Knee pain is a frequent complaint. It can sometimes be concerning, particularly if it is very sore. However, knees often respond well to specific exercises and the pain is rarely caused by something serious. The knee is built to be very strong and is good at holding your weight, walking, and jumping (especially when the surrounding muscles are strong). It is very difficult to damage.
Most knee complaints will improve with time and some simple steps to strengthen it. At times it might not feel that your knee can get any better, but very few people need any extra care other than the steps below.
How Can I Help Myself?
The best advice is to continue to use your knee as normally as you can. It may be sensible to make some adjustments to what you do with your knee whilst it is sore. It is important to know that using your knee is safe and the right thing to do.
Being closer to your ideal body weight is likely to also help your knee issue. It is often the process of getting fitter (eating ‘cleaner’ and being more active) that helps the waist line and can help sore knees feel better too.
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What Exercise Can I Do?
Exercise, particularly strengthening exercise, is the best medicine for most aches and pains including knees, even very sore knees. Exercise can be anything that challenges your muscles and does not need to mean going to the gym or the swimming pool, as not everyone enjoys these things.
There are some examples of exercises to do below. You can use our symptom tracker to check if what you are doing is helping you to improve.
But my Knee is Sore, Should I Really be Using it and Doing Exercise?
Yes. If you start avoiding things that you find difficult, it often becomes more challenging to help your knee. You are safe to exercise and use your leg despite the fact that it might be a bit uncomfortable.
Would an X-Ray or Scan Help?
In most cases, having an X-ray or a scan is not useful in helping your knee get better. In certain situations they are important and necessary, but often the results show us things that are normal for the age of your knee and are not related to your pain. This is why your GP or clinician may say that it is not needed.
Should I Self-Refer?
Most knee pain will settle naturally in time with little or no help. Occasionally you may need some extra help to get your knee better.
If you feel you would like to talk to a healthcare professional to help you further with your knee you can fill in a self referral form.