier for availability to suit me. The professional and sound diagnosis made my aches and pains easier to overcome as I could trust the therapy and programs Optimal Physio provided. I would recommend Optimal Physio to anyone as you can trust the hands-on examination will be as efficient and on point to aid your needs.

Brian McLean

4x Senior British champion 4x Senior British Open Champion 2x European Junior Bronze Medalist 2x Senior World Championship - 7th place World University Championship bronze medalist I have been going to Optimal Physio now for a couple of years and I have complete faith in Steven's knowledge with sporting injuries and sport massage. He has played a key role in ensuring my body is prepared for highest level competitions. Having a great physio is a vital part of any athletes support team and I want to say thank you for everything you do for myself and our team.

Amy Connell

I would highly recommend Steven if you are looking for a physio, not only did he help identify the cause of my problem quickly, he provided simple, effective ongoing support and advice to ensure I was fighting fit again. He was also extremely adaptable in fitting appointments around my work commitments, which was very helpful to me. Top Qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert

Tarryn Robertson

I would like to thank Steven for all the help I received with both my ankle and hamstring injuries. A very thorough and professional service provided with lots of additional help not only with my rehab but gaining my confidence and fitness back. Steven’s friendly and easygoing approach enables you place total confidence in his abilities and judgement. The time scale predicted for my return was very accurate and I was not rushed back into action before I was ready physically and mentally. Compared with many other physio’s seen before, Steven is a stand out. Not only was I given a comprehensive rehab programme but it was also explained what was being done. Would highly recommend Steven anyone, great guy and brilliant service and results, Thanks again. Top Qualities: Great Results, Knowledgeable, Friendly, Expert

Scott McArthur

It is hard for me to praise Steven highly enough following my recent treatment and rehabilitation from an injury which was to be the end of my sporting activities. He has defied the opinion of a prominent hospital consultant by analysing and very quickly understanding my condition, specifying an exercise programme to meet the needs of overcoming my injury and executing this plan over a relatively short period of time. The uncomplicated way in which he explained how we would move forward and what was expected of me made this a very enjoyable and productive process. Steven is undoubtedly very talented in his field and along with his patience, encouragement and professional approach I would recommend him to others with confidence. Top Qualities: Expert, Sports Injuries, Great Results

David Weir

Graeme started treating me 15 months into a back injury which had stopped me running. From the outset he was confident that I would get back to running. His advice and treatment were excellent and I am now running regularly again. His 'can do' approach was crucial to my recovery and I would wholeheartedly recommend Optimal Physio.

Dr. Carolyn Bruce

I am glad I found Steven as I have had back problems for years. After just a couple of visits there was a great improvement in my condition. I wish I had found Steven ages ago as I am sure I would have had years of pain free back problems. Try him, he is superb.

Bill Hands

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Get in touch

Click below to book your appointment easily online or arrange your free fit for physio consultation. If you’d like to read more about knee pain then you can download our free ebook below!


Our physiotherapists will be able to assess your knee pain explain your diagnosis and help you become pain free. If you’re ready to book, we’re waiting to help you, all of our appointments can be easily booked online by clicking here.


We know so many people who believe “it’s just old age” or “it’s in the family” and even worse “I need a scan to find out what’s really wrong”. That’s why we created our free knee pain ebook and additional resources to help you understand your knee pain and start your recovery today. To get your copy just click the button.

fit for physio

Don’t let knee pain stop you from living your life, get in touch with us today to get yourself moving again! book a free Fit for physio to discuss how we can help you.

Knee pain can be caused by many different structures including ligaments, meniscus, cartilage, joint, or bursa. Download our free knee guide to learn more.