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knee showing joint and patella
Home Care for Knee Pain

• Get plenty of rest and avoid weight bearing activities or standing for long periods.

• To reduce initial swelling, apply ice every hour for up to 15 minutes.

• Wear an ace bandage gently applied around the knee to provide support.

• Sleep with a pillow underneath your knees for added support at night.

• Take ibuprofen (Advil) for pain and swelling.

• Call your doctor if pain or swelling is still present after three days.

Although we rarely think about our knees (until they hurt!) they are the body's central weight bearing mechanism.

As such, it is the joint that is most apt to injury and vulnerable to a variety of conditions ranging from "runner's knee" suffered by jogging enthusiasts to painful arthritis in aging seniors.

The central connection that acts as a hinge tying together the femur, patella and tibia bones, the knee can be a common cause of leg pain simply from overuse.

Fortunately, the cure is often rest.

For long-term care, experts recommend keeping to a diet and fitness regimen to strengthen leg muscles around the knee, particularly in the quadriceps and hamstrings (the muscles at the front and backs of the thighs) and, overall, to really shed the pounds if you are in danger of becoming overweight.

Other more serious conditions that may lead to knee pain include bursitis, baker's cyst (more commonly called "water on the knee"), tendonitis of the knee, a torn ligament or cartilage related to the knee joint, or common strains or sprains from a sudden twisting movement.

Follow the simple steps for complete home care for common knee pain, above right, and call your doctor immediately if symptoms continue, if pain or swelling becomes even more severe, or if you develop a fever.


Diagram - major parts of the knee

diagram illustrating major parts of the knee

More help & information about knee pain around the Web:


Knee Pain Overview - Find a step-by-step overview including knee anatomy, common types of knee pain, advice on pain prevention and suggested home care remedies, tips on when to see a doctor and related glossary.

Knee Pain Causes, Treatment, Prevention and Relief - Extensive information on treatment & prevention of runner's knee, water on the knee, baker's cyst and other common maladies with tips on knee-safe aerobics and other suggested exercises.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome - Good overview of the condition, a.k.a. "runner's knee" brought about by too much exercise or exertion, with suggested at-home remedies, and illustrated exercises to ease pain and strengthen muscles surrounding the knees.

Water on the knee - Wikipedia - Explanation of the painful swelling around the knee and its causes and treatment, with related references and resources.

This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.


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