Your knee is the largest joint in your body. It connects your thigh bone to your shin bone, and contains key ligaments that help you balance, stand, walk and bend.
In fact, we rely on our knees for almost all of the movements that involve our lower body. So perhaps it’s no surprise that nearly half of adults report some degree of pain in this joint we use constantly.
When you feel knee pain it’s important to see a doctor to get the right diagnosis. Many problems can cause knee pain, from sprains and ligament strains to tendinitis. The most common cause is osteoarthritis, the breakdown of cartilage in the knee joint that can occur as we get older.
“Sprains and tears tend to cause sharp pain and swelling,” says Harinder Dhanota, DO, an orthopedist in the Sutter Health network in Yuba City. Anti-inflammatory medicine and icing for 10 days, followed by another 10 days of alternating ice and heat packs, can often help.
Arthritis in the knee tends to cause dull achy pain that can last and worsen with time. But there are steps you can take to manage knee pain at home and effective treatments when you can no longer ease knee pain on your own.