Q. What should I do to alleviate my severe knee pain?

Answered by
Dr. Anuj Gupta
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 11, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have a sore knee that is painful throughout the day and very painful at night. I had an MRI done. Based on this report, would surgical intervention be required (e.g., knee arthroscopy)? I know this can be related to pain levels as having had a similar issue in the right knee, but it is very painful. I can bend the knee but hurt to walk or lay.

Can the tears heal themselves? Would a pressure bandage assist or make worse? Any suggestions to alleviate the pain like hot or cold compressions? Should I be resting, or does it not matter?



Welcome to

Are you able to squat completely and comfortably?

Thank you doctor,

Yes, I can squat and bend the knee and also sit on a chair. It is sore while walking and lying. It has been like this for a week. I am going to take Panadeine Forte tablets tonight for pain. Should I try surgery, or is there a chance that it may settle and heal itself? Would pressure knee support assist or hinder? Will ice or heat compression help? Should I rest or keep going as normal?



Welcome back to

Thanks for sending the video. It made a lot of things clear (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

First of all, I would like to inform you that MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) are not always correct to decide the treatment. The tear which is mentioned in the MRI is degenerative changes that are expected at your age. So arthroscopic repair or balancing is not advisable. Moreover, the pain area you have mentioned in the video has nothing to do with the medial meniscus.

The exact problem in your knee is osteoarthritis and weakness of the extensor mechanism. The good thing is that your knee's mobility is very good. Hence the problem is not at its advanced stage.

As far as the treatment is concerned, you need to follow these points.

1. Do ice fomentation or cold packs application at the area of maximum pain.

2. Learn quadriceps and hamstring strengthening exercises from the internet and do it 20-25 minutes twice a day.

3. Increase the intensity of exercises gradually as per your body and capability.

4. Take some anti-inflammatory medications for a week regularly to alleviate acute inflammation.

5. Even after your pain subsides, continue with the exercises regularly.

6. You can also do stationary cycling, which is very good for the knee.

7. Do not overdo the exercises on the first day. Otherwise, your pain will increase. You have to increase the intensity gradually.

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