Knee pain is the most common musculoskeletal complaint that brings people to their doctor. With today’s increasingly active society, the number of knee problems is increasing. Knee pain has a wide variety of specific causes and treatments.
In treating many types of knee pain, a common goal is to break the inflammatory cycle, which starts with an injury. After an injury, substances that cause inflammation invade the knee, which causes further injury, which leads to further inflammation, and so on. This cycle of inflammation leads to continued or progressive knee pain. The cycle can be broken by controlling the substances that cause inflammation and by limiting further injury to the tissue. Some common home-care techniques that control inflammation and help break the inflammatory cycle are Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This regimen is summarized by the memory device PRICE.
When to Call the Doctor
Should you experience a serious knee injury, do not hesitate to go to the ER immediately. If, however, you feel that your injury, or knee pain, is not an immediate concern, a good rule of thumb is that if your symptoms have not gone away after 3 to 7 days of PRICE therapy and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications, then you should set up an appointment with your doctor or a sports medicine or orthopedic specialist. Remember, however, that this rule should only serve as a guide. If you are concerned about the pain, do not ever hesitate to call your doctor or go to the ER.
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT INTENDED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. PLEASE BE SURE TO SEEK THE ADVICE OF A LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE ADMINISTERING ANY MEDICAL CARE.