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Common Causes of Knee Pain & How to Help Get Rid of It

older man sitting on the couch holding his knee in pain

Out of all the joints in our bodies, our knees are one of the most likely places to develop joint pain. This is because these joints are extremely vulnerable and they also bear the most weight. Think about the times when you're walking, going up and down stairs, or getting out of a chair. Your knees are carrying 2-3x more weight than they're used to. So it should come as no surprise that knee pain is pretty common.

Why do my knees hurt?

There are a few causes of knee pain that are more common as we get older:

  • fractures
  • arthritis - some forms of arthritis are caused by natural wear and tear but can also be caused by autoimmune diseases or inflammatory conditions.
  • bursitis - the most common causes of bursitis include repetitive motions or positions that put a lot of pressure on your joints.
  • tendonitis - this can also be caused by repetitive movements as well as poor posture or technique when playing a sport.
  • hip or foot pain
  • cartilage deterioration
  • not getting enough exercise
  • previous knee injuries
  • weaker muscles
  • excess weight
  • gout

How can I get rid of knee pain?

Regardless of what it is that's causing your knee pain, ideally, you want to find a solution to help combat the pain, right? There are a few ways you can do this:


Ice can help reduce some of the swelling and inflammation and even numb the affected area. Do not ice for more than 20 minutes at a time as it can lead to stiffness or poor circulation.


Keeping your legs elevated can further help reduce swelling.


Give your legs a break to reduce strain on your knees.


Try some low-intensity exercises like swimming, walking, or yoga to help strengthen your leg muscles. Stay away from high-intensity exercises as these can make your knee pain worse.


Massages may help to relieve knee pain by increasing blood flow around the affected joint. 


Dieting can help keep extra weight off your body and help reduce strain on your knees. There are also specific foods that can help reduce inflammation or swelling caused by arthritis.

When knee pain does occur, it can sometimes be tempting to ignore it. But it's important to address it as soon as it happens. Delaying care can end with your knee pain becoming worse.

When should I see a doctor?

Joints are complex and you can't self-diagnose knee pain. Make an appointment with your doctor if your knee pain is accompanied by significant swelling, redness, tenderness, or you are unable to fully extend or bear weight on your knee.

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