When you first meet with your doctor, they will want to learn when your knee pain started and whether there was an obvious cause for it. Sometimes the cause is obvious, such as a hard knock or twist during a game of football. Other times, you may not know when exactly the pain started. An experienced knee doctor will ask you a specific set of questions to narrow down the potential causes of your pain and discuss how to get rid of knee pain. They will also want to assess the severity of your symptoms, and may ask you questions such as:
- How exactly is your knee pain affecting your lifestyle?
- Can you bend your knees?
- What is the pain stopping you doing?
- Do you experience knee pain at night?
- When did the pain start?
- Has it been getting worse over time?
Depending on their conversation with you, there are specific clinical tests a doctor may then arrange to help with diagnosis. As well as a physical examination of the knee, they will sometimes also request X-rays, an MRI scan or blood tests.
Additional diagnostic tests will not always be needed. Things will be assessed on an individual basis by your consultant, based on your symptoms and their clinical observations.
Nobody will be able to describe your knee pain better than you, and your doctor will listen carefully to what you tell them as they narrow down potential diagnoses. You may be able to point to the exact part of your knee where you have pain, or it might be a more generalised pain that is harder to pinpoint but no less real.
Physiotherapy exercise for knee pain is an effective way of improving function in your knee and reducing knee pain symptoms. Your Physiotherapist (physical therapist) will work with you to build a tailored programme of stretches for knee pain that you can carry out at home. Stretches might include a hamstring stretch, glute stretch, hip flexors, or calf stretch, but your Physiotherapist will work with you to manage chronic knee pain through specialist, tailored stretching. They might also suggest the use of certain knee pain relief products, such as taping over your kneecap to change the way it moves, or knee braces. They will discuss these with you in detail.
Even if you are not registered with a Physiotherapist, you can still perform simple knee stretches at home to improve pain and swelling in your knee joint. These will be less specialised, but can help you feel the stretch, relief tension and improve knee functionality.
Some try yoga for knee pain as a form of alternative therapy. While yoga classes can help improve your general flexibility and relieve muscle tension, it is always best to discuss the stretches you perform with your doctor or Physiotherapist to ensure they are the best stretches for you.
Your doctor might prescribe ant-inflammatory medication to help manage your knee pain. You can also purchase this form of medication from your local pharmacy, if needed. Talk to your doctor about how to ease knee pain through the use of medication. They can suggest which form of medication might be best for you.
Knee replacement surgery is a common procedure that involves removing the damaged surface of a deteriorating knee and replacing it with an artificial joint. It can significantly improve symptoms and mobility.
The question of how to treat knee pain is different for each person, as each person experiences knee pain differently.
Injection therapy is the injection of steroid (corticosteroid) medications into painful joints or soft tissues to reduce pain and inflammation in that area. This form of treatment can significantly relieve stiffness, swelling
Heat treatment (in the form of heating pads, hot baths, or warm paraffin wax) relax muscles and relieve joint stiffness.
Cold treatment (in the form of cold packs or local sprays) physically numb pain and reduce the swelling and inflammation of joints.
You can use heat or cold therapy (or both) as regularly as you can throughout the night (or day) for pain relief.