When Should I Go to the Doctor for my Knee Pain?

in Knee Pain / February 23rd, 2018

It’s an unfortunate reality that many people will experience knee pain at least once in their lives.

It’s true whether you’re an athlete, a weekend warrior, struggling with arthritis, or none of those things. It can be a debilitating and restrictive experience, keeping you from enjoying physical activity, going places with your friends and family, and otherwise enjoying life.

Knee pain occurs from a myriad of incidents and circumstances. Your knee pain may be from a sports injury, a bad fall, arthritis, old age, a car accident, or any number of other situations. The knees are some of the hardest-working joints on your body — and they are frequently made to take a beating.

Most of the time, however, knee pain improves with time and a little rest from overuse. There are multiple steps you can take at home to reduce any swelling, bruising, and related pain.

Still though, it can still be difficult to discern whether the knee pain Hoboken residents are experiencing is just a passing phase — or more serious. In other words, when do you simply get out the old heating pad, and when do you call the doctor?

This guide will first walk you through how to attempt managing your knee pain at home. From there, we’ll explain key signs and symptoms that may indicate that a trip to the doctor is wise.

Before Visiting Your Doctor — Tips for Knee Pain Relief at Home

Depending on the source(s) of the knee pain Bayonne residents are experiencing, The Spine & Sports Health Center recommends any or all of these tips to reduce pain and improve comfort:


First and foremost: If your knees hurt, give them a rest! Stay active with on-the-floor stretches, but avoid seriously strenuous activities (such as running, basketball, tennis, and long walks) for at least a few days.

If your rest-period must last an extended amount of time, try staying active with joint-friendly exercises like bicycling, using an elliptical machine, or swimming.


Especially to reduce swelling, try elevating your knee by propping it up on pillows when laying down in bed or on the couch.


Daily icing can significantly help with pain and swelling. All it takes is 15 to 20 minutes a day. Either wrap a bag of ice cubes in a towel or invest in a small, freezable ice pack.

Try OTC Pain Medication

Several over-the-counter pain medications may provide pain relief for temporary knee pain. Options include products like Motrin IB, Advil, Aleve, and Tylenol.

When to See a Doctor for Knee Pain

If you notice any of the following types of knee pain, it’s wise to seek attention from a medical professional as soon as possible:

Something in your knee is moving.

It’s possible that a piece of bone or cartilage has become loose in your knee and is floating around the joint. Generally if this is the case, you’ll be pretty aware of it. You’ll have pain when moving and especially when locking (fully straightening) your knee.

It’s painful to walk up stairs.

Osteoarthritis is the age-related deterioration of cartilage in and around joints. One of the first signs of this degenerative condition is pain and difficulty walking up stairs.

You hear something pop, snap, or crackle and notice swelling and pain.

A little bit of snap, crackle, popping is normal, but when accompanied by swelling and pain, it could be the sign of something more serious.

Your knee’s range of motion has decreased.

This is usually caused by significant swelling in the joint. If it persists for more than a day, make an appointment with a medical professional.

You’re experiencing persistent instability.

Instability (or the feeling that your knee will give out if you put your full weight on it) is often caused by a ligament issue, such as a tear.

Pain lasting for more than 48 hours.

Sometimes, there are no accompanying signs and symptoms with knee pain. It might just hurt. And this is certainly an important sign as well. If your knee pain persists with consistency for more than 2 days, make an appointment.

Could Gel Injections for Knee Pain Be Right for You?

If persistent knee pain has you worried, contact The Spine & Sports Health Center. We have three locations throughout Hudson County, and specifically offer gel injections for knee pain caused by any number of injuries or conditions.

Go here to learn more about gel injections and whether they may be right for you.

Knee Pain Keeping You From Enjoying Life? Contact The Spine & Sports Health Center

For those who have been experiencing the severe knee pain Jersey City residents often do, The Spine & Sports Health Center can help. To find out more about gel injections and our various other knee pain treatment options, get in touch with us by calling 201.535.2474 or contacting us online today.

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