Knee Pain: Do You Need a Doctor's Care?

When knee pain occurs, it’s tempting to just live with the discomfort — and in many cases, that’s an acceptable course of action. “Eighty percent of the knee problems people have will resolve by themselves within a period of time,”

But in some cases of knee pain, it’s better to seek medical advice than to tough it out. If you’re aching but unsure whether to see the doctor, check out our list of signs that your knee pain needs professional help.

Knee Pain Symptoms: The Pain Lasts for Weeks

Injuries like knee sprains can take a while to begin healing. When they occur, a good method of treatment is to rest the knee, ice and bandage it, and elevate it — a treatment method known as RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Over-the-counter medications can also be used to help with the discomfort. But if these treatments are used and the pain doesn’t lessen or disappear after about three weeks, a doctor’s visit is probably in order. A sore knee that refuses to get better could point to a torn muscle or torn cartilage, which usually won’t get better without professional intervention. Or it may simply be a minor injury that needs a doctor’s care to improve. “Whatever it is, it’s an injury that the body can’t handle by itself”. It needs some outside help.

Knee Pain Symptoms: Pressing on the Knee Doesn’t Hurt

Sometimes, knee pain can be caused by problems elsewhere in the body. Sciatica — a condition in which a disc in the lower back presses on a nerve — can cause pain down the leg through the knee, for example. Hip problems can also cause pain in the knee area. If you’re unable to increase your pain level by pressing or touching your knee, your knee might not be injured at all — and you should consult your doctor to figure out what’s going on. “If you can’t make it hurt, it’s possible that the injury may have come from somewhere else”.