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Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. Knee pain may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions — including arthritis, gout and infections — also can cause knee pain.

Consult your Doctor

If you suspect any of the following, then please contact your doctor or GP immediately:

  • A fracture : an inability to weight-bear or walk 4 steps/ severe tenderness along the inside

  • A ruptured tendon or muscle: severe weakness and pain, with moderate swelling.

  • Wound penetrating the joint.

  • Known bleeding disorder.

  • Signs of septic arthritis or haemarthrosis: if the joint is moderately swollen or hot and tender/painful to touch.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:

  • Swelling and stiffness

  • Redness and warmth to the touch

  • Weakness or instability

  • Popping or crunching noises

  • Inability to fully straighten the knee

What Causes It?

  • Trauma

  • Repetitive overload of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and/or joints 

How to Self Manage

  • Taking anti-inflammatories if it is safe for you to take (take anti-inflammatories only if it is a chronic long-term issue, or there is a severe amount of swelling- do not use if there is an acute rupture, strain or sprain.

  • Painkiller as long as these are safe for you to take.

  • P R I C E: Protect. Rest. Ice. Compress. Elevate.
    Heat packs or hot water bottles may relieve pain and muscle spasm (do not use if red, hot and swollen already).
    Icing for any pain and swelling- no direct ice to skin.
    Compression by self adhesive bandages- follow guidelines- making sure the taping/strapping is breathable and your toes are not loosing circulation by going purple- check regularly.
    Elevation- keep feet elevated above the level of the heart for 30 minutes if moderately swollen.

  • Modify or temporarily stop your activities or running.

  • Have a gradual return back to exercise.

  • Use appropriate footwear- speak to specialists regarding this.


Depends on the severity of the injury.

How Physio Helps


  • Usually consists 6-12 weeks of a personal management plan discussed with your physiotherapist.

  • Exercise programmes: aerobic activity, stability and movement advice, muscle strengthening, and proprioception.

  • Assessments and screening to determine which structures have been affected and what symptoms can be addressed.

  • Foot biomechanics/ footwear review

  • Soft tissue massage and trigger point release.

  • Acupuncture and dry needling.

  • Injury prevention exercises

  • Mobilisations and manipulation (manual therapy)

  • Referral to an orthopaedic specialist for advice on management with more severe or chronic injuries


For an online consultation click here
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