Knee Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Knee pain can often be a symptom of issues with the hip or ankle. In this video, Casey Crisp, DC describes some exercises and stretches you can do to increase your mobility and strength. These foam roller exercises, combined with the bridge and calf stretch, can help alleviate nagging knee pain. By treating the problem at the source, Airrosti eliminates the pain quickly in an average of just three visits. Click here to learn more about what to expect at your first visit to Airrosti.


The knee joint is the largest joint in the body. Although a knee problem is often caused by a direct injury to the area, it may have another cause. Some people are more likely to develop knee problems than others. Many jobs, sports, and recreational activities can increase your chances of having problems with your knees. Your risk is also greater as you get older.

Knee pain can be associated with any of the following common conditions Airrosti treats:

Chronic knee pain is long-term pain, swelling, or sensitivity in one or both knees. The cause of your knee pain can determine the symptoms you experience.


A knee injury is the most common cause of knee problems. Sudden (acute) injuries may be caused by a direct blow to the knee or from abnormal twisting, bending the knee, or falling on the knee.

Overuse injuries occur with repetitive activities or repeated or prolonged pressure on the knee. Activities such as stair climbing, bicycle riding, jogging, or jumping stress joints and other tissues and can lead to irritation and inflammation.

Knee pain can often happen as a result of tightness in another part of the body such as in the adductor muscles, hip flexors, quadriceps and hamstrings. Tight muscles and joints can change how the knee responds to impact from walking or running.

Other causes of knee pain include a Baker Cyst (a buildup of synovial fluid, the fluid that lubricates the joint, behind the knee), rheumatoid arthritis, dislocation, a torn meniscus (a rupture in one or more of the cartilage in the knee), or a torn ligament.


Although the causes may be different, most often they share the same symptoms, including:

  • Pain, swelling, or bruising may be severe and develop within minutes of the injury.
  • The severity of the pain can vary, from a minor ache to a severe disabling pain.
  • Knee pain can be localized or diffuse throughout the knee, depending on which structure is involved.
  • You may experience difficulty walking, limping due to discomfort, or locking of the knee joint.
  • The pain can originate in any of the bony structures compromising the knee joint (femur, tibia, fibula), the kneecap (patella), or the ligaments and cartilage (meniscus) of the knee.
  • Other problems can develop due to overcompensating for knee pain and favoring one leg over the other.


There are many types of knee injuries and conditions that result in knee pain. A thorough physical examination is necessary to establish a proper diagnosis, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

Traditional treatment for a sore knee will usually involve a period of rest. You may need to apply ice or heat to reduce swelling and provide pain relief. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDS are often prescribed. However, long-term use of these medications can have negative side effects. Stretches and exercises, including Tai Chi, are often recommended, along with an extended period with a physical therapist.

Cortisone shots into the knee are often prescribed to treat inflammation. If all else fails, the patient may undergo arthroscopic surgery, which involves inserting a tiny camera into the knee and using it as a way to view and repair torn ligaments, cartilage, or other issues within the joint. In some extreme cases, knee replacement surgery is required.

The typical recovery time for a knee injury depends on the type and severity of the injury. Simple strains or sprains can last for one to two weeks. More extensive injuries may take one to three months to heal. Major traumatic injuries to the knee may take up to a year to heal.


Chronic knee injuries that do not require surgery often cause recurring problems. However, Airrosti providers are experts at accurately diagnosing and fully resolving the source of your injury to provide rapid relief of pain with lasting results. We also help athletes and other active individuals avoid long recovery times and periods of inactivity.

Call Airrosti at (800) 404-6050 to see how we can help you avoid surgery and resolve your pain, or learn more about what to expect on your first visit.

Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

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