Your knee hurts but you don’t pay heed to it. Like most people, you hope that it will go away if you ignore for long enough. Well, we’re here to tell you when exactly you need to stop ignoring the pain and visit a doctor.
1. Have you tried home remedies? Knee pain can be reduced with the help of some basic home remedies. There is a simple method called RICE i.e. – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Rest, as the name suggests involves reducing the activity levels of the knee. Try and give your knee as much support as possible to rest. While sitting you could support it with a stool and if possible don’t move around too much. Along with this, using an ice-pack on the knee helps reduce any swelling and pain as well. If the pain is related to joint stiffness you may also try heat therapy. Compression is when you tie an elastic bandage around the affected area in order to reduce swelling. And with elevation you keep the knee raised above the level of your heart.
The RICE method should be implemented for the first 48hours after the injury as occurred. If you don’t feel any improvement, it is time to visit the doctor.
2. 48 hours later, has the pain and swelling reduced? Despite the RICE treatment, if the pain is consistent for more than two days, the issue might be one of the joint and not the muscle. Similarly, if the swelling hasn’t subsided for the same amount of time it could indicate a larger problem. Swelling could mean internal bleeding. At times the swelling may not be visibly obvious. However if for any reason you feel it has not reduced, visit a doctor.
3. Is there an apparent visual difference between both your knees? Your injured knee may have a scratch or bruise. That’s okay. But does it appear slightly ‘wrong’? If when you compare both your knees, the injured one seems to be structurally slightly different, it could indicate a larger problem such as a fracture or a dislocated knee cap.
4. Do you constantly feel your knee will collapse? The knees provide stability. When you put pressure on your injured knee, do you feel more than just pain? Can you stand and walk? If you feel your knee won’t be able to support your weight, you many have a ligament injury. An injured ligament will not be able to carry out its function of holding the bones together. The only way to confirm a ligament injury is by visiting the doctor.
5. Do you have any other symptoms? Are you suddenly feeling feverish or nauseous? Does your knee feel warm? Have there been any other changes all of a sudden? If you feel you have developed other symptoms around the time of your knee injury you need to visit the doctor. Symptoms like these could indicate the presence of an infection in the joint.
6. Does your knee feel numb? When you’re injured pain could be combined with numbness. For example, your pain may not increase when you press or push your knee. If this is the situation, the source of your knee pain may not be in the knee at all. There are a number of conditions where injuries elsewhere in the body create pain in the knees. Consult your doctor in this case.
The knee is a very intricate part of the body and needs to be handled with utmost care. At Ranka Hospital, we have a team of people who specialize in this field. When in doubt about knee pain, visit our hospital and we will be happy to help you out.