Knee Pain - Minor

Common causes of minor knee pain include arthritis, injuries and overuse of the knee join.

Common causes of minor knee pain include arthritis, injuries and overuse of the knee join.

The knee is a complex joint that is important for almost all forms of body movement. It is composed of many parts, including bones, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.

  • Lubrication is provided by a liquid made by the lining of the joint. This lining is known as the synovium.
  • The structure and functions of the knee make it prone to injury or pain.

Minor knee pain is most often caused by arthritis, overuse or injury.

Some of the signs of a knee injury include:

  • Pain when bending the knee, walking or using the stairs
  • Swelling below the kneecap or on one side of the knee
  • A creaking or popping sound if the knee is moved
  • Locking of the knee when it is placed in certain positions

Minor knee pain can often be treated by simple measures that can be easily remembered using the word, “PRICE.” This approach can help improve your symptoms and protect your knee from more damage. The components of price include:

  • Protecting your knee from further injury using a sleeve or brace.
  • Resting your knee. Minor knee pain often improves after a short period of rest.
  • Ice application to your knee three or four times a day. Do not use ice longer than 15 minutes at a time and do not apply ice directly to your skin. People with diabetes or problems with their nerves or circulation should not use ice.
  • Compression using a stretchable bandage, which can help decrease swelling. When you wrap the bandage around your knee, make sure it is not too tight and does not decrease the circulation. You also need to remove the bandage when you sleep.
  • Elevating your knee above the level of your heart. This will help decrease the swelling in your knee joint.

Your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to help with your pain. Keep in mind that acetaminophen does not have the same anti-inflammatory effects ibuprofen has. These medications may interact with other medications, so ask your healthcare provider which one is right for you.

Contact your healthcare provider if you have knee pain or a knee injury that is severe or is not responding to basic first aid at home. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you have had them.

  • Bring a copy of your medical history (past illnesses, surgeries, and hospitalizations).
  • Make a list of your medications (including over-the-counter).
  • Write down any questions, symptoms or concerns you want to talk about.
  • If your healthcare provider prescribes a medication for you, ask for a generic version. If your doctor thinks that a generic version is not right for you, ask for a medication on the lowest available tier of your Prescription Drug List (PDL).

Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.

  • What are some of the complications of knee pain? Am I at high risk for complications?
  • What treatment, if any, are you recommending? What options are available?
  • If medication is recommended, how long will I need to take it? What are the possible side effects?
  • How long will it take my symptoms to improve?
  • What are my follow-up plans and what symptoms should I report before my next appointment?
  • What tests are you recommending? What is the reason for those tests? Will the test results change my treatment plan?


Also known as:

Knee Strain
Knee Pain - Minor
Knee Pain
Knee Injuries
Knee Injury
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