Knee Pain: A Symptom Guide

knee pain symptom

Knee Pain: A Symptom Guide

The knee is the largest joint in your body and the one that bears most of your weight.

Because of this, it’s a tough — and sometimes problem-prone — joint.


When you’re feeling knee pain, how do you know what caused it?


Your doctor’s diagnosis is the ultimate answer, but there are some clues to get you started on determining the cause.



According to the CDC, nearly half of all people will experience symptoms of osteoarthritis at some point in their lives.

That’s why it’s important to know the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis:

  • Intermittent pain that gradually gets worse
  • Pain that appears or gets worse when strain is put on the joint
  • Pain in just one knee
  • Stiffness, especially after a period of inactivity
  • Swelling
  • A knee that locks or gives out



When the thin, fluid-filled sac that protects the joint (known as a bursa) becomes infected or inflamed, this is bursitis.

Many of the symptoms of knee bursitis are similar to osteoarthritis, but there are a few distinctive characteristics:

  • A swollen region on the knee that’s “squishy” to the touch
  • Tenderness when pressure is put on the knee
  • Warmth or redness 
  • Fever or illness, which is a symptom of an infected bursa (also known as septic bursitis)

Knee pain from an injury

Damage to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee can cause pain if these tissues are overused or receive a blow or other injury.

This is particularly true in the case of these common knee injuries:

  • A tear in the knee’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • A patellar tendon injury, also known as “jumper’s knee”
  • Damage to the tendon between the kneecap and femur (thigh bone), known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PPS) or “runner’s knee”
  • A tear in the pads of cartilage in the knee known as the meniscus

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a system-wide condition in which the immune system is attacking the joints and causing inflammation. So when rheumatoid arthritis shows up in the knee, chances are the smaller joints in the hands and feet have already been affected by pain and inflammation.

Rheumatoid arthritis in the knees can cause:

  • Pain and inflammation in both knees at the same time
  • Knees that are swollen, red, or warm to the touch
  • Stiffness in the morning, which can last 30 minutes or more despite light activity
  • General fatigue
  • Fever

If you’re experiencing pain that’s not relieved by a few weeks of self-care using NSAID pain medications and the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method, make an appointment with us, we can help with all different types of pain, help find the underlying causes, and find the right treatment plan for you.


Article credit: Arthritis Health



At Eastside Medical Group, we don’t simply address the symptoms of your pain and discomfort. Instead, we take an integrated approach to treatment so that you can eliminate your pain permanently.


Our techniques are proven to be much better than simply masking your pain with drugs or using invasive surgical procedures that take weeks or even months of recovery and downtime from your daily life.

Get your FREE NO-OBLIGATION consultation now! Contact our team today!




Orthopedic Doctor, Chiropractor or Physical Therapist?

Orthopedic Doctor, Chiropractor or Physical Therapy – Which is best for pain?

It can be difficult to know where to go for help when you are in pain with mild injuries, soft tissue damage, whiplash, back and neck pain, headaches, migraines, carpal tunnel, and sports injuries.  Should you see an Orthopedic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor for your musculoskeletal pain? 

A physical medicine office that offers all these specialties is not only a great choice for providing the relief you need, but having all these services at one location can offer a unique advantage over other healthcare facilities. 

Eastside Medical Group, serving Cleveland, Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, and surrounding communities, is your one-stop location offering Orthopedic, Chiropractic, and Physical Medicine!

The first step to addressing your pain – get a proper diagnosis

Identifying the cause of your pain is the first step to solving it, therefore a proper diagnosis is essential to create an effective treatment plan. A diagnosis allows you to find the correct treatment, and to rule out more serious disease processes. 

Which health specialty is best to go to for an initial diagnosis? Both medical doctors and chiropractors are licensed to diagnose and trained to be primary care physicians. They can provide an initial diagnosis, make treatment recommendations, and, if needed, will refer to other specialists, including oncologists, neurologists, and rheumatologists.  

However, if you believe your pain is coming from a structural imbalance, muscle, ligament, soft tissue pain, etc, then it is to your advantage to see a doctor of chiropractic. Both specialties are trained to diagnose all disease, both internal and structural, so if your back pain is coming from a kidney infection, a chiropractor will have no problem catching it.

Did you know?

The fact that chiropractors are trained to be primary care physicians may come as a surprise, as there is often misunderstanding about their role in health care. 

Chiropractic doctors receive eight years of training, just as medical doctors do. Both receive a similar education in their first two years of medical education, but in the second two years, their clinical training diverges. A medical degree emphasizes internal medicine, surgery, and pharmaceuticals, where a chiropractic degree emphasizes physical medicine, physical therapy, adjusting, and nutrition. Both are trained extensively in radiology and diagnostic imaging, so they can provide you with x-rays when needed, interpret MRI’s and CT scans. 

The second step to addressing your pain – get the proper treatment.

A diagnosis is important, but having right treatment is the key to seeing results. Many times individual treatments offer good results but by combining the conservative treatment options you will see GREAT results. Focusing on these unique treatment plans allow the patient to experience pain relief and in many cases prevent surgery. 

Whenever possible, try conservative therapies first. If conservative therapy is not an option, then our Orthopedic Physician and Chiropractor will refer you out accordingly. 

Don’t rush to surgery. 

Many are not needed. Surgeries are permanent, often over utilized, and can create new complications. You can always try conservative therapy first and then try surgery later, but you cannot do the reverse. Most musculoskeletal pain will respond well to adjustments, physical therapy (physiotherapy), bracing and trigger point injections.

Call today to schedule your free consultation with Eastside Medical Group in Shaker Heights! 

We are your one stop location offering Orthopedics, Chiropractic, and Physical Medicine, serving the Cleveland, Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights areas and surrounding communities!

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