Understanding knee pain - part two

The knee is a common joint prone to a range of aches and pains, which are usually not a sign of anything serious.

Like all parts of the body, there are structures that are susceptible to injury within the knee including ligaments, cartilage and tendons.

Most injuries to structures within the knee recover on their own with time (around six weeks, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer), rest and gradual increase in activity.

However in some cases, or after more serious injury, aches and pains can persist.

Older man holding his knee whilst on a run in a forest

When pain persists

You may notice common signs such as swelling, redness, bruising, and more specifically to the knee creaking, catching and feelings of the joint giving way.

These signs and symptoms may mean that a structure is more irritated in the knee, and you may notice movements such as sitting, kneeling, climbing stairs and walking to be a lot more difficult.

You might find that you avoid these movements and activities because they feel or sound unpleasant.

Additionally, you may also notice that you change the way you walk either because of pain, the unpleasant sound or feeling and feeling less confident about the strength of your knee.

To better understand your knee pain, it’s helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Did I sustain an injury because of a trip, slip or fall?
  2. Did my knee pain come on gradually after doing a lot of kneeling or bending?
  3. Have I recently taken up an activity such as a sport or running?

Asking yourself these questions can give you clues as to why your knee pain may have started. However, knee pain seemingly starts out of the blue.

The next set of questions to ask yourself about your knee pain include:

  1. Have I noticed any swelling or puffiness in my knee more recently?
  2. Does my knee feel hot or have I noticed any redness?
  3. Do I feel unsure about my knee or feel unsteady?
  4. Do I feel pain in one location or all around the knee?
  5. Does my knee pain spread up or down from my knee?

These questions can help you understand more about what is happening in and with your knee such as inflammation.

If you have answered yes to any of these questions these are normal things to feel and experience with an injury and it is a good sign that your body is doing the job of healing your tissues.

However, if you notice any further symptoms such as:

  1. Your knee isn’t getting better as you would expect it to
  2. Your ability to participate in activities with friends of family is restricted
  3. You are concerned or worried about your knee

It is worth coming to have a chat with one of our friendly APM physiotherapists who will assess your knee and work with you to get you back to work and play.

You can book an appointment with an APM Physiotherapist online or in your local area by calling 0800 967 522.

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