Knee Pain and How to Treat It

Knee Pain Relief

Dealing with knee pain can be a frustrating and debilitating experience for many people. Whether it\’s caused by an injury, overuse, or a medical condition, finding relief is essential to maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.

Which type of surgery you’ll need depends on what’s causing the pain and which parts of your knee are damaged. But your provider may suggest it if the pain is severe and other treatments haven’t helped. You might need surgery to repair a damaged ligament, bone fracture or if you have severe arthritis. If you have an acute injury or swelling with inside knee pain, ice is your best bet, says Dr. Paul. That’s because the cold will constrict blood vessels and slow circulation, which reduces swelling.

One of the most conservative yet effective options for improving your knee pain is physical therapy (PT). Over time, however, the body adapts to these drugs and they become less effective in relieving your pain. Because of this, opioids are typically recommended only for short-term pain control. A gout flare-up may cause severe pain, swelling, and stiffness that may last 1 to 2 weeks at a time. This condition is also most common in middle-aged adults. Known as septic arthritis, the infection can begin due to a bacterial or fungal infection and cause inflammation of the knee.

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition. \”Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for knee pain,\” says Dr. Lauren Elson, an instructor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. Because of this, a partial meniscectomy is typically reserved for traumatic meniscal tears or for people who get minimal pain relief from PT. They are also meant to provide short-term relief, however, and should not be taken to manage chronic knee concerns. In limited situations, a knee brace may also help improve the pain you are feeling in your knee and add support to damaged structures in the joint. The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of tough, rubbery cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the shinbone and the thighbone.

Ways of managing knee pain at home include exercise, using a knee support, dietary measures, and weight management. Be sure to talk with a doctor if your knee pain is accompanied by major swelling, significant pain, or fever. In addition, any long-term knee pain should be checked out by a doctor, since it can be a symptom of an underlying health issue. Research suggests physical therapy may be more beneficial in reducing knee pain than home exercises, so it might be worth looking into options near you. You should also incorporate daily stretching into your routine. Try using a foam roller to work out the kinks in your muscles.

Some ligaments on the knee provide stability and protection of the joints, while other ligaments limit forward and backward movement of the tibia (shin bone). Your ability to cope despite pain and disability caused by osteoarthritis often determines how much of an impact osteoarthritis will have on your life. Talk to your doctor if you\’re feeling frustrated, because he or she may have ideas to help you cope or be able to refer you to someone who can help.

Common Causes of Knee Pain

There are several common causes of knee pain, including arthritis, ligament injuries, tendonitis, and meniscus tears. Additionally, activities such as running, jumping, or repetitive bending can also lead to knee pain. Identifying the underlying cause of your knee pain is crucial in determining the most effective treatment plan.

Treating Knee Pain

When it comes to treating knee pain, there are several options available depending on the severity and cause of the pain. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) is often recommended for acute knee injuries to reduce inflammation and swelling. Physical therapy, strengthening exercises, and stretches can also help improve knee function and alleviate pain.

For knee osteoarthritis, doctors often recommend special insoles that you put in your shoe. To find the appropriate insole, speak with your doctor or a physical therapist. “The rule of thumb for exercises and stretches is that if it hurts, don’t do it,” says Dr. Paul. “Ask someone to check your knee pain out before you keep going.” If you’re feeling up for it, consider side-lying hip adductor leg raises. The long-term outlook for chronic knee pain involves managing pain, preventing flare-ups, and working to reduce irritation to the knee. NSAIDs can be more effective because they both relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Medical Interventions

If conservative treatments do not provide relief, medical interventions such as corticosteroid injections, hyaluronic acid injections, or surgery may be necessary. It\’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for your specific condition.

Preventing Future Knee Pain

Preventing future knee pain is essential for maintaining long-term joint health. Maintaining a healthy weight, wearing proper footwear, using correct form during exercise, and avoiding high-impact activities can all help reduce the risk of knee injuries. Staying active and incorporating low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling into your routine can also help strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joint.

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