My Knee Hurts. What Should I Do Next? – Acute or Chronic Knee Pain

August 1, 2018

Use your judgement if you have knee pain, but if in doubt, consult a medical professional or knee specialist.

There are 2 general categories of knee pain and problems:

  1. acute injury or
  2. damage from chronic overuse

An acute injury would be from a twist or an impact.  Often this results in sprains and strains and knee pain.

Examples of acute injuries include:

Although overuse injuries may pop up, the condition develops over time.  Examples of overuse injuries causing knee pain include:

All knee problems come in varying degrees of severity.  As a rule, the amount of pain and swelling correlate to the degree of tissue injury.   One of the first questions I ask is, “could you continue to play after you injured your knee?”  If so, this suggests an injury may be more minor in nature.  The next question is “Is the knee problem getting better, worse, or no different?”  A worsening situation would definitely require a visit to the knee specialist.

There are several signs that would suggest a significant injury, ie, that which requires medical attention:

Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) are good rules of thumb.  Again, use your judgement.  In doubt, consult a professional or knee specialist.

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