Knee Pain

How does the knee work?

The knee is the largest joint in your body.

It is made up of four main things: bones, ligaments, cartilage and tendons. The knee bends and straightens and has a small amount of rotation to allow for day to day activities.

Causes of Knee Pain

Most of the time there is a very simple explanation for knee pain.

If you’ve overdone it while exercising pain is usually caused by strained or inflamed soft tissues, such as joint surface or tendons and it often clears up within a few days to weeks.

As you get older, pain in your knee can flare up now and again, often for no reason. 

If you have previously had a partial or full knee replacement and have developed new or unusual knee pain several years after having the operation please arrange an appointment to discuss with your GP.

If you have fallen or twisted your knee

If you’ve fallen and/or twisted your knee and it becomes immediately swollen, your knee has locked (your unable to move it at all because it is stuck) and your finding it difficult to put weight on your leg you may need to see a doctor. 

You should urgently call CAV 24/7 on 0300 1020247 to arrange an appointment slot in A&E, as there is a small possibility of a bone or ligament injury. 

Self Help

Keeping active is an essential part of your treatment and recovery and is the single best thing you can do for your health.

  • Prevent a recurrence of the problem
  • Maintain your current levels of fitness – even if you have to modify what you normally do, any activity is better than none
  • Keep your other muscles and joints strong and flexible
  • Keep a healthy body weight

It’s recommended you stay at or return to work as quickly as possible during your recovery.

You don’t need to be pain and symptom-free to return to work.

  • Rest your knee but avoid long spells of not moving at all
  • Move your knee gently for 10 to 20 seconds every hour when you are awake
  • Try to use your leg more to help your knee and relieve pain
  • Use a hand rail to go up and down stairs if there is one
  • Do whatever you normally would including staying at, or return to work if possible
  • Avoid sports or heavy lifting until you have less discomfort and good movement. Remember to warm up fully before you start sporting activities

If you would like advice about medication or other methods of pain relief to help you to manage your pain better speak to your community pharmacist.

Pain medication can help to reduce pain and help you to move more comfortably, which can aid your recovery.

When taking pain medication it is important to take it regularly.

Please watch this video on how to pace your exercise before starting the exercise videos.

If during the video you are experiencing significant pain please stop the video and seek advice from your GP.

Please refer to following video if you are experiencing some problems with your knee:

Play Video

Recently Diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of the Knee? – What are the best options for me now?

OAK Knee – A 90 minute group session to help you to understand Osteoarthritis and the choices available to you to best manage the condition.

If you’re waiting for hip or knee joint replacement surgery please refer to the following page:
How to prepare for Surgery for further information

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