Knee Pain Treatment in Northern Alabama & Tennessee
As a common issue that many individuals face, knee pain has various causes that span from acute injuries to larger, more aggressive medical conditions. Because knee pain can be aggravated by most movement, it’s important to make sure to find out the source of the issue and correct it before it becomes worse.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
Because of the knee’s importance to everyday movement, it’s likely that you’ll notice pain almost immediately. However, the location and severity of that pain may differ based on the issue. Common symptoms of knee pain can include:
- Swelling and redness
- Overall weakness in the knee region
- A popping feeling or noise when walking or bending
- Stiffness or an inability to fully straighten the knee
- Sharp pain
If you are unable to bear weight on your knee, or you feel that you are unstable when standing or walking, it’s important to contact a specialist at TOC as soon as possible. In addition, the following are signs that you should make an appointment:
- Consistent swelling that is not resolving
- An obvious area that is deformed on the knee
- Pain so severe that you are unable to handle daily activities
- A constant inability to bend or straighten the knee
What Causes Knee Pain?
In some situations, such as sports injuries, the cause of your knee pain may be obvious. Other times, however, the cause may require a bit more research to determine. A few common causes of knee pain include:
Usually sustained during car accidents or hard falls, this is when one the bones of the knee is broken.
This will most commonly involve the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and is often sports-related and occurs when people quickly change direction.
A dislocation happens when the kneecap slides out of position and causes nearly instant pain and swelling.
This occurs when a knee injury causes inflammation in the small sacs of fluid around your knee joint, also known as bursae.
This most often happens to active individuals who suddenly twist while running or walking, and occurs when a knee injury causes the cartilage to rip.
There are many types of arthritis that can impact the body. The most common types that affect the knee are: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, septic arthritis, and gout.
Although these are some of the most common causes, it’s always important to see your specialist at TOC for proper analysis of your injury.
Diagnosing Knee Pain
The first step to diagnosing your knee pain is contacting TOC to request an appointment. Although some knee pain can resolve on its own, being proactive can save you a great deal of pain in the long run.
Once you have made your appointment, your doctor will ask you a few questions regarding your injury and pain level. Be prepared to answer some of the following questions:
- When did the pain start?
- How severe is the pain?
- When does the pain increase the most and does it lessen at any point?
- Did you do anything that could have caused injury to your knee?
Your doctor will then proceed to do a physical exam in which he or she inspects how the knee moves and if there is any swelling, pain, or tenderness at any point in time.
If your doctor is unable to determine the cause of the injury, a series of imaging (MRI, X-Ray, CT, Ultrasound) or lab tests may be ordered. This will all be discussed and determined at your appointment.
Treatment for Knee Pain
Treatment will vary greatly depending on the actual cause of the injury, so it’s important to discuss with your doctor. Some common treatment options include:
If the issue is not severe, your doctor may recommend a few at-home treatment options including:
- RICE: Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
- Continue exercise
- Limit rest, but listen to your body
- Avoid areas that could lead to a fall and use a walking aid
- Elevate your leg to reduce swelling
- Add heat and compression to the knee
Your doctor may suggest injections such as corticosteroids to help reduce swelling and pain. There are additional medications and injections including PRP and NSAIDs that may be discussed.
Regardless of your treatment option, it’s likely that your doctor will suggest physical therapy. This will assist in making your knee more stable and getting you back to your normal life. Therapy is especially important if you are someone who plays sports or is active.
Surgery is somewhat common for specific knee injuries. However, it’s not always immediate and may be combined with other treatment options. Surgeries can include the following:
- Total or partial knee replacement
- Arthroscopic surgery
It’s important to discuss all options with your doctor before making a decision.
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
At TOC, our goal is to provide you with the best care to get you back to where you want to be after dealing with knee pain. Contact us today to set up your appointment and find out your options.