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Many of my patients complain of pain in their knees when they stand up from a sitting position. It’s a COMMON COMPLAINT. It’s often one of the earliest signs of arthritis, and it’s certainly a reminder we’re getting old. When I was a young woman, I could go from lotus position, to a sprint, without thinking one iota about my knees. Now just to get up—after sitting through a rerun of Law & Order—is a stark reminder of my age.

Our aged knees would like nothing better than for us to get in the fetal position and stay there. 

If you were a caveman, and older than 25, you’d already have outlived your natural life expectancy. Now it’s by the grace of medicine, laws and seat belts. 

Tremendous pressure is placed on your knee when you go from sitting to standing, and when you do this against your worn out articular cartilages… Your knee is going to balk. When you sit for a while, as you relax into that position and its different relationship with gravity, your knee might start to shift a little. Mind you, it’s not coming out of place. It’s just trying to get comfortable. The surfaces of your knee might be seeking a position of lowest mechanical resistance. It’s a different position than when you were standing. Patients sometimes think there’s a cure for this specific symptom. There’s not, but you can make it better. 

Just bend and straighten your knees a couple of times before you stand up. 

Remind your knees you’re still alive and kicking. Then… simply stand up. You will notice a difference right away. It will eventually become your new habit, and your knees will thank you for it.


  • 1010ParkPlace June 1, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Just since you posted this blog YESTERDAY!! I’ve tried your suggestion and IT WORKS! I shouldn’t be amazed because it came from YOU, but it makes a big difference in how my right knee… the one with the problem… feels. Thank you, Dr. Barbra! xoxox, Brenda

  • Irene June 3, 2018 at 5:26 am

    Thank you! What a helpful tip.

    • Barbara Bergin June 9, 2018 at 11:58 am

      I don’t know if you’ve read my Sit Like A Man post on my blog http://www.drbarbarabergin.com, but no matter. In addition to bending and straightening your knees a couple of times, allow your legs to separate a little. Be unladylike, especially if you’re home alone or have pants on!

  • Donna O'Klock June 6, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a simple solution to a challenge I’ve been trying to ignore!

    • Barbara Bergin June 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      So glad it helps. I do it all the time! Sometimes patients come see me specifically with that complaint! I don’t have to prescribe a pill. Of course, they probably go home and say to their spouse, “I can’t believe I had to pay her for that advice. She didn’t even give me a pill!”

  • MaryJean June 7, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    I was just on Katherines Corner and linking my blog and saw your link. I’ve had problems with my knees for a while now. The had a torn meniscus about 11 years ago and I had that taken care of. Up until recently, it was great. Now both my knees are bothering me. Yes, it hurts when I get up, but they both hurt going up and down stairs, more with going down. I will try your remedy because I do not want surgery or taking drugs either. Hopefully this will help to some degree at least. Thank you!

    • Barbara Bergin June 9, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      It will help! I’m sure of it. I won’t cure what ails you though. If you were over forty when you had that meniscus tear, then it was part of developing arthritis in your knee. If you are under 30, and tear your meniscus in a sports accident or something, then you’re going to get arthritis within about 10 years. We need those meniscus cartilages! Please don’t do squats, deep knee bends and lunges! Avoid high impact exercise. Sorry if you do all the above. It’s what the doctor ordered!

  • Barbara Bergin June 9, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I love it when something so simple, and so free of side effects works!

  • Pat Celaya June 11, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Another great post! Thank you!

  • Judy Miller June 11, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Another informative post. Thanks

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