Are You Confused When To Seek Medical For Your Knee Pain Read Our Article Below For More Information Call Us Or Schedule An Appointment Online We Serve Patients From Coral Springs Fl Parkland Fl Tamarac Fl Margate Fl North Lauderdale Fl Coconut Creek Fl
If you have a profusely bleeding leg or a broken bone, you probably will call 911. But if your knee pain isnt quite that dramatic, how do you make the distinction between something that a doctor should definitely look at right now and a minor strain that just needs to be iced?
Here are five situations in which you should seek medical attention for your knee pain.
How Can I Ease Knee Pain At Home
Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend home care to relieve knee pain. These may include:
- Applying heat or ice packs.
- Modifying activities to avoid causing pain.
- Practicing gentle stretches or exercises.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Topical treatments such as muscle creams or rubs.
- Wearing a brace to support the knee.
First Aid For Knee Injuries In The First 48 To 72 Hours
- Stop your activity immediately. Dont work through the pain.
- Rest the joint at first.
- Reduce pain, swelling and internal bleeding with icepacks, applied for 15 minutes every couple of hours.
- Bandage the knee firmly and extend the wrapping down the lower leg.
- Elevate the injured leg.
- Dont apply heat to the joint.
- Avoid alcohol, as this encourages bleeding and swelling.
- Dont massage the joint, as this encourages bleeding and swelling.
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How Can I Manage Knee Pain
Treatment for knee pain depends on whats causing it and how uncomfortable it makes you.
- Mild knee injuries often improve with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications. Wearing a brace can stabilize your knee while it recovers.
- If arthritis is causing knee pain, your treatment may include medication and physical therapy.
- Doctors can usually repair tendon and ligament tears with minimally invasive surgery, if necessary.
- More serious knee pain may require knee replacement surgery.
No matter what caused your knee pain, physical therapy exercises can strengthen the muscles supporting your knee to help relieve discomfort.
Protection Rest Ice Compression And Elevation
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation may help treat mild knee pain that results from a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain.
Protection refers to protecting the knee from further injury, for example, by taking a break from the activity that caused it.
Rest can reduce the risk of further injury and give tissues time to heal. However, stopping all movement is not advisable, as this can lead to stiffness and, in time, muscle weakness.
Ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It should be wrapped in a cloth and applied for 20 minutes several times on the first day of injury. Never put ice directly the skin, as this can lead to further damage.
Compression with a knee support, for example, can increase comfort levels. The support or bandage should be firm but not tight.
Elevation, or keeping the leg raised, will encourage circulation and reduce swelling. Ideally, the knee should be above the level of the heart.
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The Pain Keeps Coming Back
Maybe at first you dont think your knee pain is worth taking to a doctor. If you dont think you injured the knee and the pain is just an ache that goes away after a gentle ice treatment and some rest, you might have just let the pain keep going. But if your knee hurts mysteriously on a regular basis, you need to have a doctor check your knee out. Patellofemoral syndrome often causes mysterious knee pain.
Going to urgent care while you have an episode of knee pain may be the most practical solution. After all, if you make an appointment with your doctor, the pain may be gone again by the time of the appointment. And your doctor is likely to ask you to move your leg around and tell them if it hurts, which will be much more productive if youre in the middle of an episode at the time.
What Can I Do To Manage My Symptoms
- Rest your knee so it can heal. Limit activities that increase your pain. Do low-impact exercises, such as walking or swimming.
- Apply ice to help reduce swelling and pain. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you apply it to your knee. Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes every hour, or as directed.
- Apply compression to help reduce swelling. Use a brace or bandage only as directed.
- Elevate your knee to help decrease pain and swelling. Elevate your knee while you are sitting or lying down. Prop your leg on pillows to keep your knee above the level of your heart.
- Prevent your knee from moving as directed. Your healthcare provider may put on a cast or splint. You may need to wear a leg brace to stabilize your knee. A leg brace can be adjusted to increase your range of motion as your knee heals.
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Knee Pain Symptoms & Treatment
Knee pain is a common condition affecting a wide range of people. Pain in knees can result from an injury, an infection or a medical condition such as arthritis.
Treatment for knee pain depends on its cause and how severe the pain is. Our orthopedic specialists can offer personalized treatment plans including surgical and non-surgical options after a physical examination and assessment.
What Kind Of Physical Therapist Do I Need
All physical therapists are prepared through education and experience to treat knee pain. However, you may want to consider:
- A physical therapist who is experienced in treating people with knee pain. Some physical therapists have a practice with an orthopedic and sports focus.
- A physical therapist who is a board-certified clinical specialist or who completed a residency or fellowship in orthopedic, manual, or sports physical therapy. This physical therapist has advanced knowledge, experience, and skills that may apply to your condition.
You can find physical therapists who have these and other credentials by using Find a PT, the online tool built by the American Physical Therapy Association to help you search for physical therapists with specific clinical expertise in your geographic area.
General tips when you’re looking for a physical therapist :
- Get recommendations from family, friends, or other health care providers.
- When you contact a physical therapy clinic for an appointment, ask about the physical therapists’ experience in helping people who have knee pain.
- Be prepared to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible, and say what makes your symptoms worse.
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Personal Stories About Diagnostic Tests For A Meniscus Tear
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
I felt some strain on my knee while I was playing handball 2 weeks ago, and since then Ive had swelling and pain on one side of my knee. My doctor thinks I probably have a tear in my meniscus and maybe some other knee damage. Ive been using ice and resting my knee a lot, but Ive still got quite a bit of pain. My doctor is now recommending that I have an MRI to see whats going on in there. She says that an MRI will give us a good idea of what is injured and will help us make the decision about treatment. Im going to go ahead and get the MRI.
Ahmed, age 42
I started noticing pain in my knee about 2 months ago, although I cant say what exactly I did to injure it. I cant seem to squat or kneel without increasing the pain. My orthopedic surgeon thinks it might be an age-related degeneration of the meniscus and is recommending arthroscopy so that he can look directly at the inside of my knee. If he finds a tear, hell probably be able to fix it right then. Im not looking forward to surgery, but arthroscopy sounds like the best way to get my knee back in operation.
Theo, age 50
Peter, age 35
Why Should I See A Pain Management Specialist
Pain management is an important part of any treatment plan, both for lessening discomfort and aiding in recovery. Pain management specialists understand the full range of pain relief options and how to use these options in combination. Treatments done as part of a comprehensive, multimodal plan may help even if each treatment does not seem to make a difference when used in isolation.
Pain management specialists work with patients to help diagnose pain and treat it safely and effectively with as few side effects as possible. These treatments do not have to involve medication. In fact, pain management is generally more successful when a comprehensive approach is used, with or without medications.
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Put The Right Shoes On Your Feet Every Day
The shoes that you put on each and every day are going to responsible for supporting more than your feet. Theyre also going to play a big role in the health of your back, hips, and knees.
If you have uncomfortable shoes on almost all the time that dont feel right on your feet despite how they might look, its going to cause you to walk differently than you would walk under normal circumstances. Your feet might roll too far in or out when youre in motion.
When this happens, it can affect your back, hips, and knees more than you might realize. Over time, your knees can wear down on you and cause pain.
You should look for shoes that are as supportive as possible and wear them every day. If you have to, you should go to great lengths to get fitted for shoes that are tailor-made for your specific feet.
Knee Deep: A Complex And Vulnerable Joint
Her torn ACL diagnosis confirmed, Piplica quickly learned how susceptible the knees can be to injury. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, these joints are responsible for sending nearly 15 million Americans to the doctor every year.
And it’s not just athletes who suffer. Knee problems can happen to anyone.
“Because they’re the main hinge between the ground and the rest of your body, the knees serve as your ‘wheels’ that get you around and allow you to be active,â says University of Pennsylvania orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Nicholas DiNubile, MD. “Life can really go downhill when you damage your knees,â says DiNubile, who is a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and author of FrameWork – Your 7-Step Program for Healthy Muscles, Bones and Joints.
Bound by an intricate system of ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscle, the knee is highly prone to injury. It’s a complex hinge where the femur , tibia , fibula and kneecap all come together.
“It’s hard to find the right balance between mobility and stability the knee needs to move back and forth, twist a little, and pivot too,â DiNubile says. The knee’s ligaments can tear, its tendons can swell up, osteoarthritis can take hold, and even everyday wear and tear can ruin a perfectly good set of knees.
Here are six pitfalls you can avoid to save your knees.
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Apple Cider Vinegar And Other Foods
According to some sources, apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve arthritis and other types of pain.
However, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support this. The Arthritis Foundation refers to ACV as a food myth.
Other popular advice for arthritis includes:
- consuming collagen, gelatin, or pectin, and raw foods.
- avoiding dairy, acidic foods, and nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant
There is no evidence to suggest that these are helpful or even advisable.
It commonly affects teenagers, especially young female athletes. It is the most common overuse syndrome in sportspeople.
Most cases of front knee pain are injuries from overuse, or from poor preparation for exercise. The problems usually go away on their own, and sporting activities can resume after the pain subsides.
The pain varies but tends to:
- be a dull ache that starts gradually, and is linked to activities
- produce clicking or other sounds
- come on when going upstairs, or when getting up after a long time sitting, squatting down, or kneeling
- produce a weakness in the legs
Recommended treatments for front knee pain include:
What Kind Of Doctor Should You See For Knee Pain
The bottom line is, if you have any reason to think you have suffered a serious injury, thats enough reason to go see a specialist. And speaking of who to visit
Look for an orthopaedic specialist in your area to give you an accurate diagnosis. The knee is a very intricate, very important part of the body. As such, there are many talented and experienced doctors who specialize solely in the field of knee surgery.
If you are an athlete, I also recommend visiting an Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Specialist who has experience with the specific needs of athletes and what it takes to successfully get them back on the field performing at a high level.
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When To Call The Doctor For Knee Pain
When you are deciding whether to call the doctor about your knee pain, a good rule of thumb exists for most long-term knee injuries. If your symptoms have not gone away after trying a week of PRICE therapy and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain meds, you should set up an appointment with your doctor, physical therapist, or a sports medicine orthopaedic specialist to further evaluate the pain. This rule can also be applied to new knee injuries that are not disabling. Remember, however, that this rule should only serve as a guide. If you are concerned about the pain, you should call the doctor.
How To Get Moving Every Day
In addition to physical therapy, its critical to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine.
Joints are built to move, says Dr. Day. The evidence shows that people who are least active have more arthritis pain than people who do some form of exercise. Choose lower-impact activities, such as bicycling, swimming or exercising in a pool.
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What Is A Knee Pillow
A knee support pillow is a rectangular-shaped pillow with two rounded notches used to support the legs while side sleeping. These devices are typically made of memory foam to contour your body shape and keep your knees separated to promote blood flow. Some knee cushions have a convenient built-in strap to stay in place while being used. A knee pillow with a strap is ideal for those who tend to move around while sleeping.
When You Should Get Emergency Care For Knee Pain
Knee pain is rarely a sign of a life-threatening condition. However, in rare cases, conditions such as deep vein thrombosis a blood clot that can travel up your leg to your lung require immediate emergency care.
You should call 911 immediately if you have these symptoms:
- Severe chest pain
- Difficulty breathing or wheezing
In addition, some knee injuries should be treated quickly to avoid causing pain or further damage. Please see urgent care if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Abrupt, severe pain, or deformity
- A popping sound heard at the moment of a knee injury
- Inability to put weight on your leg or walk
- Signs of infection in addition to knee pain such as a fever, heat, and severe swelling around your knee
Dignity Health provides complete care for knee pain as part of our orthopedic services.
The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.
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Youre Experiencing The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
Dr. Rodriguez says hes seen a 40% decrease in heart attack patients seeking care in the emergency room, despite the symptoms of a heart attack signaling a medical emergency.
According to the American Heart Association, heart attack symptoms in both men and women include pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, jaw, neck, or stomach shortness of breath nausea sweating or lightheadedness. It should be noted, however, that men typically experience the standard chest pain or discomfort, while women more often experience other, sometimes more flu-like symptoms.
You Cant Walk Normally
Is your knee pain severe? Does trying to walk hurts more than you can stand or makes you feel like you will pass out or fall over? Stop walking on that knee and then seek medical attention. If your knee pain is that bad, you might have a broken bone. In this case, go to the ER.
However, if your knee only hurts when you walk on it, and you dont think its broken, avoid the expense of the ER by having a family member or friend help you to urgent care instead.
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