Pain in or around the knee may indicate a condition affecting the knee joint itself or the soft tissues around the knee. Knee pain can have causes that are not due to an underlying disease. Examples include strenuous physical activity, lack of use, injuries such as sprains or strains, sitting in a constrained place, or sitting on the knees for an extended period.

What is Knee Pain?

Knee Pain is a common complaint that affects all age groups. Severe knee pain can be a cause of injuries such as ruptured ligaments or torn cartilage. Some of the health issues that can give you severe knee pain are arthritis, gout, and infections. Knee pain can also be caused due to physical activity and obesity.


Some of the major causes of knee pain are


Pain and inflammation are caused due to the degeneration of joints.


Knee pain is caused due to climbing or walking up an incline.


Inflammation is caused due to injury in the knee.

Chondromalacia Patella

Chondromalacia Patella results in degeneration of cartilage for poor alignment in the knee cap.


Gout is caused due to too much formation of uric acid.

Baker’s cyst

It’s a fluid-filled cyst which causes bulge or tightness behind the knee.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

It’s a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder. This causes painful swelling and eventually, it causes joint deformity and bone erosion.

Meniscus Tear

It’s a rupture of one or more cartilage in the knee.

Torn ligament

It’s a severe sprain which will cause inflammation and ankle instability. A person may face difficulty while walking.

Factors that will affect knee pain are

  • Injuries in the knee can cause bleeding or swelling
  • Sprains and strains
  • Infection
  • Bad posture will affect the knee
  • Infection
  • Not warming up after a physical activity
  • Improperly stretching the muscles near knee

Signs of Knee Pain

Common symptoms of knee pain are:

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth to touch
  • Weakness
  • Popping or crunching noises
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee
  • Constant ache


By taking preventive measures some of the knee pain can be cured. If you’re getting severe knee pain because of physical activity you can change your lifestyle to help treat the pain. This includes:

Try low impact exercises

Instead of going for heavy exercises, you can focus on low impact exercise which will help you in putting less pressure on your knees.

Lose weight

Try to lose your weight, as the heavyweight will have a direct impact on your knees.


Running puts extra force on the knees. Instead of running, walk down slowly for avoiding extra pressure on your knees.

Risk Factors

There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of knee problems:

Excess Weight

The important risk factors of knee pain are overweight and obesity as it can increase the stress in joints of the knee. This will increase the risk factors of osteoarthritis by increasing the breakdown of joint cartilage.

Lack of muscle flexibility

Lack of flexibility will increase the risk of knee injuries. Strong muscles will help in protecting joints and muscle flexibility.


There are some sports which will put much stress on the knees like basketbal,football, running and jogging.


A health care provider will begin by asking queries related to your general health and then specifically to the cause of the knee pain:

  • How long does knee pain last?
  • How severe was the knee pain?
  • Is there something that makes you feel better or worse?

Next, a knee exam will be done. This will include bending the knee through the full range of motion, checking the stability of the ligaments, and assessing for tenderness and swelling. It is often helpful to compare the results of the examination of the painful knee with those of the other knee. This is often all that is needed to make a diagnosis and begin treatment. In various research studies, an experienced examiner is as reliable as an X-ray examination.

Sometimes the doctor may want to do more tests, such as the following tests.

Radiological tests

  • Plain radiography can establish fractures and degenerative changes of the knee.
  • MRI is used to measure the soft tissues of the knee for ligament tears or cartilage and muscle injuries

Blood test

If gout, arthritis, or other medical conditions are suspected, a healthcare professional may order blood tests.

Joint fluid removal

Some conditions are best diagnosed by removing a small amount of fluid from the knee joint. During arthrocentesis, a small needle is placed into the joint, and fluid is removed. This is done with a sterile method. The liquid is then sent to the laboratory for testing. This procedure is particularly helpful if an infected knee joint is suspected or to separate between gout and different forms of arthritis. If there is a pool of blood in the joint due to a traumatic injury, removing the fluid can help relieve pain.


Treatments for knee pain are as diverse as the conditions that can cause pain.


Medicines may be prescribed to treat an underlying medical condition or to relieve pain. If you regularly take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs for your knee pain, you should see your doctor.


Sometimes physiotherapy sessions to strengthen the muscles around the knee will make it more stable and help ensure the best mechanical movements. Working with a physical therapist can help prevent injury or the aggravation of an injury.


Injecting drugs directly into your knee can help in some situations. The two common injections are corticosteroids and lubricants. Corticosteroid injections can help arthritis and other inflammation of the knee. For every few months, they need to repeat. Lubricants similar to the fluid already in the knee joint can help relieve movement and pain.


Knee operations extend from arthroscopic knee surgery to Total knee replacement. Arthroscopic knee surgery is a very common surgical procedure that allows the doctor to look inside your knee through a few small holes and a fiber-optic camera. The surgeon can repair many injuries and remove small pieces of loose bone or cartilage. This is a common outpatient procedure.

Partial knee replacement

In this surgery, the surgeon replaces damaged parts of the knee with plastic and metal parts. Since only part of the knee joint is replaced, this procedure has a shorter recovery than a total knee replacement.

Total knee replacement

In this procedure, the knee is replaced by an artificial joint.

Other therapies

Acupuncture has shown some relief from knee pain, especially in patients with osteoarthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have shown mixed results in studies.

Home Remedies

Follow some of the home treatments which will help you in getting relief from the knee pain:

Physical activity

Exercise helps in strengthening the joints. Doing proper exercise will help you in getting relief from the knee pain. People who are facing joint pain can get benefited from activities like water aerobics.

Strengthening exercises

Tips you can follow for strengthening your muscles are:

  • While lying or sitting on the bed stretch your legs.
  • Do step-ups
  • Sit on a chair and stand, repeat this for a minute
  • Hold the chair and start doing squats.

Weight loss and diet

People who are overweight have more risk of getting knee pain. Losing weight will help in getting rid of knee pain which includes pain that is caused by arthritis.

So maintaining a proper diet will help in reducing the knee pain. A balanced diet includes:

  • Fruit, vegetables and fiber (high)
  • Meat, animal fat and other fat (Low)


Massage will help you in giving great relief to your knee pain. Give a regular massage to your knee.

Heat and Cold packs on knee

This will be effective in treating pain in the lower back of your knee. The heat or heat pack helps in relaxing the muscle and improves lubrication which leads to the reduction of stiffness. For this, a person can use a water bottle or warm pad. Ice can be wrapped in a cloth and applied on the knee for reducing pain and swelling.

When to visit a Doctor?

Any knee injury that is caused by sudden trauma like a road accident needs immediate medical attention.

If there is any kind of considerable pain, cuts or swelling then it should be checked by the Doctor. Visit your doctor if you’ve following problems:

  • Significant swelling
  • Severe pain
  • Fever
  • Swelling around the joint
  • Unable to walk

It’s very important to get treatment at an earlier stage for avoiding any major side effects.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know if my knee pain is serious?

Your knee pain may get serious if you have these symptoms:

  • Knee swelling
  • Deformity in knee
  • Fever due to severe pain
  • Redness and pain in knee
  • Knee swelling

2. What can you do to relieve from knee pain?

To relieve knee pain take proper rest and don’t put much pressure on your knees. Rub ice or hot packs on the knees.

3. What causes knee pain?

The most common cause of getting knee pain is ageing, injury and putting a lot of stress on your knees. Some of the knee problems include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears and arthritis.

4. What can cause knee pain without injury?

There are some common causes of knee pain without injuries:

  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Knee swelling

5. Is walking good for knee pain?

Walking helps to ease the knee pain and disability from osteoarthritis. Also, walking helps in sending more blood and nutrients to your knee joints.

6. When should I worry about knee pain?

If there is sudden pain in your knees and it lasts for more than 48 hours then there is a need to visit a doctor.

7. How to reduce knee pain?

Take a break from normal activities for reducing repetitive stress in the knee. Try rubbing ice or a hot pack for getting immediate relief from the knee pain.

8. What does arthritis in the knee feel like?

Arthritis can feel like swelling and redness around the joint. Pain and inflammation are caused due to the degeneration of joints.