Do you suffer from knee pain? If you want to understand your pain better, learn what has caused it and what you can expect when visiting the doctor, read our previous article to find out more. However, if you are unsure of the cause, or whether it’s serious enough to visit a doctor, you can start treatment in your own home. We have all your questions answered below, and we’ve also included tips if you have suffered an accident or injury. This way you can start initial treatment before seeing a professional. Read on to find out what you can do.
Managing the pain at home
If you are experiencing pain but are unsure of the cause, you may want to wait and see if there is any improvement before seeing a doctor. To minimise the pain, avoid putting weight on your knee if you can. If you need them, painkillers like paracetamol can relieve the pain temporarily. You can also ice your knee with ice packs, which is recommended for up to 20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours. However, if you are concerned about the pain or if it does not go away, contact your doctor or visit the emergency department.
Managing an accident or injury
If you have suffered an accident or injury, whether outdoors, playing sport or at home, first check if there is any bleeding. You can manage the bleeding by covering it with a cloth or bandage, and apply consistent pressure until it stops.
Then check if there is swelling on or around the knee. Use the RICE method to reduce swelling and help with the pain:
- REST – As with any kind of knee pain, try to avoid putting weight on it.
- ICE – Again, it is recommended to ice the sore area for up to 20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours. You can do this for a couple of days if the pain and swelling persists.
- COMPRESSION – A bandage will be most helpful to compress the area, but be careful not to make it too tight. If this worsens your pain, loosen the bandage.
- ELEVATION – If you can, lie on a bed or couch and elevate your knee with pillows. This works best if elevated above the heart.
It’s important to see a doctor immediately if you suspect a fracture, dislocation, nerve damage or blood vessel damage. If you see no signs of improvement to your injury you should also seek medical help as soon as possible.
Tracking your symptoms
The best way to tell if your injury or pain is worsening is by monitoring your symptoms. Take a photo if you can when you first notice any visible changes or pain. You can use Wanngi to record the severity and duration of your pain for each day, and upload photos with each symptom you record. The symptoms you have recorded will appear on a timeline, so if you decide to visit a doctor, they will have a clear picture of your injury and it’s progress since you first noticed it.
Taking the next step
If you decide to visit the doctor, there are multiple options for treatment from which they will decide what is best for you. Depending on the type of pain, accident or injury you have experienced, they may choose from the following treatment options:
- Painkillers and anti-inflammatories
- A knee brace or strapping for support
- Shoe inserts, known as orthotics, to improve the way you walk
- Referral to physiotherapy
- Surgery if required
Got questions or concerns? Contact your doctor if you are unsure what to do about your knee pain. Want to learn more about tracking your symptoms and injuries? Check out our website and sign up for a 7-day free trial, to see how Wanngi can benefit you!
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