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Why Won’t My Knees Stop Hurting?

Why Won't My Knees Stop Hurting?

Why Won't My Knees Stop Hurting?

Persistent knee pain can arise from various factors such as muscle strain, osteoarthritis, or a traumatic injury. A knee surgeon can help identify the cause of your pain and provide valuable treatment options to alleviate the discomfort. Proper diagnosis and management will allow you to find relief and return to your daily activities without discomfort. Here are some of the common causes of knee pain that may be contributing to your discomfort:


Injuries are a common cause of knee pain and can occur from various activities such as sports, repetitive strain injuries, or accidents like falls or car crashes. These injuries can damage the knee joint’s ligaments, tendons, or cartilage. Dislocations, fractures, and sprains are common injuries that can cause knee pain. Seek medical attention if you have experienced a traumatic event or participate in high-impact activities that may put stress on your knees. A knee surgeon can assess the severity of your injury and recommend the appropriate treatment plan to help you recover.


Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints, including the knees. The primary types of arthritis that lead to knee pain are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis happens when the safeguarding cartilage in your knee gradually deteriorates, leading to soreness and rigidity. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition affecting joint linings, causing tissue harm. Consult a knee surgeon for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.


Overuse of the knee joint can also lead to knee pain. This is common in athletes or those who engage in repetitive activities that strain the knees. When these activities are done without proper form, it can cause damage and inflammation to the knee joint. Listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Physical activities like running, jumping, and squatting should be done in proper form to avoid overuse injuries.


Carrying excess weight can put added stress on the knee joint. The knees bear most of the body’s weight when standing, walking, or engaging in physical activities. This can lead to joint pain and put you at a higher risk of developing arthritis. If you are struggling with obesity, consult a healthcare professional for guidance on maintaining a healthy weight and reducing strain on your knees. Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet can help alleviate pressure on the knees and reduce the risk of knee injuries.

Symptoms of Knee Pain

Knee pain can manifest in various ways depending on the underlying cause. Some common symptoms include:

  1. Swelling: Inflammation in and around the knee joint can lead to swelling, making the knee appear larger than usual.
  2. Stiffness: Difficulty bending or straightening the knee, particularly after periods of inactivity or upon waking up in the morning.
  3. Instability: A feeling that the knee is giving way or unable to support your weight as if it might buckle.
  4. Clicking or popping sounds: Hearing clicking, popping, or grinding noises when moving the knee, which may indicate damage to the cartilage or meniscus.
  5. Redness and warmth: In some cases, the skin around the knee may appear red and feel warm to the touch, indicating inflammation.

Diagnostic Methods

To accurately diagnose the cause of your knee pain, a knee surgeon may use the following methods:

  1. Physical examination: The surgeon will inspect your knee for signs of swelling, tenderness, and range of motion. They may also perform specific tests to assess the stability of your knee ligaments.
  2. Imaging tests: X-rays can help identify fractures, arthritis, and other bone-related issues. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computed tomography) scans provide more detailed images of soft tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.
  3. Arthroscopy: In some cases, the surgeon may recommend an arthroscopy. This minimally invasive surgical procedure involves inserting a small camera into the knee joint to visualize the internal structures and identify any damage.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Depending on the cause and severity of your knee pain, non-surgical treatment options may include:

  1. Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen the muscles around your knee, improve flexibility, and reduce pain.
  2. Injections: Corticosteroid injections can help reduce inflammation and pain in the knee joint. Hyaluronic acid injections may be used to lubricate the knee joint and improve mobility.
  3. Lifestyle modifications: Losing weight, if necessary, can help reduce stress on the knee joint. Avoiding high-impact activities and wearing supportive shoes can also help manage knee pain.

Surgical Procedures

If non-surgical treatments do not provide relief, your knee surgeon may recommend one of the following surgical procedures:

  1. Arthroscopy: During this procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions in your knee and uses a small camera to visualize the inside of the joint. They can then repair or remove damaged tissue, such as a torn meniscus or loose cartilage.
  2. Partial or total knee replacement: In cases of severe arthritis or injury, the surgeon may recommend replacing part or all of the damaged knee joint with an artificial implant.
  3. Ligament repair: If you have torn a ligament in your knee, such as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the surgeon may perform a procedure to reconstruct the damaged ligament.

Post-Treatment Care and Rehabilitation

After undergoing treatment for knee pain, it is essential to follow a proper rehabilitation plan to ensure a successful recovery. This may include:

  1. Physical therapy exercises: Your physical therapist will provide you with specific exercises to help regain strength and mobility in your knee joint.
  2. Proper wound care: If you have undergone surgery, follow your surgeon’s instructions for caring for the incision site and changing dressings to minimize the risk of infection.
  3. Gradual return to activities: Follow your healthcare provider’s guidelines for gradually increasing physical activity and returning to sports or other high-impact activities.
  4. Pain management: Use prescribed pain medications as directed and apply ice or heat to the affected area to manage pain and swelling.

Prevention Exercises

To help prevent knee pain and maintain joint health, consider incorporating the following exercises into your routine:

  1. Quadriceps strengthening: Exercises like straight leg raises and squats can help strengthen the muscles on the front of your thigh, which support the knee joint.
  2. Hamstring stretches: Stretching the muscles on the back of your thigh can improve flexibility and reduce stress on the knee.
  3. Core stability exercises: Plank holds and bridges can help improve core strength, which contributes to better posture and balance, reducing strain on the knees.
  4. Low-impact cardiovascular exercises: Swimming, cycling, and elliptical machines provide cardio benefits without placing excessive stress on the knees.

Risk Factors for Knee Pain

In addition to the factors mentioned earlier, other risk factors for knee pain include:

  1. Age: As you get older, the risk of developing knee problems like osteoarthritis increases.
  2. Gender: Women are more likely to experience certain types of knee pain, such as patellofemoral pain syndrome.
  3. Previous injuries: If you have had a prior knee injury, you are more likely to experience knee pain in the future.
  4. Occupations involving repetitive stress: Jobs that require frequent kneeling, squatting, or heavy lifting can put extra stress on the knee joint.

When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

While many cases of knee pain can be managed with self-care and non-surgical treatments, certain symptoms warrant immediate medical attention. Seek prompt care if you experience:

  1. Severe pain that prevents you from bearing weight on your knee
  2. Significant swelling that does not improve with rest and ice
  3. Visible deformity of the knee joint
  4. Inability to fully extend or flex your knee
  5. Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, or redness and warmth around the knee

By understanding the various aspects of knee pain, from symptoms and causes to prevention and treatment options, you can take proactive steps to maintain the health of your knees and seek appropriate care when necessary. If you are experiencing persistent knee pain, consult a knee surgeon for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan to help you find relief and regain mobility.

Final Thoughts

Knee pain is a common problem that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. By understanding the various causes of knee pain, such as injuries, arthritis, overuse, and obesity, you can take proactive steps to prevent and manage this condition. Incorporating preventive measures like wearing protective equipment, avoiding overexertion, warming up before physical activity, and strengthening your muscles can help reduce the risk of knee pain and injuries.

If you are experiencing persistent knee pain, it is essential to consult a knee surgeon for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Depending on the underlying cause and severity of your condition, your surgeon may recommend non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, medications, or injections or surgical interventions such as arthroscopy, knee replacement, or ligament repair.

By following proper post-treatment care and rehabilitation guidelines, you can ensure a successful recovery and regain mobility in your knee joint. Remember to listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe pain, significant swelling, or other concerning symptoms.

Ultimately, by staying informed, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and working closely with your healthcare provider, you can effectively manage knee pain and preserve the long-term health of your knees. Don’t let knee pain hold you back from enjoying an active and fulfilling life – take control of your joint health today

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