Knee pain is a condition that affects millions of people around the world each year. The knee, being the largest joint in the body, bears much of the weight from our bodies when we walk which means it is highly prone to injury. The most frequent knee pain causes are sports and other physical activity.
While physical activities (such as running) account for the vast majority of knee problems, it may have another cause. Diseases such as osteoporosis or arthritis can increase your chance of having knee pain.
If you are suffering from knee pain, the good news is that knee pain is most often of your own doing and will most often clear up with self care. Often, knee pain will go away if you rest and avoid activities that make the pain worse, as well as applying ice and keeping your knee raised.
There are many, many different types and locations of knee pain and a variety of causes. Quite often, there will be accompanying symptoms that are helpful to identify in order to determine the proper course of action in resolving the pain.
- Check if you knee is swollen or larger than normal. If you can’t immediately tell, sometimes it’s helpful to push lightly on your injured knee with your finger and then push in the same spot on your healthy knee and feel for differences. If the injured knee is much softer, it is likely that you have swelling and should consider applying ice and/or using an anti-inflamatory like ibuprofen.
- You may also be experiencing stifness of your knee. If you have swelling, applying ice and/or taking ibuprofen may be helpful. If the injury is from activity, rest will be helpful
- If you are experiencing weakness or instability on your knee, rest is the best answer. However, if you can’t bear any weight on the knee, unfortunately it’s time to go see your doctor as the injury may be serious (like a fracture or toren ligament)
- Crunching or poping noises coming from your knee can be difficult to diagnose. Some people, especially when going through growth spurts in their teens, experience this as part of growing. However, if you are having knee pain that accompanies the crunching or poping, you should probably get checked out by a doctor
- If you are unable to straigten your knee or are experiencing “locking” of the knee, you need to go see a doctor. There is no home soluation that is going to remedy this.
- If you have a fever in addition to any of the above symptoms, you should go see your doctor immediately as the knee pain may be a symptom of something more serious.