Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Pain Management Health Center

Select An Article

Knee Pain Overview

Font Size

Anatomy of the Knee continued...


  • Cartilaginous structures called menisci (one is a meniscus) line the top of the tibia and lie between the tibia and the 2 knuckles at the bottom of the femur (called the femoral condyles).
  • The menisci's primary job is to provide cushioning for the knee joint.


  • Bursae (one is a bursa) are fluid-filled sacs that help to cushion the knee. The knee contains 3 important groups of bursae:
  • The prepatellar bursae lie in front of the patella.
  • The anserine bursae is located on the inner side of the knee about 2 inches below the joint.
  • The infrapatellar bursae are located underneath the patella.

Home Care for Knee Pain

Inflammation is the body's physiologic response to an injury. In treating many types of knee pain, a common goal is to break the inflammatory cycle. The inflammatory cycle starts with an injury. After an injury, substances that cause inflammation invade the knee to assist in healing. However, if the injury and subsequent inflammation is not resolved, inflammation can become a chronic issue, leading to further inflammation and additional injury. This cycle of inflammation leads to continued or progressive knee pain. The cycle can be broken by controlling the substances that cause inflammation, and by limiting further injury to tissue.

Some common home care techniques for knee pain that control inflammation and help to break the inflammatory cycle are protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This regimen is summarized by the memory device PRICE.

PROTECT the knee from further trauma.

  • This can be done with knee padding or splinting.
  • A pad over the kneecap, for example, helps to control the symptoms of some knee injuries (an example is a form of bursitis sometimes called housemaid's knee) by preventing further repetitive injury to the prepatellar bursae.

REST the knee.

  • Rest reduces the repetitive strain placed on the knee by activity.
  • Rest both gives the knee time to heal and helps to prevent further injury.

ICE the knee.

  • Icing the knee reduces swelling and can be used for both acute and chronic knee injuries.
  • Most authorities recommend icing the knee 2 to 3 times a day for 20-30 minutes each time.
  • Use an ice bag or a bag of frozen vegetables placed on the knee.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

pain in brain and nerves
Top causes and how to find relief.
knee exercise
8 exercises for less knee pain.
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
illustration of nerves in hand
lumbar spine
Woman opening window
Man holding handful of pills
Woman shopping for vegetables
Sore feet with high heel shoes
acupuncture needles in woman's back
man with a migraine