Knee Pain – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment 

Knee pain is a common ailment that may strike anybody at any time. Knee pain may be caused by various medical disorders, including arthritis, gout, and infections. You may be able to alleviate your knee pain at home. If the problem is more serious, it may need a trip to the doctor, and in rare circumstances, it may require surgery.

Is there a medical term for knee pain?

Knee Pain

Injuries, overuse, and osteoarthritis are among the most prevalent causes of knee discomfort. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative disorder of the knee joint, may occur at any age, although it is more common in the elderly.

Rest, anti-inflammatory medicine, and ice may help alleviate your discomfort, depending on what’s causing it. Treatment or surgery may be required if your damage is more serious.

Knee injuries, including torn tendons and ligaments, may be repaired via arthroscopic surgery, a minimally-invasive procedure. Knock instability and discomfort can occur due to these sorts of injuries. Your doctor may propose knee replacement surgery if the damage is severe.

 Self-care methods are effective for many forms of mild knee discomfort. Knee braces and physical therapy may also be beneficial in relieving pain. However, knee surgery may be necessary for rare circumstances.

Along with the ankles and hips, the primary function of the knee joint is to bend and straighten. However, the knee is more than a hinged joint; it may also rotate and twist. Bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage all work together to let the knee accomplish all of these things while supporting the rest of the body.

Structure of the knee joint

The knee is formed of bone.

  • Skin.
  • Muscles.
  • Bones.

The protective coating and shock absorber for bones: Cartilage. Cushioning cartilage is found deep inside the joint, the meniscus. Fibers that link muscles to bones are known as tendons;

  • Ligaments are the connective structures that hold bones together.
  •  Bursa – thin skin-protection pads.

Types of knee pain

Knee Pain

Sense of knee, hip, leg, and ankle originates in the lower back and is supplied by the same nerves. The sensation of a deeper injury (called “referred pain”) can be transmitted by nerves to the skin’s surface. As a result, knee pain might originate in the knee or be transferred from the hip, ankle, or lower back. The knee joint is responsible for the following causes of knee discomfort.

Knee pain may be acute or persistent, depending on the severity of the problem (chronic). An acute injury or infection might cause symptoms of acute knee pain. Injury or inflammation (such as arthritis) is the most common cause of chronic knee discomfort, although condition also plays a role.

Symptoms of Knee Pain

Knee pain may vary in location and intensity depending on the underlying reason. 

The following signs and symptoms may accompany knee pain:

  • Swelling and stiffness are two common side effects
  • To the touch, it feels hot
  • Instability or a lack of strength
  • As well as sounds of popping and cracking
  • Inability to straighten the knee to its fullest extent

A variety of ailments and traumas may cause knee pain. Overuse, accidents, and arthritis are a few typical underlying reasons for knee discomfort.


Pain might result from engaging in repetitive tasks over time. Here is a list of some:

The term patellofemoral pain (runner’s knee) refers to various conditions that may cause discomfort in the kneecap or surrounding the kneecap.

Overuse injury to the shinbone below the kneecap causes Osgood-Schlatter disease in youngsters.

Repetitive sports like volleyball and basketball may cause tendonitis in the quadriceps or patella tendon.


Damage to the knee joint might occur due to a sudden and unexpected event. Knee injuries that are common include:

Injuries to the anterior cruciate or medial collateral ligaments, the knee’s primary stabilizing ligaments, may lead to ACL or MCL tears.

One of the most common causes of knee pain is bursitis, an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac that cushions the joint.

Knee dislocation: The kneecap (the bone that covers your knee) is dislocated.

Damage to the knee cartilage is known as a meniscal tear (slippery tissue that helps bones move together smoothly).


Numerous joints in your body might be affected by arthritis. The joint swells as a result of arthritis in the knee. This may be a debilitating illness. It’s more probable that you’ll have arthritis in your knee as you become older. Arthritis of the knees may be caused by a variety of conditions, including:

In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system assaults and destroys the joints, producing inflammation and degenerative changes.

Over time, the cartilage in your joints begins to wear away, resulting in osteoarthritis. Body mass index (BMI) is essential to consider in joint health. A person’s knees might be weakened more if they are obese. Depending on the severity, this might be painful. You may lower your risk of joint discomfort by exercising frequently and consuming a healthy diet.

How can I alleviate my knee pain?

Knee Pain

Knee pain treatment is determined by the source of the problem and the degree of discomfort it causes.

Taking anti-inflammatory drugs, resting, and applying ice to a minor knee injury helps. Braces might help keep your knee in place while it heals.

  • Medication and physical therapy may be used to address arthritis-related knee discomfort.
  • Minimally invasive surgery can generally mend injuries in tendons and ligaments.
  • Knee replacement surgery may be necessary for more severe knee discomfort.

Whatever the reason for your knee pain, strengthening the muscles that support your knee with physical therapy will help alleviate your symptoms.

Knee pain treatment at home

Knee pain may be alleviated with home remedies from your doctor or physical therapist. Included on this list:

  • Using heat or ice packs to alleviate pain and inflammation. 
  • Adapting daily routines to minimize discomfort.
  • Stretching and exercising in a mild manner.
  • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which are over-the-counter pain medicines. 
  • Muscle lotions and massages are examples of topical therapy.
  • Supporting the knee with a brace.

As a preventative measure for knee pain,

In addition, there are certain things you may do to reduce knee discomfort in your daily routine.

  • First and foremost, you should avoid gaining weight since this might cause knee discomfort.
  • High-heeled shoes should not be worn regularly; instead, choose more acceptable footwear.
  • In general, pay attention to how you stand or sit. Kneeling, for example, is detrimental to the kneecaps and should be avoided.
  • Avoiding activities that exert excessive stress on the knees should also be considered (i.e., running, tennis, rugby, dance, and boxing). Maintaining a regular exercise routine, on the other hand, is critical. The muscles in and around your knees will benefit from this. Swimming, cycling, yoga, and walking are all excellent forms of physical activity.

When to See a Doctor for a Knee Injury?

Knee Pain

If you suffer significant knee pain after a fall or injury, or if your knee is too painful or unstable to support your weight, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Swelling or an inability to fully extend your knee should also prompt a trip to the doctor. If your discomfort persists for more than a few days, make an appointment with your physician.

Most long-term knee problems have a decent rule of thumb for determining whether or not you should contact your doctor about your discomfort. A doctor, physical therapist, or sports medicine orthopedic (bone and muscle) expert should be called if your symptoms don’t improve after one week of PRICE treatment and anti-inflammatory pain medicines or if the discomfort doesn’t go away. 

Even if a new knee injury is not crippling, the same criterion might be followed. Remember that this is a suggestion, not a hard and fast law. It’s best to see a doctor if you’re experiencing any discomfort.

The ER should be considered if you cannot bear weight on your knee, have a fever, or if your knee is red and hot due to a possible fracture or infection.

Immobilization or surgery may be required for many fractures.

As soon as an infection is discovered, it must be treated. They can be controlled, but immediate attention is needed.

  • Waiting to visit a doctor might jeopardize your recovery.

Others that require immediate attention include these:

Pain that can’t be tolerated

Injuries that don’t go away even after resting.

Pain that rouses you

  • Drainage

Relatively large wounds

  • Wounds from piercing

Warfarin (or Coumadin), if you’re on blood-thinning medication or have a bleeding issue (such as hemophilia)

Wrapping It Up

The knee, the body’s biggest joint, is also its most complicated. Meniscus cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendon, and fluid-filled sacs termed synovial bursae make up the knee joint’s structure, including the femur, tibia, and patella. It’s for this reason that knee pain has so many diverse etiologies. It also explains why so many people seek medical attention for knee discomfort.

We rely primarily on our knee joints because they link the thigh to the lower leg, allow the leg to be flexed, and spread our weight across both legs as we walk. You may want to think about doing all of your business over a private network.

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