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The knee is very prone to pain because it is easily damaged when it’s taking the full weight of your body during everyday activities. When you do anything more intense, such as running or jumping, the forces on the knee are hugely increased. Sports that involve twisting and turning on your legs, such as netball, skiing or football, carry a high risk of injury to the knee. Therefore, it’s not surprising that while exact figures are hard to come by, knee pain is extremely common.
Common conditions associated with the knee joint include:
Treatment for knee pain will depend on the nature of the condition and the severity.
A simple grade one sprain for example may simply require a few days’ rest, whereas a grade 3 sprain may require surgery to replace / reconstruct the ligament, a period of time in a rigid knee brace (so you can’t bend it) and then a few months of physio to strengthen the joint once again (totaling about 9 months).
It is because of this and the wide range of treatment options and recovery times that having a professional diagnosis is essential in the first instance in order to best establish the treatment pathway most suited to you.
Before you go to your doctor (as you might not need to) you should refer to the RICE protocol:
Should your knee pain fail to show any signs of improvement after 24/48 hours then you should go and visit your doctor. Obviously if your injury is serious (this will be pretty obvious from the outset) then you should seek medical attention straight away.
There are some red flags in relation to knee pain that should send you to the GP for a consultation. These include situations where:
Your doctor will ask you a series of questions in order to understand the root cause of the problem and the extent of the damage and may refer you for further tests which may include blood tests, an x-ray or an MRI before a true diagnosis can be made a suitable treatment plan devised.