56.jpegYour knees are one of the most important joints in your body. They provide stability and support for a variety of activities, from standing and walking to running and jumping. However, because they are subjected to constant use and strain, it is not uncommon for people to experience knee pain at some point in their lives.

Knee pain is a common ailment that affects people of all ages. Whether you are an athlete, a weekend warrior, or finding yourself with more candles on your birthday cake, knee pain can significantly impact your quality of life. Understanding the root causes of chronic knee pain and exploring the available solutions is the first step toward alleviating discomfort and restoring mobility.

At Grand Rapids Pain, home to the most experienced interventional pain specialists in West Michigan, we are dedicated to helping our patients overcome knee pain and get back to living their best lives. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common reasons why your knees may be hurting and what you can do about it.

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What Causes Knee Pain?

Here are some common reasons why your knees may be hurting:

Knee Injuries

  • Ligament Injuries: Sprains and tears of ligaments such as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or the medial collateral ligament (MCL) often occur during activities that involve bending, sudden twists, or a direct blow to the knee.
  • Tendon Injuries: Overuse can lead to tendinitis, an inflammation of the tendons, or tendon tears. The patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone, is particularly susceptible to injury.
  • Meniscal Tears: The meniscus, made of cartilage and acting as a cushion between the shinbone and the thigh bone, can be torn if the knee is twisted while bearing weight.
  • Bursitis: Repeated pressure on the knee or a single severe blow can cause inflammation and swelling of the bursae, the small sacs of fluid that cushion the knee joint.
  • Fracture:  A break in any of the bones surrounding the knee can cause intense pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.

    Chronic Conditions
  • Osteoarthritis: The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis is caused by wear-and-tear damage to the joint cartilage over time. It can occur as part of the natural aging process or due to repeated stress on the knee joint.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks its own joints, including the knee. This causes inflammation and can damage the joint tissue over time.
  • Gout: A type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint, gout often affects the big toe, but can also affect the knee.
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS): Also known as 'runner's knee', is characterized by pain in the front of the knee and around the kneecap. It is often caused by overuse or improper tracking of the kneecap.

    Other Factors
  • Obesity: Extra weight puts additional strain on the knee joints, increasing the risk of developing osteoarthritis or exacerbating existing knee pain.
  • Poor Posture/Alignment: Misalignment of the bones in your legs and feet can cause uneven pressure on the knee joint, leading to pain and discomfort.
    • Overuse: Repeating the same movements over and over again can cause knee problems due to strain and wear on the joint.

What Can You Do About Knee Pain?

The good news is that there are many treatment options available to help alleviate knee pain and improve mobility. At Grand Rapids Pain, our team of specialists will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs. Here are some common treatments for knee pain:

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can design a customized exercise program that targets the muscles surrounding the knee joint, helping to improve strength and flexibility. This can help reduce pain and improve mobility.


Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen can provide temporary relief for mild to moderate knee pain. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications such as corticosteroids to help manage severe pain.


  • Corticosteroid injections: Which are injected directly into the knee joint, can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Hyaluronic acid injections: Also known as viscosupplementation, can help lubricate the joint and reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections: Using platelet-rich plasma derived from the patient's own blood, can also promote healing and reduce inflammation.

Radiofrequency Ablation 

This minimally invasive procedure uses heat to deactivate the nerves causing pain in the knee joint. It can provide long-lasting relief for chronic knee pain.

Nerve Block Therapy 

If other treatments are not providing enough relief, nerve block therapy may be recommended. This involves injecting a local anesthetic and steroid directly into the nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals from the knee.

Minimally Invasive Surgery   

For severe cases of knee pain, minimally invasive surgery may be recommended to repair damaged ligaments or tendons, remove scar tissue, or replace the joint altogether. This option is usually considered only after other treatments have failed.

Tips to Prevent Knee Pain

While some causes of knee pain are unavoidable, there are steps you can take to prevent or minimize your risk. Here are some tips for preventing knee pain:

  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce strain on the knee joints.
  • Exercise regularly to improve strength and flexibility in the muscles surrounding the knee.
  • Wear supportive footwear that provides proper cushioning and shock absorption.
  • Use proper techniques when exercising, especially when running or lifting weights. This can help prevent overuse injuries.
  • Take breaks and rest when engaging in activities that put stress on the knees. This can help prevent overuse injuries as well.
  • Use proper posture and alignment to avoid putting uneven pressure on the knee joint.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Contact the team  at Grand Rapids Pain if your knee pain is causing any of the following:

  • Cannot bear weight on your knee
  • Instability or weakness in the knee joint
  • Experiencing pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or bluish discoloration in the calf below the sore knee
  • Fever or chills accompanied by knee pain
  • Inability to fully extend or bend the knee joint
  • Persistent pain that does not improve after 3 days of rest and at-home treatments.

Find Relief at Grand Rapids Pain!

Knee pain is common and can affect people of all ages and lifestyles. Whether it is caused by a sudden injury or a chronic condition, it's important to seek medical attention to find the best treatment for your specific needs.

Our team of experts at Grand Rapids Pain will work with you to diagnose the cause of your knee pain and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you find relief. With a combination of medical treatments, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes, we can help you get back on your feet and enjoy life with less knee pain. 

Join the thousands of patients who have found pain relief at Grand Rapids Pain. Don't wait any longer – schedule your appointment with Dr. Keith Javery or Dr. Girish Juneja. Contact us by calling at (616) 727-0083 or through fax at (866) 493-3535. Let us help you feel better! 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can knee pain go away on its own?

In some cases, minor knee pain may go away on its own with rest and at-home treatments. However, if the pain persists or is severe, it's important to seek medical attention at Grand Rapids Pain for proper diagnosis and treatment.

How to diagnose knee pain?

Diagnosing a knee injury or problem typically involves a physical examination, reviewing your medical history and symptoms, and potentially ordering imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans. Our team at Grand Rapids Pain will work with you to determine the cause of your knee pain.

Is surgery always necessary for knee pain?

Surgery is usually considered a last resort for treating knee pain, and is only recommended after other treatments have failed to provide relief. Many cases of knee pain can be effectively managed with non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, medication management, injections, or minimally invasive procedures at Grand Rapids Pain.  However, in some cases where there is severe damage to the knee joint, surgery may be necessary for long-term relief.  Talk to Dr. Keith Javery or Dr. Girish Juneja about the best treatment options for your specific condition.