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What Can I Do If My Knee Hurts?

What Can I Do If My Knee Hurts?

Knee pain affects people of all ages. If you experience a traumatic injury or your knee is hot and swollen, Michael Xu, MD, a Greensboro orthopedic surgeon with CHMG OrthoCare, urges you to seek medical attention. However, for everyday knee pain, home remedies may offer relief.

Dr. Xu suggests assessing your knee pain first. How long have you had knee pain? Did you recently injure your knee? Is your pain sharp, stabbing or a dull ache? Does your knee feel loose or pop?

“Understanding the nature of your pain and what may be causing it can help you determine next steps,” says Dr. Xu. “For instance, chronic aching pains can be caused by physical activities or tendinitis or arthritis.”

For many types of knee pain, you can start with ice, rest and over-the-counter medications like naproxen sodium or ibuprofen.

“Get evaluated if at home remedies do not help after 2 to 4 weeks or if you have severe or worsening symptoms like a swollen inflamed knee,” adds Dr. Xu. “Most health insurance plans allow you to make an appointment directly with an orthopedist.”

During an office visit, you can expect a physical examination of your knee. X-rays and other scans may be taken. Treatment options may include cortisone shots, at home exercises, physical therapy or a prescription anti-inflammatory.

“To prevent injuries, strengthen your knees with proper warm ups and stretching before physical activity,” concludes Dr. Xu, who recommends adding knee conditioning to your exercise routine.

About the Author

Michael Xu, MD, is a Greensboro orthopedic surgeon with CHMG OrthoCare.