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Conditions We Treat

Knee Pain

Your knee is your largest and most complex joint, so unfortunately, knee pain can be common.

Whether from injury or a deeper lying concern, a doctor can help manage your pain – keep reading to learn more about different causes and treatments.

Female runner knee with an injury and pain in her knee

What is Knee Pain?

Knee pain is one of the most common medical complaints, but it’s no surprise when we consider how often the joint itself is used – from normal wear-and-tear from daily activities like walking, bending, standing and lifting.

Because of this, it can unfortunately affect anybody. But athletes who run or play sports that depend on jumping are much more likely to experience knee pain and problems due to strain they put on the joint.

But regardless of whether your knee pain is caused by day-to-day life or an injury, it can be annoying, and can even limit your ability to move in some circumstances.

Close up shot of a person with their hands on their knee because of knee pain

What Causes Knee Pain?

There’s a variety of causes for knee pain, that determine how severe it is and the treatment needed. Some knee pain, like that after a minor injury, can be cared for at home before seeking medical intervention. But knee pain that appears to be getting worse, does not improve, or lasts longer than a month could be due to an injury within the joint itself. Some of the most common are:

  1. Traumatic injuries
  2. Repetitive motion strain
  3. Mechanical problems, like a dislocated kneecap or a loose piece of cartilage
  4. Stress fractures
Shot of a jogger holding onto his knee from knee pain during his run

What Are The Symptoms of Knee Pain?

As mentioned, some knee pain can often be cared for at home, and is short term. Typically this will be when a minor accident has taken place, or after a long day putting your joints to use.

If the pain in or around your knee doesn’t subside within a few days or begins to worsen, it may be necessary to speak to a licensed professional. Other symptoms that indicate the need for examination may be:

  • Severe pain or swelling
  • An open wound
  • A fever greater than 100 F (37.8 C)
A close up of a physical therapist assessing the pain in a woman’s knee

What Are My Treatment Options for Knee Pain?

As we’ve said, minor knee pain tends to respond well to self-treatment. If your knee pain does require treatment though, then it’s crucial that you see a pain specialist to ensure your pain is properly managed. Without licensed care treating both the symptoms and the root cause, knee pain can continue to worsen, continuing to limit your movement.

Some of the ways your doctor may treat your pain are:

  1. Rehab Therapy – Rehab therapy is used when normal movement is painful and/or not physically possible due to your ailment. A specialist will design specific exercises for you to restore your normal movement abilities.
  2. Chiropractic Care – In some cases, a chiropractor {link to chiropractic care page} may be able to offer spinal adjustments that can help mitigate pain in extremities, including your knee.
  3. Cupping – this natural treatment focuses on placing medical cups on the painful area, which suction the skin. This breaks the tiny blood vessels under the skin, which triggers your body to respond to an injury, stimulating the natural healing process.
  4. Durable Medical Equipment (DME) – depending on the severity of your knee pain, your doctor may suggest DME such as a brace or otherwise to limit the movement or weight being put on the knee.
A shot of a patient lay on a bench while the physical therapist helps stretch them to regain the movement and limit knee pain

Frequently Asked Questions about Knee Pain

1. How to relieve knee pain?
Relieving your knee pain will depend on the cause of it – if a minor injury has occured, rest, ice your knee throughout the day and watch for swelling. If the pain worsens, or is more severe, seek medical help from a licensed professional.

2. Can sciatica cause knee pain?
Yes. Sciatic pain can manifest in/around the knee. Common symptoms to look out for to identify this include feeling a warm sensation, or dull ache within the knee and inability to bear weight.

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