Knee pain can be caused by problems with the knee joint itself, or it can be caused by conditions affecting the soft tissues — ligaments, tendons or bursae — that surround the knee.
The severity of knee pain can vary widely. Some people may feel only a slight twinge, while others may experience debilitating knee pain that interferes with their day-to-day activities. In most cases, self-care measures can help you cope with knee pain.
Knee pain causes include:
Knee pain that comes on slowly, or as a result of activity that's more strenuous than usual, can be managed at home. Knee pain that occurs from a relatively minor injury can often be safely observed for a day or two to see if self-care measures will be helpful.
Long-term knee pain from arthritis is often helped by weight loss and exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joint. Other self-care options include:
Make an appointment with your doctor if your knee pain was caused by a particularly forceful impact or if it's accompanied by:
If you've had minor knee pain for some time, make an appointment with your doctor if the pain worsens to the point that it interferes with your usual activities or sleep.
Ask someone to drive you to urgent care or the emergency room if your knee pain is caused by an injury and is accompanied by: