Knee pain

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Having sore knees is common and isn’t usually a sign of anything serious. There are many different causes of knee pain. As you age, getting knee pain may become more common. You’re also more at risk of getting knee pain if you are overweight. Knee pain may sometimes be the result of a sports or other injury. Knee pain can often be treated at home.

When to seek urgent medical help

  • If your knee is hot, grossly swollen and you feel unwell or have a fever.
  • If your knee has acutely locked and you are unable to straighten it 
  • If you have sustained a major knee trauma with / without acute onset of knee swelling. 
  • If your knee is regularly giving way and causing you to fall

You may find this video helpful in understanding how to manage an acute knee injury:

Some common problems we can see related to the knee are:

  • Knee Arthritis
  • Mensical / cartilage pain
  • Knee cap pain

Please click on the links for more information.

Knee arthritis / Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease. The knee is the most commonly affected joint. Osteoarthritis is not caused by ageing and does not necessarily deteriorate. The symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include; pain, stiffness, swelling (hard or soft) and crepitus (a grating or grinding sensation on moving the joint). Osteoarthritis of the knee is diagnosed clinically, often without the need for scans, if you are 45 and over and have knee pain with activity and have no morning joint related stiffness or morning stiffness that lasts less than 30 minutes. 

For more information please see the resources below

OA knee - Osteoarthritis infographic (CLCH) 

You may find this useful resource by NHS England helpful to understand the treatment choices available for knee osteoarthritis.  You can talk about this further with your clinician according to your individual situation and needs during your consultation.


Meniscal / Cartilage pain

A meniscus injury often affects the knee and involves a twisting injury followed by severe pain. The joint may swell up within 24 hours. There may also be a locking sensation of the knee joint. 

If you are over 35 years old, meniscal tears are common, are not always painful and are thought of as part of 'natural degeneration'. The recommendation in this case is not for surgery. Meniscal injuries / pain can improve independently which can take up to 4-6 months. 

Please see the information below

Knee cap pain

Knee cap pain is the most common form of knee pain. The pain may be around, behind or under the knee cap (patella). The pain may be felt with walking, running, sitting, climbing stairs or squatting. There can be many causes and many treatments for knee cap pain. Knee cap pain is sometimes called patellofemoral pain, anterior knee pain or runners knee.

Please see the information below

Knee Cap Pain Infographic - CLCH

Warm up exercises 

Lower limb exercises

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