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Knee pain

Updated: 2023-08-18


Rest the knee. Put on an ice pack wrapped in a towel for up to 20 minutes. Wear an elastic knee bandage. Prop the knee up on pillows when lying down. Try NSAID pain relievers.

When to seek immediate medical care

Seek emergency help if the knee:

  • Looks very different than usual.
  • Feels intensely painful.
  • Made a popping sound during an injury.
  • Can't support weight or gives out.
  • Quickly swells up.

When to make a doctor's appointment

See a health care provider if the knee:

  • Hurts a lot.
  • Has a change in skin color.
  • Feels tender or warm.
  • Looks swollen.
  • Happens with fever.