Knee pain can often be treated at home. You should start to feel better in a few days. Call 111 if the pain is very bad.
How to ease knee pain and swelling
Try these things at first:
put as little weight as possible on your knee – for example, avoid standing for a long time
use an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) on your knee for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours
See a GP if:
knee pain does not improve within a few weeks
your knee locks, painfully clicks or gives way – painless clicking is normal
Get advice from 111 now if:
your knee is very painful
you cannot move your knee or put any weight on it
your knee is badly swollen or has changed shape
you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around your knee – this can be a sign of infection
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Other ways to get help
Treatment from a GP:
A doctor can suggest treatment based on what's causing your knee pain.
prescribe medicine or physiotherapy
refer you to hospital for a scan or specialist treatment (for example, surgery)
Common causes of knee pain
Knee pain can be a symptom of many different conditions.
This information might give you an idea of what the cause might be. But do not self-diagnose – see a GP if you're worried.
Knee pain after an injury:
Pain after overstretching, overusing or twisting, often during exercise
Pain between your kneecap and shin, often caused by repetitive running or jumping
Unstable, gives way when you try to stand, unable to straighten, may hear a popping sound during injury
Teenagers and young adults with pain and swelling below kneecap
Kneecap changes shape after a collision or sudden change in direction
Sprains and strains
Torn ligament, tendon or meniscus, cartilage damage