Pain in the knees is unfortunately common, and it can be caused by a number of factors. While it’s a good idea to see a doctor or physiotherapist when you are experiencing issues in this area, it might also be worth looking into the spiritual meaning of knee pain for greater self-awareness and a more holistic perspective.
When we attend to the spiritual or energetic aspects of an illness or injury, we can get more information about what the issue means in our body and what it might have to teach us. When we can resolve these subtler aspects, we can affect one of the layers that contributes to our physical health and wellbeing and support healing in another way.
Knees as a Highway Joint
The knees are often understood as a highway joint between the hips and the ankles. Sometimes hip and ankle issues can show up in the knees through what is known as “referred pain.” Energetically, knee pain may indicate that there is a conflict between where one part of you wants to go and where the rest of you actually is—for example, is your heart yearning to go somewhere your feet do not? Consider these questions:
Are you happy with where you are in your life right now?
Are you comfortable and safe in your physical environment?
Is there a part of you that wants to move into a new area of your life?
Is there something you need to let go of in order to move forward with what you want?
First Chakra Issues
The first chakra, muladhara, is located at the base of the spine or the bottom of the pelvis, but we don’t often think about how it also runs down the legs into the knees, ankles, and feet. The whole lower half of the body is related to muladhara chakra. This energy center relates to physical wellness, safety, security, finances, and home life. It also helps us to release things down through the body into the earth when we need to. Knee problems may indicate there is an issue with the first chakra. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you feel safe in your body and your life right now?
What is your relationship to your roots right now? The land you live on? Your family?
Are you getting enough rest and stillness?
Is there something you are having trouble letting go of?
A Load-Bearing Joint
Most of us don’t think much about our knees (until something goes wrong there), but they do a lot for us. They hold us up when we are standing, walking, or running, and they adjust constantly to make sure that our weight is supported. They are somehow a very delicate joint and also a very strong one. If issues show up here, there may be questions to ask around how you may be relating to the personality profile of the knees. For example:
Are you the one in your family or community that carries all the weight?
Are you overburdened with work or stress but never complain?
Do you feel supported in what you are doing or are you all on your own?
Do you get to choose where you go in life or is that usually decided for you?
If any of these questions resonate with you, it might be time to let go of any weight you are carrying that is related to other people and start insisting on holding only what’s actually yours. You may need to work on saying "no" more often and speaking up when you want or need something.
You can also nourish the root chakra by slowing down, spending time in rest, paying attention to the signals and intuitions of your body, and following them to the best of your ability.
You may also want to spend some time actually listening to the sensations in your knees. If the sensation could speak, what would it say? What does it need from you?
Learn more about the spiritual meaning of arthritis.