Expert Health Articles

Knee Pain Symptoms & Treatment Tips

Thomas Kindl, MD

Pain Management
Blanchard Valley Pain Management

Frequent knee pain affects approximately 25% of adults. While living an active lifestyle is one of the best things you can do for your joints, it can commonly result in injury. Common problems related to knee pain include sprained ligaments, meniscus tears, tendinitis, runner’s knee, bursitis, osteoarthritis, and excess weight.

Common symptoms of knee pain include:

  • Pain when using the stairs
  • Swelling in one or more joints
  • Difficulty bearing weight on the knee
  • Recurring pain or tenderness
  • Inability to move a joint normally

Over 32 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, a form of “wear and tear” arthritis that is the leading cause of knee pain in individuals over the age of 50. This condition causes stiffness early in the day, as well as swelling and aching of the knee joint, especially when individuals are active.

Whether your symptoms include one or all of those listed below, there are ways to reduce your knee pain. Below are six steps that you can take to be proactive in your pain relief:

Slow down

Rest the knee for several days by limiting intense activity.

Apply ice

Ice the knee for 15 to 20 minutes every three to four hours to curb pain and swelling.


Use elastic bandages or straps to help add support and minimize swelling.


Place a pillow under the heel when sitting or lying down to reduce inflammation.


Take anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen or naproxen (after consulting with a physician).

Stretch and Strengthen

Practice exercises to increase flexibility and muscle strength.

Knee pain can limit your function and decrease your quality of life. If you are experiencing continued knee pain, seek care with a provider who uses a balanced approach to care, including the use of diagnostics, physical therapy, interventional procedures, and medication management when appropriate.