Knee pain is a common concern and can vary from “my knee feels stiff climbing stairs” to “my right leg can’t bear weight because of the pain.” We hope you get treatment before you cannot walk without pain. Quick action with any knee discomfort can help prevent your pain from worsening, and the treatment for your knee pain depends on the cause of your knee stiffness, instability, inflammation, or soreness. Some knee pain can be treated at home, but knee injuries or knee arthritis may require physical therapy or surgery. We have compiled a list of questions to help you evaluate your knee pain below!
My knee hurts. What should I do?
Consulting your doctor is the best first step so you can get a professional diagnosis and immediately begin managing your knee pain. ORTHOKnox has orthopedic clinics in Knoxville, TN, and Athens, TN, to help you with your knee pain. Your orthopedic doctor and physical therapists at ORTHOKnox orthopedic clinics can help treat your knee pain or injury, prevent future injuries or worsening of your current injury, and relieve knee inflammation from knee arthritis.
Why does my knee hurt?
In addition to a physical examination, your doctor will ask you questions about the context of your knee pain to construct the best treatment plan.
Was the pain gradual or sudden?
Sudden pain in the knee is usually related to an injury. You should see your doctor as soon as possible if you experience sudden pain that does not subside. You can bypass the emergency room wait and crowds and walk right into ORTHOKnox Urgent Orthopedic Care to start receiving treatment if you sustain a knee injury.
If your pain is gradual, then it could be due to overuse or knee arthritis. Your doctor will likely ask you broad questions and then follow up depending on your answers. We have provided some examples below so you can be as prepared as possible for your orthopedic consultation.
When does your knee hurt?
Think about when your knee pain is the worst. Is it always stiff and swollen (could be arthritis) or do you feel pain after an intense workout (may be overuse)?
If you work out, make sure to cool down afterward so your temperature, blood pressure and heart rate normalize, and do some dynamic stretching to increase your range of motion.
If your knee is stiff after workouts, try a heat pack to increase blood flow (especially helpful if you have arthritis). Or try RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) if your knee is painful and swollen. Working with a physical therapist can help increase your range of motion and strengthen the muscles around your knee. But some knee stiffness and pain due to arthritis cannot be relieved by these conservative methods and surgery may be the best option.
Have you changed your activity level recently?
Did you begin a new workout routine?
It can be tempting to jump right into a new weightlifting or strengthening program, but it is key to work your way up to goals and strengthen your muscles with low weights and high repetitions. Make sure you are using proper form, too, so you do not put extra pressure on your knees.
Have you strengthened the muscles around your knee?
Targeting the muscles around your knee (quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles) can help support your joint and improve your knee health. Working with a physical therapist to design an exercise program can help you avoid knee pain and prevent future injuries.
How is your overall health?
Have you had recent weight gain?
Extra body weight can add pressure to your knees. Eating nutritious anti-inflammatory foods such as avocado, almonds, berries, and salmon and exercising can help you maintain a healthy weight and healthy knee!
Do you have good posture?
Your feet, knees, hips, shoulders, and head should be aligned when standing up. If not, your center of gravity could be off and putting extra stress on your knees. Make sure you are wearing supportive and properly fitting shoes, too!
Who should I consult about my knee pain?
Knee Pain Treatment in Athens and Knoxville, TN
With its sports medicine team and Orthopedic Urgent Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered when it comes to knee health and knee pain treatment. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat you, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!