Knee pain: what causes it? See remedies to relieve it

Knee pain is one of the most common complaints among people of all ages. Being the largest joint in the human body, this region can be compromised by a series of factors that lead to the appearance of pain at the site.

This pain can arise after using this joint more intensively than normal, that is, great walks, runs and sports such as volleyball or basketball.

However, knee pain, if it lasts more than 24 hours or is accompanied by swelling in the region, may be an indication of a more serious problem. In this case, it is essential to seek a general practitioner or orthopedist to assess the condition.

As there are many causes for it, there are also many ways to treat it. In this text, we will explain about the causes and treatments. Continue reading and check it out!


What causes knee pain and swelling?

Knee pain can be caused by different factors. The most common ones involve excessive use of the joint or its natural wear and tear that happens throughout life. This leads to the appearance of injuries or inflammations, which cause pain at the site.

The three main causes of knee pain and swelling are:

Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament

A traumatic complication in the knee is an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament , known as an athlete’s injury. The rupture or stretching of this ligament is one of the most common causes of joint pain.

This injury can result from trauma, such as a fall or a crash. It occurs mainly during sports, during movements such as rapid changes of direction, sudden stops or incorrect foot support after a jump.

Strains can occur in three degrees, the third being the most severe. Treatment varies depending on this severity. Symptoms include pain and swelling, as well as reduced range of motion and tenderness in the joint.

It is essential to consult an orthopedist in the suspicion of injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, so that it is diagnosed and the appropriate treatment can be guided.


The arthritis is another very common cause for pain and swelling in the knee. This is a condition that is related to the gradual wear of the joint.

Therefore, in general, arthritis occurs in older people, obese, with genetic tendencies to develop it or who have a history of trauma to the knee.

Although it also occurs in other joints, the knee is the most common.

Arthritis is a chronic inflammation, so there is no way to cure it. However, there are many ways to live with the condition and reduce pain and swelling.

The treatment is very private and varies from case to case, so it is essential to have the diagnosis carried out by specialists.

In general, pain medications (analgesics), physiotherapy and, mainly, changes in habits that contribute to prevent the condition from getting worse and reduce inflammation may be prescribed.


The tendinitis is inflammation that specifically afflict the tendons. Tendonitis in the knee is more related to excess or “error” during physical activities than to degenerative factors (which compromise the region over time).

It is also known as patellar tendonitis and can affect athletes who perform many jumps, such as basketball and volleyball players.

Like arthritis, tendonitis can occur to varying degrees, and can reach total tendon rupture. In that case, surgery is required to repair it.

If it is not so severe, tendonitis can be treated at home, with rest and application of ice. When the severity is average, these measures combined with physical therapy can cure the inflammation.

What are the types of knee pain?

As it is the largest joint in the body and interconnects two large bones (femur and tibia), knee pain can occur in different areas of the region. Therefore, there are different types of knee pain, which may indicate different problems. Thus, it is essential to pay attention to the symptoms that pose the greatest risk and seek appropriate treatment.

The main types of knee pain are:

Pain in front of the knee

One of the most common pains in the knee is in the front. Usually, it indicates that there is some compromise in the patella, the bone that articulates with the femur and protects the surface of the knee.

Thus, the pain may be an indication of patellar tendonitis. In addition, it can be a symptom of patellar chondromalacia, a condition characterized by the wear and tear of knee cartilage.

Pain when crouching

When knee pain appears at the moment of movement to squat, limiting or hindering the action, it is also common for the cause to be patellar chondromalacia.

Pain when walking and climbing stairs

Knee pain when walking and climbing stairs can be a symptom of meniscal injury. Menisci are cartilages responsible for decreasing the impact between the femur and tibia bones, protecting the knees.

Meniscus injuries usually result from rough movements, very intense squats or weight lifting using the legs.

Treatment is usually done with physiotherapy and analgesics to relieve pain, requiring surgery in the most severe cases that do not show improvement with these methods.

What to do to relieve knee pain?

Knee pain can be relieved with some measures to reduce possible inflammation at the site. In general, if the pain was caused by intense exercise but there was no injury, the symptom will disappear in a few days with this care. The main ways to relieve pain are:


Ice is the main way to reduce swelling and relieve pain from inflammation in the knee. The ice pack can be done for 15 to 20 minutes.

It is important to use a cloth or appropriate packaging for the compress, as the ice in direct contact with the skin causes burns. You can do this procedure 2 or 3 times a day.


Performing a massage on the spot can help relieve the pain. The ideal is to perform smooth movements and use some local anti-inflammatory and analgesic product, which can be found in the form of gel, ointment or aerosol.

Some product options to massage the knee and relieve pain are Cataflampro Aerosol , a spray that also reduces inflammation, and Biofenac Gel , which uses the same active principle but in the form of a gel.

Stretching exercises

Some stretching exercises can help to reduce the pain gradually. Even simple movements, such as contracting and stretching your leg, or repeatedly sitting and standing up can be helpful.

However, it is absolutely essential to consult a physical therapist so that the correct exercises are indicated for each case, since some can harm even more specific types of injury.


There are many remedies indicated for knee pain. In general, inflammations at the site are not cured by medications, but there are many who act on the symptom of pain and help to reduce it.

The drugs have analgesic and / or anti-inflammatory action, and are usually consumed orally. There is also the possibility of using intra-articular drugs (injected into the joint), which are very effective.

Some of the medications that can be used for knee pain are:

  • Dipyrone ;
  • Celecoxibe;
  • Wheat ;
  • Diclofenac .

Remembering that the treatment for knee pain should be guided by a doctor, as well as the use of medications.

Knee pain is a very common symptom, and can be related to different causes.

Most conditions that cause pain in this joint are curable, and there are methods to relieve discomfort during the process.

In this text, we see what knee pain is, its possible causes, types and ways to reduce it, in addition to the drugs indicated.

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