What to Do When You Experience Sudden Knee Pain

Putting a bandage in the knee

After a lot of standing, walking, running or a long day of hard work, you may have sore knees. This is normal and is usually treatable with a bit of rest and over-the-counter medication. However, sudden knee pain that is sharp limits your range of motion and doesn’t go away with simple home treatments may be a sign of something more serious.

If you have knee pain that lasts for a long time, you should visit a health care professional for treatment. While you’re waiting to receive medical attention though, you’ll need to follow a few steps to take care of your knee to help reduce pain and start its recovery.

Responding to sudden knee pain

If you’ve ever participated in sports, you’re probably familiar with the RICE method of responding to sudden pain. RICE stands for rest, ice, compress and elevate. When you experience sudden knee pain, using the RICE method may be the best way to take care of your knee until you can get professional medical help.

If you’ve experienced sudden knee pain, here’s what you need to do:

  • Rest — If you have sudden knee pain, it’s important to get off your knee and give it a break. Attempting to push through the pain or “tough it out” can result in more severe pain and immobility. Find a place where you can sit or lie down to take some pressure off of your knee.
  • Ice — If your knee is swelling or feels inflamed (this is when it feels hotter than the rest of your body), you may need to apply a cold pack. Wrap a bag of ice or a cold pack in a towel and apply it to the knee for about 15 minutes. Do this two or three times a day until you receive further instructions from your doctor when you can get treatment for your knee pain.
  • Compress — Compressing your knee can help reduce swelling and promote the circulation of fluids in and out of your knee. Wrap a compression bandage around your knee, starting at the position closest to your heart and wrapping in the direction toward your foot.

    Be careful not to compress too tightly or you’ll cut off circulation. You can tell if you’re wrapping too tightly if it’s painful or if the rest of your leg starts to tingle or feel numb.
  • Elevate — While resting, position your knee above the level of your heart to help drain fluid from swelling. Try propping your knee up on a few pillows while lying down.

Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for knee pain treatment

If you’re experiencing sudden knee pain, you’ll need treatment from medical professionals you can trust. Our team at the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute can treat many types of knee pain with a variety of treatments. Depending on the cause of your knee pain, you may benefit from one of our chiropractic care, interventional or surgical methods. Contact us today to learn more about knee pain treatment or to schedule an initial appointment.