Knee pain is one of the most common reasons people go to an orthopedic doctor. It can be caused by a variety of conditions and injuries. The knees are especially prone to injury, and knee pain affects people of all ages. Some common causes of knee pain
are injury, infection and arthritis.
There are many types of knee pain, from shooting pain to dull to burning to aching pain, and it can be occasional pain to consistent pain. Knee pain also varies in severity from mild pain to severe, debilitating pain. It may occur by itself without other
symptoms, or knee pain may be accompanied by swelling and stiffness, redness, warmth, weakness, instability, popping noises and difficulty fully straightening the knee/leg.
Causes of knee pain
There are many conditions and injuries that can cause knee pain. Some of the more common causes are:
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pseudogout, and more)
- Tendonitis (patellar tendonitis), runner’s knee, jumper’s knee
- Meniscus tear
- ACL injury
- Fracture or break
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Iliotibial band syndrome
- Dislocated kneecap
- Hip or foot pain that causes you to change the way you walk
Knee pain relief
Many causes of knee pain can be managed at home with some self-care, but there are some signs you should see a doctor for your pain. If your knee pain getting in the way of daily living or making your usual activities painful or difficult, you may want
to see a doctor for treatment.
You should always call a doctor if:
- You cannot bear any weight on your knee
- You have noticeable knee swelling
- You felt or heard a popping in your knee
- You cannot flex or extend your knee fully
- You can see a deformity in your knee or leg
- You feel like you cannot stand or walk without having your knee give out
- You have a fever, redness and swelling around the knee joint in addition to the knee pain
You know your body better than anyone else. If your knee is bothering you or just doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor. It’s better to play it safe and seek treatment than to keep doing the things
that could make your knee worse.
If you do decide to care for your knee pain at home, some options include:
- Avoid doing anything to make the pain worse.
- Try over-the-counter pain relievers. Those with anti-inflammatory properties (like ibuprofen) may be more effective than acetaminophen (Tylenol), but they may have unwanted side effects. Ask your doctor before you begin taking a new medication.
- Apply ice or heat to the area of your knee pain.
- Keep your knee elevated.
- Lose extra weight. Being overweight can be stressful on your knees and other body parts, and losing weight can help reduce the stress.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Engage in regular exercise that includes strength training and aerobic exercise – as long as it doesn’t make your knee pain worse. Talk to your doctor about the best plan for you. Studies show that engaging in an exercise program for 12
weeks can make you 44 percent likely to need joint-replacement surgery six years later than those who don’t exercise.
The knee pain rule of thumb, so to speak, is that you shouldn’t rely on self-care alone for more than two weeks. So, if you have a minor injury and you’re using ice, heat, and over-the-counter pain relievers, and your knee isn’t improving,
make an appointment with your doctor. You may need more extensive treatment. The orthopedic knee doctors at Beaumont are experts in knee pain treatment and knee replacement surgery, and they also use many non-surgical options to treat knee pain.
The orthopedic knee specialists at Beaumont perform more joint replacements than anyone else in Michigan. Our orthopedic knee surgeons are dedicated to caring for people with disabling knee joint disorders. We are among a select group of American hospitals
approved for advanced fellowship training in joint reconstruction.
Learn more about our knee program.
Knee pain resources
As experts in knee pain and treatment for the conditions that cause knee pain, we understand how important it is to you to find the right treatment for you and your lifestyle. To help you decide what’s best for you, we’ve developed some free
Connect with our orthopedic knee specialists
At Beaumont, our orthopedic surgeons are breaking new ground and pioneering treatments that improve the lives of patients dealing with knee pain and other orthopedic conditions. Whether you’re seeking help with an existing condition, you would like
a diagnosis, or you are looking for help with recovery and rehabilitation, Beaumont joint pain doctors can help. Beaumont has orthopedic specialists who offer the treatments and services you need.
Call us at 800-633-7377 to make an appointment, or request an appointment online.