Knee Pain

Knee Pain & Injury

Article by John Miller

What Is Causing Your Knee Pain?

Knee pain or knee injuries are widespread, and there are many causes. It is crucial to make an accurate diagnosis of the reason from a thorough assessment. It would be best if you directed appropriate treatment at the origin. Knee pain can arise from soft tissue injuries (e.g. ligament sprains and muscle strains), bone conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis, Osgood Schlatters Disease) and biomechanical dysfunction (e.g. Patellofemoral syndrome). Your sciatic nerve can even refer to your knee.

Knee pain has many causes, and treatment varies considerably depending on the diagnosis. Treatment may involve simple knee mobilisation techniques, massage, taping, stretches or strengthening exercises. Thorough rehabilitation protocols post-knee reconstruction or knee replacement surgeries provide excellent outcomes.

How Do You Know If Your Knee Injury Is Serious?

While it is always best to seek the professional advice of a highly skilled practitioner trained in knee injuries, such as your doctor or physiotherapist, here are seven signs that could indicate a severe knee injury.

  1. Obvious deformity. You may have a fracture or dislocation.
  2. You heard a “pop” or “snap”.
  3. You’ve experienced swelling.
  4. Greater than normal movement
  5. Less than usual movement, e.g. can’t straighten
  6. You are unable to weight-bear on your leg
  7. Your knee “gives way” or “buckles”.

What is the Best Exercise for Knee Pain?

It may seem a little contradictory, but researchers have identified that knee exercises may assist in the relief of your knee pain. The vital thing to determine is which knee exercises are likely to help you, which could be harmful.

What exercise dosage you should be doing is also important. Your exercise dosage will vary depending upon your specific diagnosis, injury phase, and other individual health factors. Your physiotherapist’s professional training will guide you quickly back to pain-free knees.

While we’d like to say that all knee exercises are beneficial to you, there are significant individual differences between all patients who present with knee pain. For example, an older diabetic or overweight patient will require a very different set of knee exercises from a young high-performance athlete or a patient who has just had knee surgery.

Based on the significant individual differences between patients with knee pain, your knee treatment can differ from someone else with a similar issue. Seek the professional advice of your trusted physiotherapist or healthcare practitioner who has a particular interest in knee pain and injuries to guide your knee rehabilitation.

Common Causes - Knee Pain

Knee pain can have many origins from local injury, referred pain, biomechanical issues and systemic issues. While knee pain can appear simple to the untrained eye, a thorough assessment is often required to ascertain the origin of your symptoms. The good news is that once a definitive diagnosis is determined, most knee pain quickly resolves with the correct treatment and rehabilitation.

Knee Ligament Injuries

Knee Meniscus Injuries

Kneecap Pain

Knee Arthritis

Knee Tendon Injuries

Muscle Injuries

Knee Bursitis

Children’s Knee Conditions

Other Knee-Related Conditions

Knee Surgery

Knee FAQs

For specific information regarding your knee pain, please seek the assistance of a healthcare professional with a particular interest in knee condition, such as your knee physiotherapist.

Acute Injury Signs

Acute Injury Management.

Here are some warning signs that you have an injury. While some injuries are immediately evident, others can creep up slowly and progressively get worse. If you don't pay attention to both types of injuries, chronic problems can develop.

For detailed information on specific injuries, check out the injury by body part section.

Don't Ignore these Injury Warning Signs

Joint Pain

Joint pain, particularly in the knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist joints, should never be ignored. Because these joints are not covered by muscle, pain here is rarely of muscular origin. Joint pain that lasts more than 48 hours requires a professional diagnosis.


If you can elicit pain at a specific point in a bone, muscle, or joint, you may have a significant injury by pressing your finger into it. If the same spot on the other side of the body does not produce the same pain, you should probably see your health professional.  


Nearly all sports or musculoskeletal injuries cause swelling. Swelling is usually quite obvious and can be seen, but occasionally you may feel as though something is swollen or "full" even though it looks normal. Swelling usually goes along with pain, redness and heat.

Reduced Range of Motion

If the swelling isn't obvious, you can usually find it by checking for a reduced range of motion in a joint. If there is significant swelling within a joint, you will lose range of motion. Compare one side of the body with the other to identify major differences. If there are any, you probably have an injury that needs attention.


Compare sides for weakness by performing the same task. One way to tell is to lift the same weight with the right and left sides and look at the result. Or try to place body weight on one leg and then the other. A difference in your ability to support your weight is another suggestion of an injury that requires attention.

Immediate Injury Treatment: Step-by-Step Guidelines

  • Stop the activity immediately.
  • Wrap the injured part in a compression bandage.
  • Apply ice to the injured part (use a bag of crushed ice or a bag of frozen vegetables).
  • Elevate the injured part to reduce swelling.
  • Consult your health practitioner for a proper diagnosis of any serious injury.
  • Rehabilitate your injury under professional guidance.
  • Seek a second opinion if you are not improving.