What is Knee Pain?

Knee pain refers to discomfort or soreness experienced in or around the knee joint. This joint is crucial to the body, connecting the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). It is also the largest joint in the body. The joint supports and absorbs a significant amount of weight during movement, which is why it is prone to injuries.

Knee pain can be a fleeting, short-term, or chronic problem requiring professional diagnosis and treatment. The location of the pain often indicates the affected part of the knee joint. For instance:

  • Pain felt near the surface above or behind the knee typically involves muscles, tendons, or ligaments.
  • Pain deeper within the knee often stems from bones or cartilage.
  • Discomfort can also radiate to other areas, such as the lower leg or thigh, or manifest in multiple parts of the knee.

Knee pain can vary in intensity and frequency. It might occur during specific movements or activities, such as knee bending, and then subside with rest. Some individuals experience more pain in the morning or at night, particularly after physical activity during the day. With time, some might experience deterioration and an increase in pain, which compromises daily functions and affects quality of life.

Home treatment can be effective for mild knee pain. This includes resting, avoiding strenuous activities, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. However, if knee pain significantly impacts daily activities or persists for more than a few days without improvement, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider.

Causes of Knee Pain

Causes of knee pain in adults

Knee pain can arise from various factors, including injuries, medical conditions, and overuse. Understanding these causes is crucial for effective treatment.

Common Causes of Knee Pain

  1. Injuries:
    • Fractures: Breaks in the knee bones due to trauma or accidents.
    • Ligament Tears: Injuries to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) or MCL (medial collateral ligament) from sports or sudden movements.
    • Meniscus Tears: Damage to the cartilage that cushions the knee joint.
    • Patellar Tendonitis: Inflammation of the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shinbone joint in athletes.
  2. Medical Conditions:
    • Osteoarthritis: Degeneration of knee cartilage, leading to pain and stiffness.
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune condition causing joint inflammation.
    • Gout: A type of arthritis caused by uric acid crystal accumulation.
    • Infections: Bacterial infections in the knee joint causing severe pain and swelling.
  3. Overuse:
    • Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursae, tiny fluid-filled sacs cushion the knee joint.
    • Tendinitis: Inflammation of the tendons due to repetitive motion or overuse.
  4. Biomechanical Problems:
    • Flat Feet: Poor foot alignment affecting knee mechanics.
    • Abnormal Gait: Unusual walking patterns put extra stress on the knee joint.

Symptoms of Knee Pain

Identifying the symptoms of knee pain can help in seeking timely treatment. Common symptoms include:

  • Swelling and Stiffness: Difficulty in bending or straightening the knee.
  • Redness and Warmth: Indication of inflammation or infection.
  • Weakness and Instability: Feeling the knee giving way, especially during physical activities.
  • Popping or Crunching Sounds: Audible noises during movement, often associated with cartilage damage.
  • Inability to Fully Straighten the Knee: Often seen in severe arthritis or meniscus tears.

Diagnosing Knee Pain

Accurate diagnosis is essential for effective treatment. Healthcare providers use various methods to diagnose knee pain:

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: Evaluating symptoms, activity level, and previous injuries.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays, MRI, and CT scans provide detailed images of the knee’s internal structures.
  • Laboratory Tests: Blood or joint fluid analysis to detect infections or inflammatory conditions.

Treatment Options for Knee Pain

Treatment depends on the underlying cause and severity of the pain. Here are the most common treatment options:

Non-Surgical Treatments

  1. Rest and Activity Modification: Reducing activities that aggravate pain and incorporate rest periods.
  2. Ice and Heat Therapy: Ice packs reduce swelling and numb pain; heat therapy relaxes muscles.
  3. Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Corticosteroid injections for severe inflammation.
  4. Physical Therapy: Strengthening muscles around the knee, improving flexibility, and enhancing overall function.
  5. Assistive Devices: Braces, orthotics, or crutches to support the knee and alleviate pressure.
  6. Apos is an innovative, non-surgical, non-invasive, foot-worn medical device clinically proven to relieve pain, improve function and quality of life, reduce pain medication consumption, and delay or avoid knee surgery.

Surgical Treatments

When conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery may be necessary. Surgical options include:

  1. Arthroscopy: Minimally invasive surgery to repair or remove damaged tissue.
  2. Partial Knee Replacement: Replacing the damaged portion of the knee joint.
  3. Total Knee Replacement: Replacing the entire knee joint with a prosthesis for severe arthritis or significant joint damage.

Preventing Knee Pain

Preventing Knee Pain

Here are some tips to maintain knee health and prevent knee pain:

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Reducing excess weight to decrease stress on the knee joints.
  • Stay Active: Regular exercise to strengthen knee-supporting muscles and improve flexibility.
  • Warm-Up and Cool Down: Proper warm-up before activities and cool-down afterward to prevent muscle strains.
  • Use Proper Technique: Correct techniques in sports and lifting to avoid unnecessary knee strain.
  • Wear Appropriate Footwear: Supportive shoes to maintain proper alignment and reduce knee stress.

When to See a Doctor

Consult a healthcare provider if you experience severe knee pain, swelling, or instability. Persistent pain that doesn’t improve with home treatments or affects daily activities also warrants professional evaluation.

FAQs About Knee Pain

FAQs About Knee Pain

Early signs include joint stiffness, swelling, and pain that worsens with activity.

Mild knee pain from overuse or minor injuries may improve with rest and home treatments. Persistent or severe pain requires medical attention.

Yes, exercises like leg lifts, hamstring curls, and quadriceps stretches can strengthen the muscles around the knee. Neuromuscular training can also improve muscle activation and reduce symptoms.

Lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and assistive devices can help manage knee pain without relying on medications.

Innovative Treatment For Knee Osteoarthritis: Apos®

For knee osteoarthritis, you can consider Apos®, a revolutionary approach to treating chronic knee pain. Apos® is an FDA-cleared, non-drug, non-invasive treatment that involves wearing a personalized foot-worn device for about an hour daily during everyday activities.

How does Apos work?

  • Shifts pressure away from painful areas.
  • Retrains muscles for healthier movement
  • Treats symptoms and the root cause of pain

Benefits of Apos®:

  • Significant Pain Reduction: Studies show a 70% reduction in knee pain1.
  • Improved Function: Significant improvement in daily function and quality of life1.
  • Avoids or delays surgery: 87% of Apos®-Treated Patients With Knee OA Did Not Pursue Further Surgical Treatment at 5 Years2
  • Convenient: Used at home during daily activities.
  • Insurance Coverage: This is covered by many insurance plans

Apos is recommended in NICE guidelines, 70 published clinical research papers, and over 150,000 patients treated worldwide.

Contact us today to learn how Apos can help with your knee pain.


Knee pain is a common but manageable condition. By understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment options, you can take proactive steps to alleviate pain and enhance your quality of life. Please consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Taking care of your knees today can lead to a more active and pain-free future.

1. Reichenbach A, Felson DT, Hincapi CA, Heldner S, Butikofer L, Lenz A, da Costa BR, Bonel HM, Jones RK, Hawker GA, Juni P. Effect of Biomechanical Footwear on Knee Pain in People With Knee Osteoarthritis—the BIOTOK Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2020;323(18):1802-1812. 

(3)Shema-Shiratzky S, Mor A, Elbaz A. Non-Invasive Biomechanical Intervention Leads to Low Rates of Total Knee Replacement and Reduced Utilization of Healthcare Resources among Older Adults with Chronic Knee Pain: A 5-Year Follow-Up study. Journal of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Treatment 2023, 9(1):121. DOI: 10.23937/2572-3243.1510121.

Don’t let knee or lower back pain hold you back any longer.

Many insurances cover Apos completely.

Schedule a quick call with our experts to learn if you qualify and how Apos® can help.