What’s Causing Your Knee Pain?
Patellar tendinitis: This means you have inflammation in the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone. Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect muscles to your bones. When you overdo exercise, they can become inflamed and sore. You may also hear it called “jumper’s knee” because repetitive jumping is the most common cause.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome: Muscle imbalance, tightness, and alignment of the legs usually cause this condition. It’s not due to an injury. It's particularly common in teenage girls.
What Does a Knee Injury Feel Like?
Obviously, it hurts! But the type of pain can vary, depending on what the problem is. You may have:
- Pain, often when you bend or straighten the knee
- Trouble bearing weight on the knee
- Problems moving your knee
If you have these symptoms, see your doctor. He will check your knee. You may also need X-rays or an MRI to see more detail of the joint.
Knee Injury: 6 Things to Do for the Pain
Your plan will depend on your specific injury. Mild to moderate ones will often get better on their own. To speed the healing, you can:
Rest your knee. Take a few days off from intense activity.
Ice your knee to curb pain and swelling. Do it for 15-20 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days or until the pain is gone.
Compress your knee. Use an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves to keep down swelling or add support.
Elevate your knee with a pillow under your heel when you're sitting or lying down to reduce swelling.
Take anti-inflammatory medications. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen will help with pain and swelling. Follow the instructions on the label. These drugs can have side effects, so you should only use them now and then unless your doctor says otherwise.
Practice stretching and strengthening exercises if your doctor recommends them. You may want to do physical therapy, too.
Some people with knee pain need more help. For instance, if you have bursitis, your doctor may need to draw out extra fluid from the bursa in your knee. If you have arthritis, you may need an occasional corticosteroid shot to settle down inflammation for arthritis. And if you have a torn ligament or certain knee injuries, you may need surgery.