Have you ever injured yourself and then wondered if it warranted a visit to your local physician? Some bodily injuries, such as an injury to the knee, does not always require immediate medical attention. However, the pain and look of the injury site should be carefully monitored, especially for any symptoms of changes. If the knee injury does not get better or you experience swelling and consistent pain, along with any of the following symptoms, you will want a medical evaluation as soon as possible.
Pain that just does not go away
It is normal to experience some pain initially following the injury to the knee. However, if the pain minimizes and then comes back, there may be additional concerns. Also, if the pain does not minimize and increases, you will need a medical evaluation. More than one quarter of Americans (26%) ages 20 years and over, or an estimated 76.5 million Americans report that they have had a problem with pain of any sort that persisted for more than 24 hours in duration. The 24 hour time limit is a good one to follow. Any pain caused from a knee injury should minimally reduce in intensity within 24 hours.
Chronic knee swelling
Minimal swelling may be present after the injury, but should subside within a few hours. If the swelling gets worse or does not decrease at all, you will want to visit your local health center as soon as possible. Swelling may simply be a symptom of healing at the injury site or it could be a symptom of arthritis or failure to heal. Chronic knee swelling can bring about worse chronic knee pain and usually requires specialized pain treatment.
Chronic knee swelling without injury
Although some amount of knee swelling is normal when it comes to a knee injury, chronic knee swelling is not normal with the existence of a knee injury. Chronic knee swelling can be a symptom of other serious medical conditions, including diabetic neuropathy. Knee swelling almost always indicates that there is a problem with the body and that the area is inflamed. Your physician may treat this with anti inflammatories or with other types of treatments.
Length of pain symptoms
A chronic pain condition develops when an individual experiences pain consistently for many months, without much reduction of the pain. Chronic knee pain treatment involves many different medical options, including surgery, medications, physical therapy, exercise, and injections. The right pain reduction option for you will depend on many factors. Your physician will take into account the cause of your pain, previous medical options attempted, length of pain, any diagnoses, and level of pain. It is also likely that they will order numerous diagnostic imaging tests to rule out any serious injuries, such as a broken or fractured bones or ligaments.
Treatment of chronic pain
When dealing with chronic pain, you will find that the specific pain is not the only problem. Chronic pain can also affect the rest of your body and your emotional state. In fact, more than three quarters of patients with chronic pain (77%) reported feeling depressed. When multiple medical treatments do not reduce the level of pain, it is normal to feel hopeless and frustrated. It is important to keep these emotional symptoms in mind when dealing with chronic pain of any type. If you feel that the emotional impact is too much to bear with, consider speaking with your physician or requesting a referral for a psychologist.
Some amount of swelling and pain is expected when you sustain an injury, especially to the knee area. However, if the pain and swelling persists, there could be an underlying problem. Chronic pain conditions are all too common and an extremely expensive part of our country. The annual cost of chronic pain in the United States, including healthcare expenses, lost income, and lost productivity, is estimated to be $100 billion. If you are experiencing pain or swelling in the knee that will just not go away, speak with your medical provider on your pain treatment options.