Knee Joint Pain Relief

The knees are one of the most hard-wearing joints on our body – they are active and weight-bearing and unfortunately, they are one of the most commonly injured joints. Injury can affect the ligaments, cartilage, menisci and bones forming the joint and because of the complexity of this area, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what part of the knee joint is injured.

What Causes Knee Joint Pain?

A number of things can cause joint pain, including injury or tears to the ligaments, cartilage, menisci or bones that form the knee joint, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, cysts behind the knee, infection of the bone, tumours, Pellegrini-Stieda syndrome and chrondomalacia.

Relief from Knee Joint Pain

In most cases, the goal of treatment is to break the inflammatory cycle. Inflammation begins with an injury. If the knee is not properly rested, the knee will keep getting inflamed and a cycle of injury and pain will begin. This can lead to progressive or continued knee pain. This inflammatory cycle is broken by treating the inflammation and by resting the knee to prevent further injury.

If the knee pain is due to injury and not to disease, the pain can be treated and controlled at home by using the following mnemonic: PRICE.

PROTECT the knee from further damage or injury by knee padding.

REST the knee to give it time to heal and to prevent more strain.

ICE the knee for twenty to thirty minutes two or three times a day to reduce swelling and inflammation and to ease pain.

COMPRESS the knee with a knee brace or wrap to reduce swelling and to keep the knee joint intact, enabling it to heal faster.

ELEVATE the knee to reduce swelling, to help fluid to drain from the knee joint and to help with circulation.

You can also use over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen, paracetamol or a combination drug. If the pain is particularly bad, go to your doctor as they will be able to prescribe stronger medication to you. Ibuprofen also helps to reduce inflammation as well as pain. These sorts of anti-inflammatory medications should not be used if you suffer with bleeding or stomach ulcers.

Medical Treatment for Knee Joint Pain

Fractures of the knee will be treated with a cast or splint or surgery will be used to treat the fracture if it is particularly severe. If ligaments or tendons have been torn or injured particularly badly, they will be treated through surgery.

If an individual is suffering with arthritis and that is the cause of the knee pain, pain will be controlled with anti-inflammatory medication as far as possible. However, it is not uncommon for knees to be replaced with a synthetic knee joint if the pain is particularly bad. Treatment for painful knees due to arthritis will depend on the type of arthritis you suffer with and you should speak to your doctor at the earliest available opportunity so you can begin a course of treatment.

Infection of the bone or ligaments will be treated with antibiotics, depending on the severity and placement of the infection. Infection may require there to be surgical drainage of the knee joint or aspiration of the joint if the infection is particularly bad.

In most cases, knee pain can be treated at home. However, if you are suffering with any other symptoms, such as swelling around the knee or fever and nausea, see your doctor as you could be dealing with something that requires medical intervention such as antibiotics or surgery. If you cannot see your doctor, speak to your local pharmacist and they will be able to advise you on the best types of medication and treatment for your painful knee joint.