Knee pain – it can hit at any time and it may be the result of an injury, a medical condition, or being overweight. Knee pain can also be the result of sitting too long; that is, being inactive. In fact, since COVID-19 changed our world, an increasing number of patients have reported knee pain and discomfort from working too many hours in their home office or from being curled up on the couch for extended periods of time, watching sports, TV shows, news, and movies.
Common knee injuries are caused by bending force applied to the knee, twisting, or a direct blow, like from falls or accidents. Common injuries include sprains, bursitis, fractures, meniscus tears, and overuse injuries. Risk factors involve improper training, overuse, under-use, having osteoporosis, and playing high-impact sports.
Preventing knee pain and injuries requires proper equipment, proper training, and maintaining a safe home and work environment to avoid falls.
When should you visit the doctor for knee pain?
You need to book an appointment right away if your pain does not respond to rest or remains consistent after a few days. You should also see the doctor if you have swelling, deformity, inability to bend, fever, significant pain, or unable to walk. Your health care professional may ask questions about your general health, the nature of the knee pain, and may perform an examination. An X-ray, MRI, and blood tests may also be required in assessing your pain.
How do I know if my knee pain is really serious?
You will know right away if your knee pain is serious. The following symptoms will alert you if your pain is a cause for concern: have a fever; redness, pain, and swelling in your knee; have severe knee pain that is associated with an injury; obvious deformity in your leg or knee; are unable to flex or extend your knee; and feel if the knee could give out or can’t bear weight on your knee.
How long should knee pain last?
The recovery time for a knee injury really depends on the type and severity of the injury. If the injury is bad, then you may need surgery or physical therapy, which means recovery time may be longer. Simple sprains or strains can last up to two weeks, and more extensive injuries make take anywhere from one month to three months to heal. Major traumatic injuries of the knee could take up to one year to heal. Patients with knee pain should always follow the doctor’s recommendations for immobilization, rest, staying off your feet, avoiding exercise that may aggravate injury and help speed up recovery time. Physical therapy might also speed up recovery time, and for those with chronic knee injuries who do not require surgery may experience flare-ups from time-to-time. Cortisone injections, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications are used to help provide temporary relief.
What type of doctor do I need to see for knee pain?
If you have knee pain, you should consult with your primary physician who may help diagnose the cause. They will conduct an exam and may order and X-ray or MRI. Some patients may be referred to an orthopedic specialist who may provide more specific information about your pain. Pain management specialists are suited to help too as they are trained in pain management and are able to help evaluate and develop a treatment plan that works for you. Pain management is very important for any treatment plan, both for lessening pain and discomfort and aiding in the recovery process. Pain management specialists are aware of the full range of pain relief options and how to use them in combination. You should really see a pain management specialist if your short-term knee pain seems to be transitioning into long-term pain (lasting more than 90 days or sooner). Pain management specialists may provide diagnosis and treatment, or they may consult with other health care providers, like your physician, orthopedists, rheumatologist, or physical therapist.
If you have knee pain and are seeking treatment, we welcome you to contact us through our website today. Our pain management specialists will help treat your pain and help you on the road to recovery. We are open Monday to Friday.