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Knee Pain Causes and Treatments

You use your knees everyday. You use them to move you from one place to another, to exercise, to sit down and stand up, and so many other things throughout your day. So when your knees are in pain it makes it hard to get up and get going during the day. Here are some common causes of knee pain and how you can treat it at home.

Common Causes of Knee Pain

Overuse Injuries: Being active and exercising is generally a good thing for your joints and muscles. However, sometimes you can overdo it and end up injuring yourself.

  • Bursitis (A.K.A Preacher’s knee): this can cause pain above your kneecap
  • IT Band Syndrome: causes pain on the outside of the knee
  • Patellar Tendonitis: causes pain in the tendons below the knee

Sudden injuries: This happens very quickly, usually while you are exercising. You may feel your muscle “catch” or pull out of nowhere.

  • Dislocated Kneecaps
  • Meniscus Tears

Osteoarthritis: As you age, your bones and joints become weaker and more achy from supporting you throughout your life. They get more worn down.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease: This is something that occurs mostly in teenagers. When you are still growing and your knees are growing and changing with you, they can develop a painful bump below the knee. This is something that you will generally grow out of and may come and go as you grow.

At-Home Treatments for Knee Pain

When you have joint pain, one home remedy you can try is RICE. This stands for Rest, Icing and heating, Compression, and Elevation:

  • Rest: Try to get rest so that your body can focus on healing you.
  • Ice and Heat: Ice the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes. Wrap an ice pack in a cloth or towel and apply it to the area in pain. The cold will reduce the inflammation. To heat the affected area you can use a heat wrap. If you don’t have access to a heat wrap you can warm a damp washcloth in the microwave for 20 seconds. Make sure it is not too hot, then wrap it in a dry towel and apply to the affected area.
  • Compress: You can use an elastic bandage (like an Ace bandage) to wrap your knee. This will help to reduce the swelling. Make sure that you don’t wrap it too tight. If it does get too tight rewrap the bandage.
  • Elevate: To elevate the affected area, lay down on your back and place one or two pillows under your knees. You can elevate it while you sleep or anytime that you are taking a rest.

When is it time to call the doctor?

You should call the doctor if your knee cannot support your weight, if it feels unstable like it is going to give out, if you have noticeable swelling around your knee, if your knee is unable to fully extend, or if you develop a fever along with your knee pain and swelling. If you have been experiencing persistent pain over an extended period of time, that may be a good sign to give your doctor a call too.

The professionals at Altenburg Joint Replacement Surgery can help. Give us a call if you are experiencing ongoing knee pain that doesn’t resolve on its own.

Published online: Dec 23, 2020